Murder on St. Mark’s Place
This novel is Victoria Thompson’s second book in the Gaslight Mystery series. Her midwife detective Sarah Brandt once again teams up with Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy to solve a case. The sister of one of Sarah’s clients has been murdered, and the grieving woman begs Sarah to find the killer. Reluctant at first, Frank Malloy finds himself drawn to the case as similar murders in the recent past come to light. From the sleazy dance halls of the heart of New York City to the gaiety and hustle of Coney Island, Sarah and Frank trace the killer’s path.
This book has much to recommend it. The characters and setting are wonderful. New York in the grips of a summer heat wave shimmers off the pages, and you can almost smell the sea air at Coney Island.
The main plot and pace keep the pages turning, however I admit to having figured out much of the mystery about halfway through. Thompson does, however, throw in a clever twist near the end.
Overall this historical mystery is a good and often compelling novel which offers the reader a glimpse of the seedier side of life in early 20th century New York.