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Murder in Chelsea
Cover of Murder in Chelsea
Murder in Chelsea
Gaslight Mystery Series, Book 15
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Sarah Brandt is shattered when she learns that a woman has inquired at the Daughters of Hope Mission for Catherine, the abandoned child she has taken as her daughter. The woman claims she was Catherine's nursemaid, and is now acting on behalf of the girl's mother to reunite them.

Unwilling to simply hand Catherine over to a complete stranger, Sarah asks Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy to investigate. But when he goes to interview the woman at her tenement in Chelsea, he finds she has been murdered.

Though her death leaves Sarah's claim to Catherine unchallenged, her sense of justice compels her to work with Malloy to find the killer. Their search takes them from the marble mansions of the Upper West Side to the dilapidated dwellings of lower Manhattan and into the deepest and darkest secrets of Catherine's past.

And while Malloy helps Sarah determine the fate of the child she loves, he faces a challenge of his own—and his decision could change both their lives forever...
Sarah Brandt is shattered when she learns that a woman has inquired at the Daughters of Hope Mission for Catherine, the abandoned child she has taken as her daughter. The woman claims she was Catherine's nursemaid, and is now acting on behalf of the girl's mother to reunite them.

Unwilling to simply hand Catherine over to a complete stranger, Sarah asks Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy to investigate. But when he goes to interview the woman at her tenement in Chelsea, he finds she has been murdered.

Though her death leaves Sarah's claim to Catherine unchallenged, her sense of justice compels her to work with Malloy to find the killer. Their search takes them from the marble mansions of the Upper West Side to the dilapidated dwellings of lower Manhattan and into the deepest and darkest secrets of Catherine's past.

And while Malloy helps Sarah determine the fate of the child she loves, he faces a challenge of his own—and his decision could change both their lives forever...
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  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 11, 2013
    Before a resolution that will strike many as too pat, Thompson injects both suspense and pathos into her 15th mystery set in late-19th-century New York City (after 2012’s Murder on Fifth Avenue). Widowed midwife Sarah Brandt has cause for alarm. Anne Murphy claims to be the nursemaid of Catherine, the almost-five-year-old girl whom Brandt would like to adopt but can’t because a single woman can’t adopt. Murphy says that Catherine had a wealthy father and was left at Brandt’s mission to save the child’s life from a half-sibling who wanted to safeguard his inheritance. But before these allegations can be verified, someone stabs Murphy to death. The murder suggests that the danger to Catherine is real, and Brandt again turns to her longtime love interest, NYPD Sgt. Frank Malloy, for help. A sappy ending undercuts a persuasive look at the divide between the city’s haves and have-nots at the time. Agent: Nancy Yost, Nancy Yost Literary Agency.

  • Kirkus

    April 1, 2013
    A child's mysterious background puts her life in danger. Widowed midwife Sarah Brandt, the maverick daughter of a wealthy society family, is fostering and wishing she could adopt Catherine, a young girl abandoned at a downtown Manhattan mission. When a woman claiming to be Catherine's nursemaid arrives and says that Catherine's mother wants her back, Sarah, horrified, asks for help from her old friend Detective Malloy, who'd like to be more than a friend but feels he has nothing to offer Sarah. The nursemaid is murdered before Malloy can talk to her, but with help from Sarah's parents, the sleuthing duo manage to learn quite a bit about Catherine's parentage. Her mother, chorus girl Emma Hardy, was the mistress of David Wilbanks, a wealthy man who offered to marry her for the child's sake after his wife died. After refusing his offer for obscure reasons, Emma went on the road with her lover, an alcoholic actor. Now, the dying Wilbanks wants to put Catherine in his will. But his act of kindness may be the death of her, since his family recoils from the idea. Sarah and Malloy must answer some key questions to keep Catherine safe. Why is Emma trying to sell her daughter to Wilbanks when she could have married him? And are any members of the Wilbanks family desperate enough to kill Catherine? Thompson's latest tour of early-19th-century New York (Murder on Fifth Avenue, 2012, etc.) combines the requisite historical details with a surprise ending that bodes well for future entries in this enjoyable series.

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    May 1, 2013
    New York midwife Sarah Brandt is upset when she learns that someone has been inquiring at Hope Mission about Catherine, the abandoned girl who is now her ward. The woman asking claims to be working on behalf of Catherine's mother, who wants to be reunited with her daughter. Sarah will not simply hand Catherine over to an unknown woman, so she asks her police-officer friend, Frank Malloy, to investigate. When he goes to the woman's boardinghouse in Chelsea, he finds her dead. This is hardly bad news for Sarah, since her custody will not be challenged, but her sense of justice compels her to look into the murder. She and Malloy, along with a bit of help from her wealthy parents, the Deckers, scour the high- and lower-class neighborhoods of Manhattan as they learn about Catherine's past and discover the foibles of some prominent families. Malloy also has a challenge to face. It will affect both his future and Sarah's. Thompson's Gaslight Mysteries are first-rate historicals with a strong female sleuth.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

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Murder in Chelsea
Murder in Chelsea
Gaslight Mystery Series, Book 15
Victoria Thompson
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