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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Monday, May 9, 2016

Murder on Amsterdam Avenue--The City My Grandmother Used to Tell Me About

Murder on Amsterdam Avenue: A Gaslight MysteryMurder on Amsterdam Avenue: A Gaslight Mystery by Victoria Thompson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of my favorite series--the characters are wonderful : Mrs Sarah Brandt, a doctor's widow, now a midwife, who is a daughter of the Dexter family, members of society. Frank Malloy, Irish cop--well, former cop--they tossed him off the force when he became a millionaire. Now he is a private investigator. Mrs Eldridge, the next door neighbor lady who is always ready with an interpretation of the signs and omens that appear in life. Maeve, the orphan girl that Mrs Brandt has taken into her home as a nanny to Catherine, the little orphan who refused to speak until she came to trust Sarah Brandt and who, in time, Sarah adopted. Gino Donatelli, the young Italian cop who resigned to go off to Cuba with the Rough Riders and who has now returned, unwilling to go back to the police force. Malloy takes him on as an assistant, since Gerald Oakes has just contacted Malloy to ask him to determine the cause of his son's, Charles', death.

It doesn't take long for the cause of the sudden demise of an otherwise healthy man's death was arsenic poisoning or that it was deliberately used by someone to kill him. So, as the construction of a partially finished home in which Malloy, his mother and his son, Brian are living and the wedding plans for Sarah and Malloy's marriage, all of them become embroiled is sorting out how the victim was poisoned and who wanted him dead. As the investigation progresses, a maid, who was at Charles' bedside when he died, and her minister's wife and daughters are also poisoned. Three more victims--again, how were they poisoned and why? The plot, as they say thickens, with secret upon secret revealed--each one causing suspicion to shift from player to player.

This is the 17th book in this series and I've read them all. I think I have found a key to solving these mysteries much earlier but don't want to share it and ruin the books for others. Still, I will have to recheck the prior 16 books and the next to see if my theory is correct. If so, the rest of the series will not be as engrossing. But for now, suffice it to say, the butler didn't do it.

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