Rating: Very Good
Description: Frank Malloy s latest client is the well-dressed Will Bert. He s searching for his brother, a newsboy named Freddie, so he can share his new financial good fortune. Frank makes quick work of the case and locates Freddie, but a happy reunion between brothers is not in the cards.
When Will's name is mentioned, Freddie runs off only to be found dead a short time later. Suspicious, Frank tracks down Will who spins a tale of lust and deceit involving a young society woman, Estelle Longacre, also recently deceased. Frank can t be sure if Estelle's risky behavior and the company she kept was to blame, or if her own ruthless family had a hand in her death.
Frank will need Sarah s help to unearth the dark secrets of the wealthy Longacres and to discover if there is a connection between Estelle and Freddie s death. Together they must navigate a perilous underground web of treachery to find the truth.
Genre: Mystery - Historical
Why I Picked This Book: I really enjoyed another book by this author and this series has been calling my name for quite some time. I really couldn't resist the blurb on this one either. Sounds like a great mystery!
My Impression: It's official! I'm now a complete Victoria Thompson fan! I really enjoyed City of Lies which is the first book in anther series. She made the historic setting come to life and the characters were vivid but while it was a delight it was lacking a bit on the mystery end. I was excited to try this mystery in her long running Gaslight series and it didn't disappoint. Since we aren't being introduced to the world of Sarah and Frank Malloy the character development is a bit muted but I still found it to be enough that I could really get a sense of just who the characters were as well and a good picture of their marriage.
I just finished watching The Alienist on TNT and the premise reminded me a little bit of that show. There are all these poor children that are left essentially to their own devices without anyone to care for them at what seems to be an impossibly young age. However, the way they looked out for each other was impressive and lacked the exploitation that I had seen in a show from a similar time period which made this much more enjoyable. The mystery itself is nice and twisty. Who would want to murder a young newsboy AND a young woman whose name is in the Social Register. What could their connection possibly be? And what was the man who came to Malloy in the first place posing as a concerned older brother's real purpose? Finding out was a thoroughly enjoyable ride with lots of atmosphere and a main character group that I'd really like to be friends with.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely! Luckily for me I have several previous books on my shelves to keep me busy while I wait for #21!
Would I Recommend this Book? If you enjoy smart historical mysteries this is a great choice. While this is a rather intimidating #20 in the series I had no problem starting here.