Sergeant Frank Malloy is called to the scene of a dead woman in City Hall Park. He recognizes the hat as Sarah's and is convinced she is dead. He is quite relieved to find it was not her and agrees to investigate the death. Sarah is able to identify the woman as Emilia, a girl she met at the mission.
Sarah is so impressed with the work of the mission that she decides to volunteer her time and agrees to help host a dinner at her parents' house to raise money for the mission. She is also looking into Emilia's death. Frank has forbidden her to do this, but it doesn't seem to stop her.
Emilia's family is no help. Sarah begins to get an uneasy feeling at the mission. Could one of the girls killed Emilia out of jealousy? Could someone in Emilia's former life have caused her death? The Catholic church refuses to bury her due to her past. So many questions but as Sarah gets closer to the truth, she is put into danger just as Frank feared.
There are very few mysteries set back in history that I enjoy reading. This series is one. The characters and settings are so real and the lack of conveniences only enhances the story.
I really enjoy the relationship between Frank and Sarah, although I hope in the future that they get together. The tension does add to the story. Her neighbor Mrs. Ellsworth is a great character as well. She really adds character to the story.
I am always amazed by the immense poverty. This book brings a lot of that forward as the mission is a dangerous area of town as is Emilia's parents' apartment. Frank constantly travels through dangerous parts of town looking for Danny to get information.
I highly recommend this book and series.
Murder on Mulberry Bend, specifically, best captures this fascinating cityscape. The unlikely team of midwife Sarah Brandt and Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy is a pleasure to watch interact. The tensions between them--romantic and professional--really come to a crisis point here. The murder mystery element of the book is what we've come to expect from Ms. Thompson: twisting, suspenseful, and completely satisfying. But this story gives us an added bonus: we get a very compelling hint as to who may have murdered Sarah's beloved husband, Tom. Read it and enjoy!
And there is indeed a dark side to this book. In addition to the murder of a young lady, there are vivid descriptions of what it was like to live in turn-of-the-century New York, particularly if you were an immigrant and/or poor. The lives of the immigrants was not a pleasant one and I have to wonder if the life in New York was better than what they had escaped.
There is also a big clue to the unsolved murder of Sarah Brandt's husband from three years previous and that clue is not going to lead to much happiness for anyone if it plays out the way it looks to be headed. Really looking forward to the next book, Murder on Marble Row.
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