Murder in Chelsea
This fifteenth installment of Victoria Thompson’s popular Gaslight era mysteries hits midwife and widow Sarah Brandt close to home. The parentage of her young adopted daughter, Catherine, is about to be resolved. But the mother who abandoned her wants her back, so says the nursemaid. When Sarah sends her friend Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy to investigate the claim, he finds the nursemaid murdered. Sarah works with Frank to discover the killer. Both sides of Catherine’s natural family tree are full of suspects: her chorus girl mother and her lover are mostly interested in financial gain, while her rich, doting, but dying father’s side of the family is fighting to keep the child from any inheritance.
The characterizations are well rendered, and the suspense ticks along at a healthy clip. Sarah’s parents help her negotiate the world of upper-class New York society, while Frank is ready to knock heads together to protect the little girl they both love. I’m glad Sarah’s clients put off their labors so that she could resolve this family crisis. Even the obstacles keeping Sarah and Frank from teaming up romantically fall away by book’s end, which is sure to delight readers of this series.