Murder on Lexington Avenue

Written by Victoria Thompson
Review by Susan Zabolotny

Victoria Thompson’s 12th Gaslight Mystery is just as interesting and fresh as her early works in this series. Murder on Lexington Avenue takes place in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. The story opens with the murder of wealthy businessman Nehemiah Wooten on a Saturday afternoon at his place of business. He is the father of a deaf daughter and lends much support to the Lexington Avenue School. She has been sent to that school specifically because he does not want her to be taught how to converse in sign.

Detective Frank Malloy is called to the case at the request of the school’s president. Frank’s son, Brian, is deaf, and Frank had considered the school for his own son, but decided that signing would be useful to Brian and sent him to another school instead. Frank’s love interest, Sarah Brandt, continues her life as midwife and single mom. When Frank arrives at the Wooten house to question the family, he learns that Mrs. Wooten is in labor and he sends for Sarah. Soon they are working together again to solve the latest crime. Beautiful Electra Wooten has been learning to sign without her father’s knowledge and has fallen in love with her instructor, Mr. Oldham. Mr. Wooten’s son, Leander, has angered his father by arranging Electra’s clandestine meetings with Mr. Oldham. Mrs. Wooten has a secret of her own regarding her baby’s father and does not fit Frank’s idea of a grieving widow.

Frank lines up his suspects early on and systematically rules them out until the very end. I especially enjoy the interaction between Sarah and Frank and highly recommend this book.