The Organ Grinder
The latest book in the Dutchman Historical Mystery series by husband-and-wife team Martin and Annette Meyers (writing as Maan Meyers) is set in 1899 New York City. Detective cousins John “Dutch” Tonneman and Bo Clancy investigate the murder of a prostitute named Delia Swann whose viciously slashed body is discovered by a cop on his beat. After the cop himself is killed, it becomes clear to Dutch and Bo that the murderer is looking for a heart-shaped locket once owned by Delia. More victims turn up as the detectives follow the trail of the stiletto-wielding murderer. Dutch fears that his sweetheart, photographer Esther Breslau, may be next on the murderer’s list. It’s a race against time as the detectives try to find the murderer before he finds Esther.
Some of the characters are a bit wordy at times, relying on explanation more than action to advance the story, but that fault can be easily overlooked as the tale unfolds. Peopled with Irish cops, Tammany Hall bosses, street urchins, prostitutes and thugs, such as the Italian members of the Black Hand, The Organ Grinder is a wild and colorful ride through the culture of turn-of-the-century New York.