Death of a Robber Baron
Set during New York City’s Gilded Age (the late 19th century), this mystery initially transports us to a time of luxury and elitism for the fortunate wealthy. Author Charles O’Brien smartly captures the essence of a good “cozy” mystery. Nothing threatening here, at least to the reader. But in the lives of its characters scandals, thievery, and murder inevitably crop up.
We meet Mrs. Pamela Thompson, a charitable woman who has adopted an orphan into her posh Greenwich Village townhome. Sadly, her husband isn’t one hundred percent behind her charity. Instead he foolishly risks their fortune on bad investments. Bad turns to worse when he loses Pamela’s inheritance and then commits suicide. It’s up to Pamela to use her wit and diligence to come back from the devastating blow of having lost everything she holds dear. The story provides an easy-going adventure. More depth of character and attention to setting details would make it a real standout, but readers who love their cozy mysteries set in the past will appreciated this gentle tale.