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Murder on Waverly Place
Cover of Murder on Waverly Place
Murder on Waverly Place
Gaslight Mystery Series, Book 11

Turn-of-the-century New York City shines in the Gaslight mystery series.

Midwife and sleuth Sarah Brandt and Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy must protect Sarah's mother from scandal after she tries to contact her dead daughter during a séance that sends one of the attendees into the afterlife. But first, they have to determine how the woman was murdered in the pitch dark when all the suspects were holding hands.

Turn-of-the-century New York City shines in the Gaslight mystery series.

Midwife and sleuth Sarah Brandt and Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy must protect Sarah's mother from scandal after she tries to contact her dead daughter during a séance that sends one of the attendees into the afterlife. But first, they have to determine how the woman was murdered in the pitch dark when all the suspects were holding hands.

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 27, 2009
    Thompson's 11th gaslight mystery to feature midwife Sarah Brandt (after 2008's Murder on Bank Street
    ) fails to bring to life late 19th-century New York City as well as, say, Caleb Carr does in his period fiction, but series fans should be satisfied. Sarah's mother, Elizabeth Decker, who's feeling guilt-ridden over the death of her pregnant oldest daughter, decides to seek supernatural help from a local medium, Madame Serafina. At a séance, someone uses the cloak of darkness to stab to death Mrs. Gittings, a woman also hoping to contact a deceased family member. Since the séance participants were all holding each others' hands throughout the ritual, suspicion focuses on the medium's accomplice. Sarah helps her policeman friend, Det. Sgt. Frank Malloy, investigate. Solid prose in part compensates for a mundane solution to the crime.

  • Kirkus

    June 1, 2009
    The rebellious daughter of a wealthy family joins an Irish cop to investigate murder at a sance.

    Widowed Sarah Brandt (Murder on Bank Street, 2008, etc.) has spurned life as a socialite in favor of serving as a midwife to the poor. When her mother, Mrs. Decker, asks Sarah to accompany her to a sance, the skeptical young woman goes along to protect her mother's interests. Years earlier, Sarah's sister Maggie had run off with an unsuitable young man; later she and her child died in childbirth. Now Mrs. Decker, led by a friend who's already attending the sessions where beautiful young medium Madame Serafina holds audiences in thrall, hopes to speak with Maggie and ask forgiveness. Sarah thinks her mother's unsatisfactory initial experience is quite enough. So when there's a murder at another sance, and Sarah's friend Det. Sgt. Malloy calls Sarah to the scene, she's amazed to find her mother among the participants. The two sleuths quickly learn that the murdered woman was running duplicitous sances with help from a shady professor who joined her in fleecing wealthy participants. Because police have little authority over the rich in 1890s New York, Malloy and Sarah must proceed with caution. Serafina's lover, a young Italian boy, seems to be the guilty party, but no crime committed in the pitch-dark is easy to solve.

    Though sometimes melodramatic, Thompson's Gaslight Mystery series provides a fascinating window into a bygone era.

    (COPYRIGHT (2009) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

  • Booklist

    May 1, 2009
    Sarah Brandt makes an intriguing sleuth, and her Gaslight series is a consistent winner. Daughter of a prominent family, she has become a midwife, helping those in need in late-nineteenth-century New York. The reasons for some of her choices become crystal clear in this installment. Her sister (and her baby) died in childbirth after being disowned by her father for choosing the man she loved. Sarahs mother, Mrs. Decker, has never forgiven herself for her part in this fiasco and longs for her dead daughters forgiveness. When she has the opportunity to visit a spiritualist, Madame Serafina, Mrs. Decker feels she has found her way back to her daughter. Then, during a s'ance, one of the participants is murdered, and both Sarah and Mrs. Decker, along with Sarahs good friend Detective Malloy, want to find out the whos and whys. This is a well-put-together traditional mystery, one that isnt solved until the final pages. Strong characters, clever plotting, and the hint of the supernatural that comes with a story centered around spiritualism make this page-turner a must for both fans and readers new to the series.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2009, American Library Association.)

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Murder on Waverly Place
Murder on Waverly Place
Gaslight Mystery Series, Book 11
Victoria Thompson
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