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Murder on Astor Place

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After a routine delivery, midwife Sarah Brandt visits her patient in a rooming house and discovers that another boarder, a young girl, has been killed. At the request of Sergeant Frank Malloy, she searches the girl's room, and discovers that the victim is from one of the most prominent families in New York and the sister of an old friend. The powerful family, fearful of sc After a routine delivery, midwife Sarah Brandt visits her patient in a rooming house and discovers that another boarder, a young girl, has been killed. At the request of Sergeant Frank Malloy, she searches the girl's room, and discovers that the victim is from one of the most prominent families in New York and the sister of an old friend. The powerful family, fearful of scandal, refuses to permit an investigation. But with Malloy's help, Sarah begins a dangerous quest to bring the killer to justice, before death claims another victim.


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After a routine delivery, midwife Sarah Brandt visits her patient in a rooming house and discovers that another boarder, a young girl, has been killed. At the request of Sergeant Frank Malloy, she searches the girl's room, and discovers that the victim is from one of the most prominent families in New York and the sister of an old friend. The powerful family, fearful of sc After a routine delivery, midwife Sarah Brandt visits her patient in a rooming house and discovers that another boarder, a young girl, has been killed. At the request of Sergeant Frank Malloy, she searches the girl's room, and discovers that the victim is from one of the most prominent families in New York and the sister of an old friend. The powerful family, fearful of scandal, refuses to permit an investigation. But with Malloy's help, Sarah begins a dangerous quest to bring the killer to justice, before death claims another victim.

30 review for Murder on Astor Place

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jonetta

    Widow Sarah Brandt is a midwife in 1896 New York City, which is unusual in that she was well born but is estranged from her wealthy family. When she is called to attend to a woman in labor, she recognizes one of the young boarders in the home. When that girl is discovered murdered two days later, she becomes involved in the investigation with the prickly New York Police Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy. I was hoping to find another historical fiction/mystery series to sink into and have found it i Widow Sarah Brandt is a midwife in 1896 New York City, which is unusual in that she was well born but is estranged from her wealthy family. When she is called to attend to a woman in labor, she recognizes one of the young boarders in the home. When that girl is discovered murdered two days later, she becomes involved in the investigation with the prickly New York Police Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy. I was hoping to find another historical fiction/mystery series to sink into and have found it in this one. It's also compelling that it is set in turn of the century (1896) New York City as opposed to Regency or Victorian England. There is a sense of authenticity as the author has embedded historical facts and true characters into the story, which provides the educational component I'm always seeking in this genre. The mystery is interesting and puzzling, the characters flawed but redeemable (though not always likable) and the history aspect enlightening. However, there are noble qualities to all of them at some level. While I figured out most of the mystery before it was revealed, there was an element that caught me off guard and I liked how the story got to the climax. I enjoyed this first book in what promises to be a really good series and am looking forward to our group discussion.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    4.5 stars. I’ve been meaning to get to this series for a long time and I’ve finally arrived. One of my favourite genres is the historical fiction mystery and this promises to be a great series. Set in the period I assign to Edith Wharton, we get perfect access to the upper crust through our main character Sarah, who is the daughter of a prominent family, yet estranged. Still, she has the understanding and the access. Then as a midwife, she can access all class of people while going about her wor 4.5 stars. I’ve been meaning to get to this series for a long time and I’ve finally arrived. One of my favourite genres is the historical fiction mystery and this promises to be a great series. Set in the period I assign to Edith Wharton, we get perfect access to the upper crust through our main character Sarah, who is the daughter of a prominent family, yet estranged. Still, she has the understanding and the access. Then as a midwife, she can access all class of people while going about her work. Her counterpart in the police is Frank. This is the era of Teddy Roosevelt as New York Police commissioner, eager to bring reform to a corrupt police force. Sometimes with a first-in-series, the plot suffers from the setting up of the world, context and characters. This wasn’t the case here. The plot was very good. Im looking forward to the rest of the series, which will take some time as there are 21 books in it *gleefully rubs hands together*.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    I guessed this series would be a good one for me - historical mystery is always my thing and here we have Maisie Dobb's American cousin (joking!) detecting her way around New York instead of London. Our main character, Sarah Brandt, is a daughter of one of New York's top families, but is estranged for marrying 'beneath' her and now works as a midwife. She has a hankering for detective work and when she meets Frank Molloy, a real police detective, she gets a chance to try it for real. This book s I guessed this series would be a good one for me - historical mystery is always my thing and here we have Maisie Dobb's American cousin (joking!) detecting her way around New York instead of London. Our main character, Sarah Brandt, is a daughter of one of New York's top families, but is estranged for marrying 'beneath' her and now works as a midwife. She has a hankering for detective work and when she meets Frank Molloy, a real police detective, she gets a chance to try it for real. This book sets up the groundwork for the rest of the series. I enjoyed the setting and the historical facts about life in New York at that time. Characters came from all walks of life, top to bottom, so there were opportunities to see how different everyone's lives were. References to people like Teddy Roosevelt were really interesting. I am looking forward to reading book 2.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    I am a big fan of Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series, about a female private investigator/psychologist in post WWI London, having read all of the books. Chelsea Clinton is also a fan, posting on Facebook about her memories of reading the books with her grandmother. Chelsea asked if anyone had recommendations for books like Maisie, and someone posted about Victoria Thompson's Gaslight Mystery series, about Sarah Brandt, a midwife living in New York City around the turn of the 20th century. I am a big fan of Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series, about a female private investigator/psychologist in post WWI London, having read all of the books. Chelsea Clinton is also a fan, posting on Facebook about her memories of reading the books with her grandmother. Chelsea asked if anyone had recommendations for books like Maisie, and someone posted about Victoria Thompson's Gaslight Mystery series, about Sarah Brandt, a midwife living in New York City around the turn of the 20th century. I kept that in mind, and when I was waiting for a book signing at Barnes & Noble 86th St. store in NYC recently, I found myself in the Mystery section, and remembered the books. I found the first one, Murder on Astor Place, and picked it to read while waiting. Once I started it, I knew I had found a companion for Maisie across the pond. Sarah was a widow who lost her husband, a doctor, to a violent crime. She served her community as a midwife, and one night while helping a boardinghouse owner deliver her baby, she sees a teenage girl who looks very much like a woman she knew as a teen. The girl looks frightened, but Sarah had other duties at hand. The next day she discovers that the scared teen had died, and Sarah met Sergeant Frank Malloy of the NYPD, who was investigating the case. Sarah gives Malloy some help with the case, and they discover that the girl was pregnant when she died. Sarah becomes curious, and finds out that the girl, Mina, was the younger sister of the woman she knew. She entangles herself in the police case, at first to the consternation, then at the request of Sgt. Malloy. Sarah came from a prominent New York society family, although she has been estranged from her family since her younger sister died tragically. She uses her connections to insinuate herself in the middle of the case. Mina's family does not want to help the police find their daughter's killer, which only makes Malloy and Sarah more suspicious. The mystery of who killed Mina is a puzzler, and there a few red herrings to throw the reader off the track. This is a fine mystery series, and I especially liked the setting of NYC at the turn of the century. You get a real sense of time and place in this book, and others in the series include Murder on Lenox Hill and Murder in Gramercy Park, so I imagine that working your way through the series would be a real snapshot of New York at that time. If you are a history buff, you would enjoy learning about Teddy Roosevelt and the NYPD reforms he put in place, and the medical aspects and the society angle of the book fascinated me as well. And for those going through Downton Abbey withdrawal, there is a bit in here about "the merits of marrying off wealthy American girls to poverty-stricken English noblemen just to have a titled lady in the family- a practice that had become so widespread it had a name: Anglomania." The author has a sturdy, honorable heroine in Sarah Brandt, and her budding relationship with Sgt. Malloy is one I look forward to discovering in future books. If you are a Maisie Dobbs fan looking for a new series, give Victoria Thompson's Gaslight Mysteries a try.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dale Harcombe

    Midwife Sarah Brandt, is at a boarding house to deliver a baby when she sees a teenage girl who reminds her of someone she knew years before. When that teenager, Alice VanDamm, is murdered, Sarah is determined to see that it is investigated, despite the lack of interest from Alice’s wealthy family about catching the killer. All they are concerned about is that their precious reputation not be besmirched. Sarah has fallen prey to this attitude herself when she married her husband Tom, who her wea Midwife Sarah Brandt, is at a boarding house to deliver a baby when she sees a teenage girl who reminds her of someone she knew years before. When that teenager, Alice VanDamm, is murdered, Sarah is determined to see that it is investigated, despite the lack of interest from Alice’s wealthy family about catching the killer. All they are concerned about is that their precious reputation not be besmirched. Sarah has fallen prey to this attitude herself when she married her husband Tom, who her wealthy family considered beneath her. And then there is the way her parents treated her sister Maggie As a result Sarah has been estranged from her wealthy parents for years. Detective Sergeant Malloy is determined to solve the mystery of Alicia’s killer though he seems to be being blocked at every turn. Though he is initially antagonistic towards Sarah, he later co-opts her help. Will Sarah and Frank Malloy uncover the murderer before they kill again? This historical murder mystery set in the 1890s in New York is the first in a series. What a good introduction. I liked both Sarah and Frank too as we get to learn more about him and his life. But boy, are there some cold blooded, callous people in this book! Some very dark secrets are uncovered as Sarah and Frank investigate this crime. I don’t read a lot of historical mysteries but husband had read and enjoyed it, as had several others here on Goodreads, so I decided to give it a go. So glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Through Sarah in particular the reader is exposed to characters from very differing walks of life and social conditions. This book had me interested from the beginning and kept my interest to the dramatic conclusion. Setting, historical period and characters are all well conveyed I will now be trying to get my hands on other books in this series. A recommended read for anyone who like historical murder mysteries, as well as those who just like a darn good yarn with interesting characters.

  6. 4 out of 5

    C.

    I love this! It provides a vivid picture of the general feeling of class upbringing and poverty in a new New York of 1893, but it was especially beneficial to read shortly after "Murphy's Law" by Rhys Bowen. Her mysteries depict 1901. While Victoria Thompson conveys the general feeling of the classes, upbringing that sharply informs the mentality of this shocking mystery, Rhys explains new New York meticulously. I was gifted with the advantage of being introduced to Victoria with that knowledge I love this! It provides a vivid picture of the general feeling of class upbringing and poverty in a new New York of 1893, but it was especially beneficial to read shortly after "Murphy's Law" by Rhys Bowen. Her mysteries depict 1901. While Victoria Thompson conveys the general feeling of the classes, upbringing that sharply informs the mentality of this shocking mystery, Rhys explains new New York meticulously. I was gifted with the advantage of being introduced to Victoria with that knowledge base; having thoroughly been immersed in the immigrant New York setting. I could even note differences of those 8 years: Victoria's still corrupt police force, which constable Theodore Roosevelt was beginning to change and a major, famous subway system not yet built but a need for it was apparent. Like Rhys's work, I have had a scattering of Victoria's books for some time and didn't imagine loving them to a five-star degree. The mystery is well-constructed, believably solved, the characters establish appreciable originality, and are likeable. The revelations are shocking for any era and for those who like to be surprised by criminal identities and motives; this will do it. There is action and heart, between the protagonist who left her class to have a career and her intelligent Mother, who adores her regardless. What's exciting and heartening is that each lady is willing to shift a little ways, at least privately, from societal conventions and clearly understands what matters and what is right. Unique, exciting, and emotional: I think I had better call this a "standard adult mystery". It surpasses the c

  7. 4 out of 5

    Holly B

    Review to follow..

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mary Beth

    I loved it! It is a historical mystery and its a page turner. The story is really good straight from the beginning to the end. I loved the characters. Its an excellent story.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Sarah Brandt, a widow, ex-socialite and midwife, was drawn into a murder-mystery when she glimpsed a young lady she thought she knew in the wrong place at the wrong time. She went head-to-head with the commoner Sergeant Detective Frank Mallory when he arrived at the scene of the crime. Over a period of weeks these two morph into a most unusual 'friendship' if I can use that word loosely. He doesn't appreciate her interference and she does not care for his bossiness; yet they help each other. I en Sarah Brandt, a widow, ex-socialite and midwife, was drawn into a murder-mystery when she glimpsed a young lady she thought she knew in the wrong place at the wrong time. She went head-to-head with the commoner Sergeant Detective Frank Mallory when he arrived at the scene of the crime. Over a period of weeks these two morph into a most unusual 'friendship' if I can use that word loosely. He doesn't appreciate her interference and she does not care for his bossiness; yet they help each other. I enjoyed the darker, seamier side of New York City in the late 1890's. It was such a refreshing change of pace from most stories that I have read recently. I really loved Sarah's strength and honesty and her byplay with Frank. He wasn't the easiest person to get along with. The author did a first-rate job of showing the disturbing and squalid side of NYC during this era. It was nothing to be proud of. Regarding the mystery, I thought I had everything figured out midway but Ms. Thompson threw in some twists. This was NOT what I would consider a cozy mystery and it may turn off some readers. The crux of the puzzle was very somber and caused much anguish. But I am still giving it five stars because it was intriguing. It served the purpose of what a good mystery should be: it pulled me in from the beginning and didn't let me go until I finished the book. Just be sure and have the second story, MURDER ON ST. MARK's PLACE, ready to read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lata

    This was sitting on my TBR for ages, and was worth the wait. The historical details are great, with he author giving us the a view into the robber barons, old rich of New York City, all the way to the poor families helped by main character and midwife Sarah Brandt, and police officer Frank Malloy, an angry person whose reasons for bitterness and his drive to move upwards through the ranks is gradually revealed over the course of the story. Sarah’s wonderful, hailing from one of the old families, This was sitting on my TBR for ages, and was worth the wait. The historical details are great, with he author giving us the a view into the robber barons, old rich of New York City, all the way to the poor families helped by main character and midwife Sarah Brandt, and police officer Frank Malloy, an angry person whose reasons for bitterness and his drive to move upwards through the ranks is gradually revealed over the course of the story. Sarah’s wonderful, hailing from one of the old families, but after falling out with her father over her life choices, supports herself by ensuring the women she treats make it successfully through labour and after. Sarah becomes involved with Malloy’s investigation, and frankly, is much more accomplished at sussing out clues than Frank is, not just because of her intelligence and attitude (these help a lot) but also her ability to move easily through different parts of NYC society. I figured out who the killer was fairly early on, but was still a little surprised by a few details of the case. As this first book delivered so well, I guess I have only 20+ to go through now to complete the series.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melisa

    Aside from one of the main characters having the same name as an ex-boyfriend (eep!) which became a slight annoyance after reading it on over 200 pages, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love reading about the Victorian times to learn more about the period, and this was a very well-researched book. The reveal was kind of disturbing but I have to admit I didn't see it coming. I'm looking forward to reading the other books in this series to see where it takes the main characters, both of which I b Aside from one of the main characters having the same name as an ex-boyfriend (eep!) which became a slight annoyance after reading it on over 200 pages, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love reading about the Victorian times to learn more about the period, and this was a very well-researched book. The reveal was kind of disturbing but I have to admit I didn't see it coming. I'm looking forward to reading the other books in this series to see where it takes the main characters, both of which I became fond of by the ending. 4 stars.

  12. 4 out of 5

    tamar

    i've been intrigued by different friends reviews on mystery series (promising some enjoyable reads over long periods of time). This is going to be one of the series for me. i found a few of these atmospheric series (including Gaslight Mystery series) on Hoopla...no wait - read and move on the the next (up to five per month), if your library subscribes.

  13. 5 out of 5

    ⓐⓥⓡⓔⓔ ☞ The Bookish Blonde

    NOW THIS IS MY KIND OF FICTION! Admittedly, I don’t dabble in much fiction as I’m the kind of reader who typically reads for erudition and prefers non-fiction and textbooks. But if a fictional story can also teach me interesting facts and history then sign me up! I also like how I’ve been learning a lot about turn-of-the-century NY and the Gilded Age and this story put into practice some of the surroundings, customs, and history of the time that I’ve learned about and weaves it into context. I en NOW THIS IS MY KIND OF FICTION! Admittedly, I don’t dabble in much fiction as I’m the kind of reader who typically reads for erudition and prefers non-fiction and textbooks. But if a fictional story can also teach me interesting facts and history then sign me up! I also like how I’ve been learning a lot about turn-of-the-century NY and the Gilded Age and this story put into practice some of the surroundings, customs, and history of the time that I’ve learned about and weaves it into context. I enjoy reading fictional stories that supplement the non-fiction books I've read on a given subject. Book #1 of this Gaslight Mystery series by Victoria Thompson has definitely piqued my interest and I plan to continue onto book #2 “Murder on St. Mark’s Place” in the very near future. I really enjoyed the audio version of this book and I look forward to traversing turn-of-the-century Manhattan with Sarah Brandt again real soon...from ramshackle dank tenements, to cobblestone streets teeming with urchins, to the upscale marble row (mansions on Fifth Avenue, between 57th and 58th Streets). I also liked hearing about her nosey neighbor’s crazy superstitions and waiting to see if they would "come true" or not. I also hope to see more of Malloy in subsequent books. I do fancy a visit back there again real soon! I will say the story had some very predictable moments but that’s part of the fun of reading, to see if you can pick up on the author’s clues and exercise your deduction skills. I don’t get angry that a book can be too predictable…I look at it more as I pay attention to details and fancy myself a good sleuth. ;) Just to reiterate…if a history buff such as myself was going to spend any time in fiction…this is the exactamundo series for me! It’s got history and mystery!! My FAVORITE things! Thank you, Melisa for making me aware of this series. That’s what I love about GR is you connect with people of similar reading interests and get ideas from what they’re reading or have reviewed.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Susanna - Censored by GoodReads

    Setting: intriguing. Writing: pedestrian. Word Choices: occasionally extremely ahistorical. For a further review: http://susannag.booklikes.com/post/67... . Setting: intriguing. Writing: pedestrian. Word Choices: occasionally extremely ahistorical. For a further review: http://susannag.booklikes.com/post/67... .

  15. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    I've been needing another historical mystery series to add to my bag, and I believe I've found one in the Gaslight Mysteries. Murder on Astor Place is a solid start to a series set in early 20th Century New York. As usual with this type of mystery, getting to know - and liking - the sleuth and their world is the most important part. Here, the amateur sleuth is a midwife, but we discover that Sarah's social background is not cut-and-dry, and the reasons why she became a midwife add a lot of depth I've been needing another historical mystery series to add to my bag, and I believe I've found one in the Gaslight Mysteries. Murder on Astor Place is a solid start to a series set in early 20th Century New York. As usual with this type of mystery, getting to know - and liking - the sleuth and their world is the most important part. Here, the amateur sleuth is a midwife, but we discover that Sarah's social background is not cut-and-dry, and the reasons why she became a midwife add a lot of depth to her character. I really liked her. She's tough and stubborn, but is also capable of changing her mind and realizing when she's in the wrong. I'm looking forward to seeing how she progresses in the rest of the series, which by the way is not finished yet. There's also a grumpy, disillusioned detective that Sarah is forced to work with, and I liked him as a counterpart. Although I didn't actually like him very much to start with, I think he has a lot of potential as another complicated character with room to change. I'm fairly sure he's going to end up being a romantic interest eventually, but it is very subtle so far, and there's a long way to go. There's barely the beginnings of respect without even what could be called friendship at this point. I like that there's room to grow instead of everything being a done deal already. Although I said the sleuth and the depth of her world is the most important part, obviously the mystery does need to hold together and keep my interest as well. Here, the mystery tied in very closely with getting to know Sarah's background, so the investigation revealed a lot about her while my mind was searching for clues. I ended up being mostly surprised at the solution, and enjoyed discovering all the pieces very much. This is a series I'm definitely looking forward to following.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Widow Sarah Brandt is a midwife in late 19th century New York City. When she is called out to Astor Place to attend Mrs. Higgins at the Higgins Boardinghouse, she believes she recognizes one of the boarders. The girls looks just like her old friend Mina when she was the same age. When Sarah goes back to the boardinghouse two days later to check on the mother and child, she finds that the girl has been murdered. Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy has been sent to investigate. He has ambitions to mov Widow Sarah Brandt is a midwife in late 19th century New York City. When she is called out to Astor Place to attend Mrs. Higgins at the Higgins Boardinghouse, she believes she recognizes one of the boarders. The girls looks just like her old friend Mina when she was the same age. When Sarah goes back to the boardinghouse two days later to check on the mother and child, she finds that the girl has been murdered. Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy has been sent to investigate. He has ambitions to move up in the police force and knows he must save his money to pay a substantial bribe to do so. He's not sure he wants to waste his time investigating a murder that will not lead to more money for himself. Sarah knows about the corruption in the police community and pressures Malloy into looking into the crime. This is a wonderful start to the Gaslight Mystery series. Both Sarah and Frank are interesting characters. I'm interested in learning more about them. The mystery moved along quickly. I figured out most of the clues as I read it, but was surprised by a revelation near the end of the book. The setting of turn of the century New York City is very well written. It makes you feel like you are really there. I look forward to more books in this series. My rating: 4.5 Stars.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    This book had a number of things I usually like, but I just couldn't get into it and did not finish this one. I usually like 1800's New York, I like strong female characters and I like people who fight against social structures that are stupid or unfair. This book had all of these, so I'm not entirely sure why it didn't grab me. I did find the way Sarah just barged right back into the social strata that she had previously rejected somewhat implausible. I also felt like the way she went about tryin This book had a number of things I usually like, but I just couldn't get into it and did not finish this one. I usually like 1800's New York, I like strong female characters and I like people who fight against social structures that are stupid or unfair. This book had all of these, so I'm not entirely sure why it didn't grab me. I did find the way Sarah just barged right back into the social strata that she had previously rejected somewhat implausible. I also felt like the way she went about trying to get information about the murder from her former friends and relatives just wouldn't have been as simple as it seemed - it just wasn't believeable to me, so it distracted me. I also just didn't really connect to any of the characters. I don't know why but none of them became real for me so it was hard for me to care about any of them or what happened to them. By halfway through the book I realized I was bored and struggling to stay focused. That's always a sign for me that the book just isn't for me so I gave up on this.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gary Sundell

    Sarah Brandt, a New York City midwife gets pulled into a murder case being investigated by Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy of the NYC police department. The book is set in the late 1890s. A reformer named Teddy Roosevelt is the new Police Commissioner attempting to clean up the corruption in the department and the vice in the city. Teddy is frequently referred to during the story. The dead girl is the youngest daughter of a rich NYC family. What was she doing staying in a boarding house? Who kil Sarah Brandt, a New York City midwife gets pulled into a murder case being investigated by Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy of the NYC police department. The book is set in the late 1890s. A reformer named Teddy Roosevelt is the new Police Commissioner attempting to clean up the corruption in the department and the vice in the city. Teddy is frequently referred to during the story. The dead girl is the youngest daughter of a rich NYC family. What was she doing staying in a boarding house? Who killed her? Sarah thought she recognized her the day before the murder as Sarah herself was born to a rich family. Grudging the two main characters end up working together to look into the murder. The family doesn'the want the case investigated as it will harm their social status. NYC is a corrupt and ugly place and the rich have secrets just like the lower classes. The ending is a bit over the top, but I enjoyed it anyway. There are multiple books in this series and I may break down and visit my local library to read more in the series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Annu

    I have found myself a new series to follow through. This book brought together a midwife and a detective to solve a crime, such a fresh story and setting. I was prompted to google some pictures of life during that time, just to get a better feel of the settings. Each chapter was distinctly divided between Sarah and Malloy, so we could see from both their POVs. I loved their chemistry and how they changed their opinions about each other gradually (I'm guessing/hoping there will be a romantic rela I have found myself a new series to follow through. This book brought together a midwife and a detective to solve a crime, such a fresh story and setting. I was prompted to google some pictures of life during that time, just to get a better feel of the settings. Each chapter was distinctly divided between Sarah and Malloy, so we could see from both their POVs. I loved their chemistry and how they changed their opinions about each other gradually (I'm guessing/hoping there will be a romantic relationship between them in the future books). I skipped sleep, meals, housework and officework to finish this book and it was totally worth it. The last 70 pages of the book was a breeze, with so many twists and turns, I just had to know how it would end (before real life caught up with me :D).

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Murder on Astor Place 4 Stars As a midwife, Sarah Brandt is no stranger to the struggles of life and death. However, after attending a routine birth at a boarding house, Sarah is shocked to learn not only that one of the other guests has been murdered, but that the young woman is someone she knows. When the girl’s prominent family refuses to permit an investigation and the police appear to be just as disinclined, Sarah takes it upon herself to discover the truth. A good mystery, but it is the dynam Murder on Astor Place 4 Stars As a midwife, Sarah Brandt is no stranger to the struggles of life and death. However, after attending a routine birth at a boarding house, Sarah is shocked to learn not only that one of the other guests has been murdered, but that the young woman is someone she knows. When the girl’s prominent family refuses to permit an investigation and the police appear to be just as disinclined, Sarah takes it upon herself to discover the truth. A good mystery, but it is the dynamic between Sarah Brandt and Frank Malloy that truly make this book shine. Sarah is a strong willed and independent heroine, and it is impossible not to admire her courage for turning her back on the capricious and prejudiced social strictures of her upbringing. It is more difficult to appreciate Detective Frank Malloy character as his moral compass appears to have gone awry. However, as the circumstances of his life are slowly revealed, it becomes clear that there is more to him than meets the eye and that underneath his gruff facade and bullying manner lies a decent man trying to survive in a harsh world. The murder investigation is compelling as the victim evokes a strong sense of empathy and sympathy, which makes it all the easier to identify with Sarah's need to get justice for her. There are a variety of suspects and motives, but it is possible to figure it all out by following the clues. All in all, a well-written mystery with a strong sense of setting and engaging characters. Looking forward to continuing with the series.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Veronique

    This series caught my attention a little while ago, but why did I wait so long to read the first book?... Historical murder mysteries seem to be excellent as comfort reading, and this one didn’t disappoint. New York at the turn of the century is always fascinating. Add to this a feisty midwife and a police office with attitude, both with powerful backstories that shade their perceptions and ways of dealing with Life. There is stereotyping, but also some interesting turns. The solving of the murde This series caught my attention a little while ago, but why did I wait so long to read the first book?... Historical murder mysteries seem to be excellent as comfort reading, and this one didn’t disappoint. New York at the turn of the century is always fascinating. Add to this a feisty midwife and a police office with attitude, both with powerful backstories that shade their perceptions and ways of dealing with Life. There is stereotyping, but also some interesting turns. The solving of the murder was convincing enough - I had an inkling - but I guess the strength of these types of narration is in becoming invested in the leads, and I did. Enough that I want to go for book 2.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    I was very disappointed with this book. I wasn’t a fan of the major characters and it’s easy to guess who did the murder

  23. 5 out of 5

    Piyangie

    This is the beginning of the journey of the unconventional "detective" couple in late 19th century New York. Sarah Brandt and Sergeant Malloy who entertain different views on life, society and justice are thrown together to unveil the mysterious death of a young girl. And in the course of solving the mystery and bringing the culprit to justice, Sarah and Malloy lean to understand and respect the views of each other. Despite the simplicity in the story, the author paints a picture of the lives of This is the beginning of the journey of the unconventional "detective" couple in late 19th century New York. Sarah Brandt and Sergeant Malloy who entertain different views on life, society and justice are thrown together to unveil the mysterious death of a young girl. And in the course of solving the mystery and bringing the culprit to justice, Sarah and Malloy lean to understand and respect the views of each other. Despite the simplicity in the story, the author paints a picture of the lives of rich, middle class and poor, their prejudices and also the position of the women in New York at the period of time in which the story is set. I really enjoyed this short mystery which is quite well written. It was a quick read; funny and interesting irrespective of the grave story line.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    An interesting protagonist, Sarah Brandt, born into a powerful, rich New York family in the 1900s. She defied her family and married out of her class. Now, a widow, who is a midwife become involved with the murder of the daughter of another rich family. Sarah is a strong character who holds her own as she tries to find the truth of this case. She also must battle NY detective, Frank Malloy, who is working the murder. Their clash and ultimate cooperation makes for interesting plot. I give this 3. An interesting protagonist, Sarah Brandt, born into a powerful, rich New York family in the 1900s. She defied her family and married out of her class. Now, a widow, who is a midwife become involved with the murder of the daughter of another rich family. Sarah is a strong character who holds her own as she tries to find the truth of this case. She also must battle NY detective, Frank Malloy, who is working the murder. Their clash and ultimate cooperation makes for interesting plot. I give this 3.5 stars because my library has more of this series on audio, and I look forward to hearing more. I like the period and the characters!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    A fairly competent little gas-light thriller set in Victorian era New York. While not exactly a memorable entry in the genre in wasn't so bad that I couldn't finish it...I guess that's a recommendation of sorts;-) While it was relatively inoffensive it wasn't good enough that I feel I *have* to read the rest of the series. Part of it may be that I've read some really excellent books lately and compared to them it just doesn't quite measure up.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    I really enjoyed this. It was an audiobook though and that isn’t my favourite way to access novels. I prefer to read my books. That being said I found the story compelling enough that I got through it and I’ve downloaded the next to my phone. I found Sarah and Frank to be interesting characters, and the plot both sad and gruesome. The setting is late 1890’s New York City and it is pretty fascinating. The rampant misogyny and racism, the squalor and grandeur. All in all very entertaining. I’m baki I really enjoyed this. It was an audiobook though and that isn’t my favourite way to access novels. I prefer to read my books. That being said I found the story compelling enough that I got through it and I’ve downloaded the next to my phone. I found Sarah and Frank to be interesting characters, and the plot both sad and gruesome. The setting is late 1890’s New York City and it is pretty fascinating. The rampant misogyny and racism, the squalor and grandeur. All in all very entertaining. I’m baking blueberry pies. I’ve discovered it is a great thing to do while listening to an audio book. It doesn’t demand too much of my attention, it isn’t noisy and I get to eat pie at the end. It’s hot work, but I do love pie.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    A well crafted and entertaining historical cozy mystery. Set around the turn of the 19th century it follows a midwife and detective as they investigate the murder of a young wealthy woman in a boarding house in New York.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Deb Jones

    A satisfying police procedural/murder mystery set in late 19th century New York City. Sarah Brandt, this story and series protagonist, is a mid-wife by trade who finds herself drawn into the investigation of the strangling death of a young woman with whom she was remotely acquainted. Brandt becomes involved unofficially with to New York City Police detective Frank Molloy during what becomes a twisting investigation. Molloy is none too pleased with Brandt's initial involvement in the case and warn A satisfying police procedural/murder mystery set in late 19th century New York City. Sarah Brandt, this story and series protagonist, is a mid-wife by trade who finds herself drawn into the investigation of the strangling death of a young woman with whom she was remotely acquainted. Brandt becomes involved unofficially with to New York City Police detective Frank Molloy during what becomes a twisting investigation. Molloy is none too pleased with Brandt's initial involvement in the case and warns her off, but Brandt is having none of it, feeling duty-bound to seek justice for the dead woman and her family. Sarah Brandt is an intelligent young woman in her own right, with her feet sturdily planted on the ground. A pleasure to read a novel where the female lead doesn't feel the need to use her "feminine wiles" to get ahead. I look forward to reading more titles in this, the Gaslight Mystery series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    Enjoyable historical mystery with a gritty sleuth who works as a midwife. Interesting interaction with the New York City police detective as they investigate a homicide. The ending is a bit gruesome but then murder and other violent crimes are seldom pretty.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Irrlicht

    I really loved the fact that this series takes place in New York, instead of in London like in most of these kinds of books. I loved the two main characters, I loved the dialogues, I loved the atmosphere, I loved the plot... Seriously, it couldn't get any better than that. I read the first four books of this series in German as well as in English and I can only recommend that everybody, who's even a little bit capable of the English language, is better going to read these books in English. IF th I really loved the fact that this series takes place in New York, instead of in London like in most of these kinds of books. I loved the two main characters, I loved the dialogues, I loved the atmosphere, I loved the plot... Seriously, it couldn't get any better than that. I read the first four books of this series in German as well as in English and I can only recommend that everybody, who's even a little bit capable of the English language, is better going to read these books in English. IF they're still available in German, anyway. (But I think they aren't, are they? Maybe on Ebay or some such?) a) because they are just that much better in English and b) because there's a whole CHAPTER MISSING in "Murder on St. Marks Place". The chapter in which the murderer is revealed, by the way, so... yeah. A pretty important chapter, right? Who likes crime stories with a tad of romance on the side (but really, just a tad - it's kind of a very slow build) can't actually go wrong with this series.

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