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Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue
Gaslight Mystery # 17
Victoria Thompson

November 1, 2016/ ISBN 978-0425278987
Mystery / Historical / Amateur Sleuths

Reviewed by Linda Morelli


Frank Malloy, an ex-policeman now private investigator, and Sarah Brandt, a midwife, have married and are on their honeymoon in Europe. Their two children from previous marriages are being cared for by their nursemaid, Maeve Smith, and occasionally Mrs. Malloy, Frank’s mother. Everyone is waiting for the newlyweds to return when Maeve opens the front door to Mrs. O’Neill, who asks for Frank’s help. Her daughter Una is accused of killing her husband, Randolph Pollock.

Maeve decides to help Mrs. O’Neill’s daughter, with the assistance of Officer Gino Donatelli, since they have worked with Frank and Sarah on previous investigations. Maeve visits Una in prison and sees bruises, revealing that Una’s husband beat her frequently. Though Una doesn’t remember anything, Maeve wonders if she killed her husband in self-defense.

When Mrs. O’Neill and Maeve visit Una’s home and discover the husband’s office in disarray, Maeve opens the safe and discovers several thousand dollars, money she delivers to Sarah’s parents, the Deckers, for safekeeping. This brings Sarah’s parents into the investigation and they all learn that Randolph may have killed his first wife. Randolph definitely defrauded several investors, whose money Maeve found. But who killed Randolph? A furious investor? The brother of Randolph’s first wife? Or Una?

Victoria Thompson has written another thrilling historical mystery, centered on the efforts of Maeve and Gino, who have a strong mutual attraction. The intriguing plot is solid and fast-paced, and the book was difficult to put down. I love Ms. Thompson’s enchanting descriptions of her characters, who are almost real and certainly loveable, especially Felix and Elizabeth Decker. Several times I laughed out loud, especially when Maeve and Gino try to hide their feelings for each other, fooling no one but themselves. The book ends with Frank and Sarah’s return, and the delightful possibility that a new detective agency may be formed. I can’t wait!

Reviews of other titles in this series

Murder on Astor Place #1 [review]
Murder on St Mark's Place #2 [review]
Murder on Lenox Hill #7 [review]
Murder on Sisters' Row #13 [review]
Murder on Fifth Avenue #14 [review]
Murder in Chelsea #15 [review]
Murder in Murray Hill #16 [review]
Murder on Amsterdam Avenue #17 [review]


Reviewed 2016