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Murder on Amsterdam Avenue
Gaslight Mystery #17
Victoria Thompson

Berkley Prime Crime
May 3, 2016/ ISBN 978-0425260487
Historical Mystery - 1890s New York City

Reviewed by Linda Morelli

Sara Brandt, a midwife who lives in New York, is engaged to former detective sergeant Frank Malloy. Their marriage is on hold until the home Frank is building is completed, but overseeing that construction has Frank listless. When Sara and her mother visit an old family friend whose son has just died from a mysterious disease, the father asks for Frank’s help in determining the true cause of his son’s death. Frank quickly agrees to investigate. After Sara learns that the son died of arsenic poisoning, it’s clear that the murderer was someone in the family’s home. Could it be the deceased’s wife? After all, she refused to sleep with her husband. Or perhaps it was one of the servants?

I truly love historical mysteries, and Victoria Thompson’s Gaslight Mystery series is one of my favorites. Murder on Amsterdam Avenue is the 17th release in the series, and while readers would benefit from reading the series from the beginning, there is sufficient back information and intrigue in this release to keep a newbie to the series intrigued and happy.

The author stays true to the period of early nineteenth-century New York City, making her descriptions of the city and its people, both rich and poor, come to life for me. The romance between Sara and Frank is a bit subdued, since the mystery focuses on lingering Civil War animosity and racial prejudices. Familiar secondary characters include Gino, who left the force to join Teddy Roosevelt in Cuba. When he returns, Frank hires him to help with the investigation. Gino is sweet on Maeve, Sara’s daughter’s nursemaid, and their romance has wonderful potential. I can’t wait for the next release, which will have Maeve and Gino helping a woman falsely accused of murder while Sara and Frank are on their honeymoon.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Murder on Astor Place, No 1 [review]
Murder on Lenox Hill, No 7 [review]
Murder on Sisters' Row, No 13 [review]
Murder on Fifth Avenue, No 14 [review]
Murder in Chelsea, No 15 [ review ]
Murder in Murray Hill, No 16 [ review ]

Victoria Thompson is the Edgar® and Agatha award–nominated author of the Gaslight Mysteries.

Reviewer Linda Morelli is the award winning author of three published romance novels.
Reviewed 2016