Murder on Sisters' Row
by Victoria Thompson
Mass Market Paperback:
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Released: May 1, 2012
Source: Review copy from the publisher.
Book Description from Goodreads:
With the help of a charitable lady of means, midwife Sarah Brandt rescues a young woman and her newborn from the brothel where the mother was forced to prostitute herself. But their success comes at a high price when their benefactor is found murdered. Though the brothel's madam is immediately considered a suspect, Sarah and Sergeant Frank Malloy investigate, uncovering some unpleasant truths about the victim and her charity-and the woman and child Sarah risked her own life to save.
Murder on Sisters' Row is a historical mystery set in New York, New York in the late 1890's. This is the thirteenth book in the series, but you don't need to read the previous books to understand this one, and this one didn't spoil the previous mysteries.
There was a nice level of historical detail about the setting, social structure, etc., that brought the story alive in my imagination. I've read the first book in the series as well, and I've enjoyed learning more about NY at that time. I like how the author weaves the information into the story so it doesn't slow the pacing or come across as a lecture.
The characters were complex and reacted realistically to the situations, though none of the not-reoccurring-characters were particularly likable. I like Sarah, but I was a bit frustrated when she was all, "I'm not going to tell you were the girl is or anything that will help you find her!" and then gives the madam a whole bunch of information that could put people's lives in danger. And she didn't even realize her mistake until much later. It's realistic, but the scene was....frustrating.
The mystery was basically gathering clues until they all fit together to solve the puzzle. I strongly suspected two people, and I was fairly certain which was whodunit before the reveal, though it wasn't for the reason I'd come up with. The clues and gathering of clues kept my interest. Suspense was created by some potential physical danger to Sarah and from wondering whodunit.
There was a minor amount of explicit bad language. There was no sex. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting historical mystery.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.