This is the first in Victoria Thompson's "Gaslight" mystery series set in early 1900's New York. I really was prepared to not like this book as this time period is not my favorite for historical mysteries (I prefer earlier middle ages/medieval times), but I found myself very pleasantly surprised. Sarah Brandt is a widow and midwife who gave up a life of luxury to continue practicing after her physician husband Thomas was brutally killed. She works for pittance--and sometimes not even that--among the city's poor, must to the dismay of her well-born family who are direct Mayflower descendents. In this first book, the young sister of an old school friend of Sarah's is found murdered in a boardinghouse where Sarah has gone to treat the owner of the house. The first mystery--what would a young woman from a wealthy family be doing in a squalid boardinghouse--is part of the mystery of who killed her. Very well done book with a few surprises that made it all the more interesting. An excellent start to a promising series.
This well-written mystery is set in turn-of-the-century New York City and introduces series protagonists --midwife Sarah Brandt and NYPD Police Detective Frank Malloy. While following up on a newly-delivered mother and child, midwife Sarah Brandt finds herself dragged into investigationg the murder of a young girl who was a roomer in theboarding house run by the new mother. But when Sarah discovers that the murdered girl is an old friend of her family, she wants to find the murderer and bring him to justice. This is the first story in this series, and I enjoyed it very much. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series!
This was a wonderful book! I haven't read much historical fiction, but Thompson portrays a late 19th century New York in all of its gritty and aristocratic splendor. Sarah Brandt, an independent woman who makes her living as a midwife, finds herself helping a tough New York detective solve a murder involving a young heiress.
The story moves along as a good pace, and the descriptions of the city, both good and bad, and the social classes, the who, what and why of the aristocracy is splendid, and I learned a lot about the customs of the time.
A wonderful mystery and interesting characters have made me want to read more of Victoria Thompson.
Aside from some grammatical errors ("it's" for "its" twice in one sentence!), and virtually no information about Sarah's midwifery career, which was my interest in the book to begin with, I did enjoy Murder on Astor Place. Sarah, a widowed midwife in New York City around 1900, and Malloy, a police detective trying to do right by his son, band together to solve a scandalous murder case that the family of the murdered girl would rather be hushed up. I'm eager to read the series' remaining books. First in a series; sequels include Murder on St. Mark's Place, Murder on Gramercy Park, Murder on Washington Square, Murder on Mulberry Bend, Murder on Marble Row, and Murder on Lenox Hill.
This is the first book in the series. This was my first book from this author looking forward to the next one. A must read if you like historical mystery.