Murder on Marble Row

Written by Victoria Thompson
Review by Viviane Crystal

Commissioner Teddy Roosevelt orders Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy to investigate the very serious murder of Mr. Gregory Van Dyke, a successful business leader and prominent social member of New York at the turn of the twentieth century. Historically, everyone concerned about this crime fears it is the work of a group known as the “Anarchists,” an organization determined to bring about social change by violent means. The potent connection to contemporary terrorism immediately rises in the reader’s mind.

However, as Malloy begins his investigation, and is joined by a former lover, Sarah Brandt, also a member of a prominent New York family, Malloy discovers that just about everyone who knew Van Dyke had a reason to commit the outrageous crime. Yes, the Anarchists were involved, but not as the reader will expect. A bit of Anarchist history is included in the novel, but more fascinating are the psychological and social attitudes of these notorious members, as well as the interesting social connections that forge their ideology and actions.

Victoria Thompson spins a taut plot, constantly engaging and never failing to draw the reader more deeply into the complex schemes and actions of both the guilty and innocent. It’s a great “who-done-it” read.