Monday, May 11, 2020

Murder on Pleasant Avenue - Historical Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Murder on Pleasant Avenue (A Gaslight Mystery #23) by Victoria Thompson

Rating: Liked It
Source: Publisher

Description: A victim is found, brutally murdered and the police are certain they've caught the killer. Their only suspect: Gino Donatelli.
Frank and Sarah know Gino is innocent but the police have a one-track mind. Once Frank struck it rich and left their ranks taking Gino with him, there has been a simmering resentment in the department. And now, someone has pulled out all the stops to make it look like Gino is the only one who could have committed the crime.

With the clock ticking and evidence mounting against their friend, Sarah and Frank will try to unravel a treacherous plot before Gino is sent up the river for good.

Genre: Mystery - Historical

Why I Picked This Book:  This is one of my favorite series so I couldn't resist this latest book.

My Impression:  While I haven't been reading this series since the beginning I have become a devoted fan in the last few years and even though this has one of my least favorite mystery tropes - the wrongly accused main character - I couldn't resist picking this one up.  Thompson excels at bringing the world her characters inhabit to vivid life and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Little Italy and Italian Harlem in New York City which are two areas I know very little about during this time period.  I found the politics and the social rules fascinating.  I loved the detail of the settlement houses and general life in Little Italy at this time.  And I also really loved that while Sarah and Frank are very prominent characters this book is really Maeve and Gino's time to shine.

But while the setting is vivid and interesting it never overshadows the mystery itself.  It was well paced and detailed though perhaps with an ending that wasn't so shocking.  There were a few things that seemed so obvious to a reader that none of the characters seemed to pick up on which got a bit irritating.  I especially felt that they should have questioned one character's story much more closely then just blindly accepting it.  It felt a bit out of character for them.  That said this is still a Gaslight mystery so while there were a few minor irritations the pacing was excellent and this was a mystery I enjoyed from beginning to end (even when I wanted to shake the main characters).

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  This is a series I always enjoy and one that I will always pick up the newest book - and want to read the earlier ones I missed.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy historical mysteries this is a series that I think you'd enjoy - and I think that this is one you could jump in with. 

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. I like mysteries and anything vintage is my cup of tea. Thanks for the review.

  2. I would like to try this series sometime. I love mysteries set in this time period. I am glad you liked this one, Katherine.

  3. Sounds good despite the irritation. I really need to start this series. Nice review!

  4. This series looks so good. I want to start from book #1 so I have a long way to go.

  5. I think you should start writing a cosy mystery series. Okay so I am learning, the trope of accusing a main character.

  6. I really need to read this author's work. I am glad you enjoyed this one even though it had a few issues.

  7. Do you think this series should be read from the beginning, or is it OK to jump in partway through? And if so, where?