Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Deception by Gaslight - Historical Mystery Review

 Goodreads:  Deception by Gaslight (A Gilded Gotham Mystery #1) by Kate Belli

Rating: Liked It
Source: Publisher

Description:  Glittering Gilded-Age New York holds its lavish charms--and a litany of deadly sins--as intrepid reporter Genevieve Stewart uncovers a trail of corruption and murder.

As a chill sets in on New York City in the winter of 1888, a jewel thief dubbed the "Robin Hood of the Lower East Side" has been stealing from the city's wealthiest and giving to the poor. Genevieve Stewart--a young woman whose family is part of Mrs. Astor's famed 400 but who has forged a life of her own as a reporter--decides to chase the story, but gets more than she bargained for: a murder victim sprawled in a dark alley in the dangerous Five Points neighborhood.

A handsome neighborhood tough comes to her rescue--but when she encounters the same man at a glamorous ball a few nights later, she realizes he's society scion Daniel McCaffrey. Could this be her Robin Hood? When two more murders rock the Knickerbocker world, it becomes apparent that something much more sinister is afoot than a few stolen diamond necklaces. Genevieve is determined to prove that Daniel is Robin Hood--but she's loath to believe he is a killer as well. From the glittering lights of Fifth Avenue to the sordid back alleys of Five Points, the truth is just one murder away.

Genre: Mystery - Historical

Why I Picked This Book:  I have really enjoyed historical mysteries this past year and this series sounded interesting.

My Impression:  There is a lot going on in this book.  There are lots of characters, social politics, actual politics, crime, rumors, a bit of romance, a marriage of convenience or two, employment issues, past secrets, a handful of murders in multiple areas of New York City.  It's rather jam packed.

I liked the two main characters.  Genevieve Stewart is a member of an old and eccentric family who has guaranteed entrance at every society ball though what she really wants is to be a real journalist.  Daniel McCaffrey is a mystery with a large fortune.  No one knows where he came from or why he inherited what he did.  Despite their differences they work well together and made for an interesting team and both brought an interesting perspective.  I also enjoyed seeing their friends and Genevieve's family

What kept this book from being a real winner for me was really the pacing.  Because of everything going on and all the different mysteries this read a bit slow and it was difficult for me to really connect with the plot itself because there were just so many details crammed in.  I did enjoy reading it but it just wasn't as compelling as I wanted it to be.  Because I liked the characters I will definitely try this series again in hopes that some of the pacing issues were just first book in a series setup.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  I would.  While this wasn't a full winner for me the good far outweighed the bad and I'm curious to see where the series goes.

Would I Recommend this Book?  I would with some hesitation.  I think I would recommend Jennifer Ashley's Kat Holloway series or Sherry Thomas' Lady Sherlock series over this but if you have already read those I think you would enjoy this.

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


  1. Hmmm ... I don't like super slow pacing in mysteries, so this one might be a problem for me even though it sounds intriguing. I love the Kat Holloway books, but they move pretty fast. Maybe I'll try the Thomas series before this giving this one a go. Thanks for your honest review!

  2. I have to be honest, every time I see the word 'gaslight' I truly cringe. From the movie that was released back in the day to all the things I've seen and hard about as it relates to gaslighting, it's hard to get past. I like the sound of a Lady Sherlock Series though. Hugs, RO

  3. Bummed, because you liked it, but it has issues. I would have one-clicked as I like the genre too.

  4. This sounds intriguing. I have enjoyed Victoria Thompson's Gaslight Mysteries which are set in the same time and place. Thanks for the review!

  5. I hear you on the pacing, however some of the other factors you mention do make it intriguing. I am going to make a note of it.

  6. This is a book I've thought about, Katherine, but right now if a book is slow it usually isn't holding my interest. I do really like the Lady Sherlock series!

  7. Hopefully the next book will be better. It sounds like this had a lot going for it. I hadn't heard of this series before, but will give it a try.