The author brings late Victorian era New York City to vivid life. I hadn't heard or seen anything on this book when I originally picked this up years ago and didn't know what to expect. What a nice surprise I found within the covers, simply stated I would call it a gem of a book.
Although Mario Alfieri is a celebrated tenor awaiting his premier at the Met as the book opens, you do not need an extensive knowledge of opera since it is only touched upon and never heavy handed. Cohen has the ability to deftly handle Clara Adler's mystery which carefully unfolds layer by layer while building the relationship between Adler and Alfieri. The reader gets totally immersed in the past as the relationship and mystery build and drive off each other.