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Murder on Lexington Avenue (Gaslight Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – 7 Jun 2011

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Amazon.com: 50 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Gaslight Mystery series is back on track 4 Jun 2010
By jenniferk66 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The series seemed to stumble a bit with the last release, Murder on Waverly Place. This time, the murder mystery is constructed much better, the witty interaction between Frank Malloy and Sarah Brandt (that seemed to be lacking in the last book) is there, and the requisite historical facts-of-the-time are vital parts of the plot(Princeton's re-naming, the eugenics movement, etc.).

Unlike the recent books, which involved more of Sarah's world, this book's mystery is related to something involving Malloy (schools for the deaf- and their varying methods). This book gets to balance the mystery with insights into Malloy--We get to know how grateful he is for Sarah's interference in his life- which has in turn improved his son's quality of life. Since he is no longer hesitant to include and share details of the case with Sarah, and they both get to play key roles in solving the mystery.

There is a delightful scene when Sarah recreates for Frank a bit of sign language for him (which she doesn't know the meaning), but for those longing for Malloy and Sarah to finally acknowledge their feelings, well, the progress remains slow.

It's a breeze of a read, and it will be hard to wait so long for the next installment (the author seems to be setting up the mystery surrounding what happened to Catherine before she came to live with Sarah).
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
One of the best 3 Jun 2010
By Janlynn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of Victoria Thompson and this is one of the best books in the Gaslight Mysteries. The reader learns much more about Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy, in fact he is a more prominent character than Sarah herself. We begin to see that the relationship between Sarah and Frank might be able to overcome obstacles to their growing romance. Is there a softening, however slight, by Sarah's father toward Frank. Frank's mother is starting to take on a more human personality. As Sarah states at the end, could the differences between be slipping away? This reader hopes so!
The mystery in the novel is solid and well conceived, with a surprise at the end. Excellent addition to this wonderful series.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
terrific Gaslight Era murder mystery 1 Jun 2010
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Edward Higginbotham of the Institution for the Improved Instruction of Deaf Mutes visits businessman and school patron Nehemiah Wooten at the latter's office. He plans to discuss with Wooten the desires of the man's pretty sixteen year old daughter Electra, a student at the school; she wants to marry a New York Institute for the Deaf and Dumb teacher Adam Oldham. Higginbotham finds Wooten dead.

Because NYPD Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy has a son who attends the "Lexington School" that Higginbotham runs and the witness asks for him, he is assigned the lead as the brass believes he brings insider information. This proves true as he understands the deep philosophical divide between the rival two schools teaching deaf children. The DS quickly knows the murder weapon is a brass loving cup and learns the deceased is a believer in eugenics as lectured recently by Alexander Graham Bell; as such Wooten opposed two deaf people marrying out of fear they will pass on the hearing flaw to their offspring. However, Malloy makes little progress so when a second homicide in the Wooten family occurs, he hesitantly asks midwife Sarah Brandt, who has helped him on previous Manhattan murder mysteries, to provide him advice.

The latest Gaslight Era murder mystery is a terrific entry that uses the background like references to Bell to set the era while also providing insight into the two predominate education theories of teaching deaf students. The whodunit is complex as Malloy works his investigation assisted by Sarah, but has too many suspects from family, business and school to rule out. Readers will appreciate the latest Victoria Thompson's historical investigate tale.

Harriet Klausner
18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Listen To Your Readers... 18 Jun 2010
By B. K. Walker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I waited two days after I had finished Murder on Lexington Avenue to write this review hoping the book would have grown on me, but I was deluding myself.

After reading Ms. Thompson's previous book last year, Murder on Waverly Place, I gave a positive review with the caveat that we needed to see some character development with Sarah, Frank, and all the supporting characters. I was not alone. In looking at the 20 reviews that were written about Waverly Place, the common thread was the same: Character development was lacking; it was too talky; and the relationship between Sarah and Frank was flat and please fix that in the next installment.

Waiting patiently the ensuing year for Murder on Lexington Avenue, I was sure she would have listened to her readers and would surely provide the character/romance development her readers have been asking for. I was wrong. In fact, I could not find any redeeming qualities about any literary aspect of this book.

There was no scene setting - they may as well have been on a plain, sceneless stage and the story could have taken place at any point in time. The sentences were stunted, with a noun, verb, preposition and a period. It felt as if this were the author's first attempt at writing. The dialogue was wooden and felt contrived. The story line was pointless and there was absolutely no character development in any of the characters. Nobody progressed. I felt as if I know less about all the characters now than I did two or three books ago. Frank and Sarah may as well have been total strangers and if they were, there would probably be more spark than what we see in this book. To call their relationship tepid would be an overstatement. A more accurate word to describe them would be, indifferent.

Readers also called for more focus and character development on Frank's son and his mother. That, too, was missing in this book.

This started out to be such a promising series and I have invested in all the previous books, but after struggling to get through this book, I'm disappointed to say that I don't believe I will be investing in any of the future books in this series. I'm truly sorry I couldn't be more positive about the book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Okay, but . . . 10 July 2010
By NC Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I agree with other reviewers that the current installment in this series is an improvement, but still feels somewhat stilted and lacking in historic details and atmosphere (settings, dress, mannerisms, etc.) I've read every entry in the series but stopped purchasing about four books ago; I borrow them from the library because I feel the series has become sterile and predictable. In the first books in the series Thompson created a darker, grittier atmosphere where the seedy underside of New York tenement life came alive; the growing awareness between Sarah and Frank felt passionate and real, as did the seemingly insurmountable obstacles they would face if they acted on that forbidden attraction. Not so lately; they even end this book sitting side-by-side on a park bench like two old married folks! Nothing wrong with that, but they really used to spark off of each other; Thompson made you feel both Frank's loneliness and longing for the well-born and seemingly unobtainable Sarah, and Sarah's forbidden attraction to the handsome, virile, tough-yet-decent Irish Catholic cop of whom her family would NEVER approve. As another reviewer wisely commented here, Thompson needs to listen to her readers and bring back that spark and move the romantic storyline along to keep the series believable. It can be (and has been) done, i.e., Elizabeth Peters' long-lived Amelia Peabody and Emerson mystery series - a married couple passionate about their work and each other, interesting mysteries, historical accuracy, humor, warmth - not every book was perfect, but a great example of how to move a series along enjoyably.
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