Murder on St. Nicholas Ave.

Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue

Title:  Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue (Gaslight Mystery 18)
Author:  Victoria Thompson
Publisher:  Penguin
Publication Date:  2015
ISBN:  978-0-425-27897-0

Book Summary:
While Frank and Sarah are off on their honeymoon, other members of the household must step up to help solve a murder case.  Although Frank is no longer with the police force, his skills at detection are well-known so it is no surprise when Mrs. O’Neill arrives at the door asking for help.  Her daughter Una Pollock has been imprisoned for the murder of her husband.  Mrs. O’Neill knows that she can’t be guilty but has no idea how to help.  When it becomes clear that Randolph Pollock mistreated her, Nursemaid Maeve empathizes with Una’s plight and promises to help.  With the assistance of Sarah’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Decker, and Officer Gino Donatelli, Maeve tries to channel all that she has learned from her past help with Frank’s cases to find the true murderer.

As their deduction leads to the discovery of a phony railroad investment scheme, a great deal of money, and a suicide, the unlikely group gains momentum in their inquiries.  The further they dig, the more they begin to discover that Randolph Pollock was not who he seemed to be, and his secrets aren’t the only ones in the Pollock household.

Book Commentary:
I am a big fan of Victoria Thompson’s Gaslight mystery series.  The series is set in turn-of-the-century New York City with the protagonists Frank Malloy, an Irish policeman, and Sarah Brandt, a midwife from a well-to-do family.  This story, Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue, is her first Christmas story and it focuses on the exploits of some of the secondary characters in the series.  Another favorite author of mine, Anne Perry, does a yearly Christmas story that involves secondary characters, and I hope that Thompson will continue to do the same.

The book stands alone fine, but I think it is enjoyed best when read as part of the series.  The story takes place on St. Nicholas Avenue and occurs right before Christmas but that is about it for holiday elements.

Who might like this book:
This is a great series for fans of historical fiction and one of the few American historical fiction series that I read regularly.  The plot in Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue isn’t quite as developed or intricate as her other stories but is very enjoyable.  Victoria Thompson is a very prolific author and writes a lot of romance books as well, but I have only read her mysteries.

The series in order is:
Murder on Astor Place
Murder on St. Mark’s Place
Murder on Gramercy Park
Murder on Washington Square
Murder on Mulberry Bend
Murder on Marble Row
Murder on Lenox Hill
Murder in Little Italy
Murder in Chinatown
Murder on Bank Street
Murder on Waverly Place
Murder on Lexington Avenue
Murder on Sisters’ Row
Murder on Fifth Avenue
Murder in Chelsea
Murder in Murray Hill
Murder on Amsterdam Avenue
Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue
And to be release on May 3, 2016, Murder in Morningside Heights


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