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31 Bond Street Paperback – 3 Feb 2011

3.8 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Door (3 Feb. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007304056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007304059
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 312,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"A blend of historical evidence and fictional imagining, an engrossing read"
WASHINGTON POST

“This is a deft and highly readable book, much recommended for those who enjoyed The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.” DAILY MAIL

“A gripping recreation of this true life crime.” THE INDEPENDENT

“Mystery and romance galore.” THE SUN

“An enthralling page-turner to the very end.” SUNDAY HERALD

“Deftly blending known fact with fiction, she [Horan] concocts a Gothic tale of passion and intrigue, shot through with courtroom fireworks.” WBQ

"A historical crime story in the hands of a skilled writer." SAN FRANCISCO BOOK REVIEW

“Horan brings to life a sensational 19th-century New York City murder trial in which a woman is accused of viciously killing her husband. . . An engaging mix of fact and fiction, with a juicy trial, sensationalistic reporters and lots of local urban color.” KIRKUS REVIEWS

“Horan’s characters, like Edith Wharton’s, are motivated by social class and survival in a world ruled by wealth and national uncertainty. This unique look at history and the private lives of those affected by it makes for captivating reading.” BOOKLIST

"A gripping legal thriller that proceeds at the leisurely pace of a 19th-Century novel." MYSTERY SCENE MAGAZINE

From the Back Cover

Who killed Dr. Harvey Burdell in his opulent Manhattan town house?

At once a gripping mystery and a richly detailed excavation of a lost age, 31 Bond Street is a spellbinding tale of murder, sex, greed, and politics in 1857 New York. Author Ellen Horan interweaves fact and fiction--reimagining the sensational nineteenth-century crime that rocked the city a few short years before the Civil War ripped through the fabric of the nation, while transporting readers back to a time that eerily echoes our own.

Though there are no clues to the brutal slaying of wealthy Dr. Burdell, suspicion quickly falls on Emma Cunningham, the refined, pale-skinned widow who managed his house and servants. An ambitious district attorney seeks a swift conviction, but defense attorney Henry Clinton is a formidable obstacle--a man firmly committed to justice and the law, and to the cause of a frightened, vulnerable woman desperately trying to save herself from the gallows.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A good story and the settings were good. A bit confusing in places.
Not easy to follow the story line .Lindasmouton@Gmail
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Format: Paperback
1857 and dentist Dr Burdell is found murdered. His live in house mistress Emma Cunningham is accused of his murder.

This story is a fictional account of a true murder. The author found her inspiration from an old newspaper cutting.

I normally love any period read especially if based on a true story. This book however for me didn't quite hit the mark. Firstly the book I felt at times was quite enjoyable and I especially liked the flashbacks to Emmas life leading up to the murder. I also enjoyed the court scenes. What I didn't enjoy was that the book went of on a tangent and delved into the slave trade.

For me the book would have been more enjoyable if there was more of the court proceedings in a Jodi Picoult kind of way. As the book seemed to lose its way, then so did I. I felt I was getting bored very easily with it and I have to admit towards the end I was flicking and missing pages.

Overall for me the book could have been better although at times my interest was held.
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Format: Paperback
This started as a good book, built up the tension throughout the middle bit, but then was completely let down by the ending. It would have been better to end after the verdict rather than descend into the nonsense that appeared afterwards. On the plus side, the charaterisation was good and the plot moved at a good pace for the majority of the novel. The scenes in the courtroom made interesting reading and, these scenes in particular, came across a believable. It's just such a disappointment that the ending spoiled a good book.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I read this novel from start to finish in one sitting.

A wealthy dentist is murdered in his home in 1850s New York, and the coroner's suspicion falls on the young widow who lives in the upstairs rooms and keeps house for him. She is vilified by the press but she insists to her lawyer that she is innocent and that all the claims in the newspapers are lies. The novel explores the widow's character, her relationship with the dentist and the motives of those involved in her prosecution.

I loved it - scandal, intrigue and greed in a well written historical fiction. The characters are well written, there are certainly a lot of sides to the young widow's character and people are not often who they seem to be. Even the historical background of life in 1850s America is well worth reading. Definitely recommended!
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By Fletch-a-sketch VINE VOICE on 26 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The synopsis covers the gist of the story in the book, so what kind of read is it well my daughter in the target audience for this book has concluded that it's a `pretty neat' story, and that the writing is `good' and `keeps you reading'. She gives the book 4 stars for writing style presentation and general enjoyment. So that is what I have put.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This novel is based upon a real life case from 1857 when the author came across an old newspaper sketch depicting a NY townhouse laid siege by reporters after the brutal murder of the owner in his very own bedroom.

The author paints a fine picture of life in New York in the late 1850's, of societal values, of racial tensions and slavery, of the divisions of the North and good ol' South and perhaps most strikingly, the geographical lay of the land when one could escape to north of 16th St and find nothing but farmlands and fields. The media circus around the case infuses the story and you get a real sense of the suffocating intensity being suffered by the characters in the spotlight.

Its only flaw is from having a range of main characters who aren't given quite enough back story to be as fully fleshed out as the New York City circa 1857 is around them. Emma Cunningham, at the centre of the investigation, fares the best and is by the far the most rounded character here.

Nonetheless it is a very good read and benefits greatly from a final piece by the author explaining the origins of the the story and what was real and what is fiction. It is a nice touch and all books on based factual events should have similar.

It is a fine atmospheric piece and any fans of either historic novels or mysteries will undoubtedly enjoy this.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It was interesting to read the author's notes at the end of the story, to see how from an old newspaper she created the tale around which this real life event was written.

The attention to detail of 19th century New York and its surrounding areas had you living the time. The murder of Dr Burdell was a vicious one, but you do not have sympathy for the victim, as the story unfolds. There are many fictional characters living along side real people from the actual case, but none seem out of place.

There was enough twists and turns and clues thrown into the chapters to either keep you guessing or realising very early on who had murdered the dentist. There are many victims in this story, not least of which are the poor widow Emma Cunningham, who is considered the prime suspect from the onset.

Henry Clinton makes an interesting character and a lawyer worthy of a modern day John Grisham novel. The writing is tight and never over sentimental and it is a very promising first novel for the writer.
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