MURDER IN MURRAY HILL
Set in 19th century New York City among the tenements, this installment in the Gaslight Mystery series gives a fascinating look at the underbelly of the city with excellent social history and sensitive characterization. While a cozy, Thompson’s story presents a realistic picture of the difficult lives many led, as well as the grit and determination of the people. Sarah’s and Frank’s personal stories are heartwarming, and this story takes them into new and frightening territory.
A young woman is missing and her father comes to Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy for help. The case takes little precedence over the city’s harsher crimes, but when Frank discovers the woman was answering the “lonely hearts” ads in the newspaper, he’s determined to find her. Frank soon finds out that many other women who answered the ads are missing. With Sarah Brandt’s help, they search for the women while trying to solve their personal difficulties: Frank has inherited a large sum of money — a fact that could drive him out of the police work he loves — and Frank and Sarah’s relationship might be moving toward marriage. (PRIME CRIME, May, 304 pp., $25.95)