Sprinkled with fascinating details of turn-of-the-century New York City, Thompson’s old-fashioned mystery takes the reader from the mansions of Fifth Avenue to the flophouses of the Lower East Side. Sarah Brandt is a midwife who has been estranged from her wealthy family for years. When Alicia VanDamm, a young woman from a prominent family, is murdered, Sarah must return to the upper-class society she has scorned to find the killer. Haunted by her past and disgusted by police department corruption, Sarah takes it upon herself to avenge the girl’s death.
In keeping with the murder theme of the month and always looking for writers new to me, I took this from someone’s read list to give it a try. I enjoyed how the author immerses the reader in the New York City of old, before subways and such, I love research that draws you in. Sarah, a young widow, finds herself drawn back to the rich society she grew up in, in order to help Malloy solve the murder of a young girl she once knew. I loved the richness of the characters and the imagery of the city and how society used to work, that the author weaves together. Although I started to suspect who might have committed the murder, I was wrong about who and why. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good murder, with none of the gore.