Sunday, March 20, 2016

Nothing Like a Murder (Novel) Around the Corner

There are few things more beautiful than a mystery series all in a least for this reader.
It's been a long break for café con leche, but I'm home, settled in and back to blogging and reading. Though not a noir series, I've just read the latest in this series by Victoria Thompson, Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue. This is #17 in the Gaslight Mystery series, all set in different New York City neighborhoods at the turn of the century. 
There are some aspects of police procedural -- when Theodore Roosevelt was the Police Chief -- and we here we meet Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy. But in my mind, the star of these novels is Sarah Brandt, midwife and member of one of New York's socialite families. The difference between Frank and Sarah's social standing and perspective on New York City life provides some of the most interesting aspects of the novels.
The first in the series is "Murder on Astor Place," and it's definitely the place to begin. I read one book almost every week when I first discovered the series and the character development builds with each volume. This is one of my favorite historical series and the realities of life in New York City during the time of massive immigration isn't prettied. There are serious issues raised in each book and though the world view of Sarah and Frank isn't noir, these are not cozy mysteries in any way. I took the title for this post from one of the latest books in the series, "Murder on Amsterdam Avenue," which is only two blocks from where I live. 
There was lots of café con leche in Peru and lots of reading on the flights. I read two mysteries that featured forensic anthropologists -- not by planning -- and enjoyed both. I'll be writing about them in my next post.
 Until the next post, so many mysteries, so little time. Thanks for stopping by.