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Murder On Waverly Place by Victoria Thompson
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Murder On Waverly Place

by Victoria Thompson

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2251451,607 (3.58)23
  1. 01
    The William Monk Mysteries: The First Three Novels by Anne Perry (safeman)
    safeman: Anne Perry writes in the 1860's in the UK but the character development is very similar. In the Gaslight Series, written in the 1890s and located in New York City, Victoria Thompson creates two main characters. An established detective, Frank Malloy, and his midwife friend Sarah Brandt. In Anne Perry's William Monk series, you have an established detective, William Monk, and his wife Hester who is a nurse. Hester and Sarah both help their partners solve the mystery using their own skills of sleuthing. Both of them are in the health field and use their warm personality to help unlock clues from unsuspecting people.… (more)
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Sarah Decker Brandt’s mother strong-arms her to attend a séance. Mrs. Elizabeth Decker wants to obtain the forgiveness of her deceased daughter Maggie, who died in childbirth after her parents’ disowned her because of her marriage to a lower-class man. Sarah doesn’t believe for one second that a séance can facilitate communication with the dead. But her mother is a bit more gullible.

When Mrs. Decker returns to another séance without Sarah, one of the women present is murdered. But the participants are all holding hands … and no one else is present in the room. How could Mrs. Gittings be stabbed in the back with a stiletto. Turns out she is the “manager” of the young woman – “Madame” Serafina – who is conducting the séance.

When the police are notified of the murder, Mrs. Decker asks for the case to be assigned to Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy, both her and her daughter’s friend. Mrs. Decker knows Malloy will keep the newspapers away from the story and herself and her wealthy friends out of the headlines.

Nearly everybody believes that the murderer was Nicola, a childhood friend (and lover) of Serafina. But Serafina, who has been befriended by Sarah, doesn’t believe it for a minute. So it’s up to Sarah, Mrs. Decker, Serafina and even Maeve, who takes care of Sarah’s daughter Catherine, to help Frank find the real killer.

This is just what readers expect from this series. A page-turner dripping with atmosphere – and enlightening life in 1890s New York City. ( )
  NewsieQ | Apr 23, 2016 |
This is the eleventh book in the Gaslight Mysteries series by Victoria Thompson. Midwife Sarah Brandt’s sister, Maggie died many years ago after giving birth to her son. She had been disowned by their father who subsequently ruined her husband’s chances of getting a job that could support them. Mrs Decker, Sarah’s mother, has never forgiven herself for the role she played in her daughter’s death. Now, one of her friends has introduced her to Madame Serafina and the world of seances. Unwilling to go without support, and desperate not to involve her husband, she asks Sarah to join her. Sarah is suspicious from the beginning but feels better going with her mother to make certain she won't be taken advantage of.

I like the series and while figuring out who the murderer was is not the hardest thing to do, in this case I couldn't figure out how the crime was actually committed. I also love seeing Sarah's mother, Mrs. Decker, transition over the past few books. She's an engaging character and the perfect person to focus this story around.

Murder on Waverly Place is a very entertaining entry in this series. I always enjoy the exchanges between Sarah and New York City policeman Frank Malloy when they solve a mystery together. The author provides historical details that add authenticity to the story. I enjoy the secondary characters, particularly Maeve, and hope Frank finds a way to use her in his future investigations. The supernatural element adds a bit of intrigue and any fan of the series will enjoy this one. It can definitely be read as a standalone, as well. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Feb 18, 2016 |
I liked this...Sarah Brandt goes with her mother to a seance, so that her mother might contact her sister who died in childbirth after being disowned by her parents.... The woman who hosts the seance is murdered, but it was dark and Everyone was holding hands!

We find out that Detective Sargent Malloy has found and arrested the man who murdered Sarah Brandt's husband four years previously.....but there are no details to that...and I know there wasn't details about that in the previous book.....so it just happened between times.

We do learn about fake seances and con games....we also learn about about "leading" the querant with open ended questions....
( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
Short but very good! ( )
  fbswss | Aug 21, 2014 |
Sarah's mother (Mrs. Decker) talks Sarah into accompanying her to a seance to try to talk to Sarah's deceased sister. Her mother returns for a second one which ends up with one of the attendees being murdered. She insists on calling Detective Frank Malloy to the scene because she knows he will find the truth. Malloy calls Sarah to try to get her mother out without being seen. They end up taking "Madame Serafina" to Sarah's house to prevent her being taken to the Tombs while the murder is investigated. All the participants at the seance were holding one another's wrists, yet someone in that room had to have committed the act of murder. It was an interesting puzzle. I'm a bit uncomfortable with seances and other occultic practices in books, but this one at least showed that it was fraudulent. ( )
  thornton37814 | Sep 9, 2013 |
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To Ryan, the very newest Thompson!
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With a weary sigh, Sarah Brandt pushed open the front door of her house.
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In late 19th-century New York City, midwife Sarah Brandt helps her policeman friend Detective Sgt. Frank Malloy investigate the murder of a woman at a ritual sance.

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