The Manhattan Island Clubs

Written by Brent Monahan
Review by Lorraine Gelly

Retired Sheriff John LeBrun of Brunswick, Georgia has established a certain reputation among the movers and shakers of New York commerce. After solving a murder on Jekyl Island where many of the robber barons have vacation homes, John is whisked to New York by none other than J.P. Morgan to help solve another murder. The rich and famous of the day don’t like their private lives held up to the mirror of society. When one of their own club members is murdered in the club and another member framed for the murder, they get a little testy. Thus in the summer of 1906, John finds himself moving among the powerful rich, few of whom he has any respect for, investigating them and their private lives yet again.

An engaging character, John is a self-educated man, who matured in the South after the Civil War, in which he served while still in his teens. Now retired, he is young enough at 59 to want something new in his life. His interest in varied subjects leads the reader through the streets of the great city. Using John as a guide, the author shows us life at the turn of the 20th century through the unusual people he encounters and the many neighborhoods he explores. The author has done a great deal of research and knows his subject matter well. From a slow start, the book built up suspense and delivers a knockout twist at the end.