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Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue (A Gaslight…
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Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue (A Gaslight Mystery) (edition 2016)

by Victoria Thompson (Author)

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13413141,044 (3.92)13
When a family friend's traumatized daughter is accused of murdering her new husband, newlyweds Sarah Brandt and Detective Frank Malloy investigate with the assistance of household members and uncover sinister truths about the victim's true identity.
Member:bookwormlist
Title:Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue (A Gaslight Mystery)
Authors:Victoria Thompson (Author)
Info:Berkley (2016), Edition: Reprint, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue by Victoria Thompson

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Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue is the eighteenth entry in Victoria Thompson's Gaslight mysteries. Sarah Decker Brandt has married the former New York City Police Detective Sergeant Francis 'Frank' Malloy. While they are enjoying their honeymoon in Paris, their combined household is living in what was Sarah's house on Bank Street. Luckily, Sarah's little foster daughter, Catherine, is quite happy to be a sister to Frank's deaf son, Brian. It is the last week of 1898. Theodore Roosevelt will become the 33rd governor of New York in January.

Catherine's nursemaid, Maeve Smith, answers the door to find a woman named Mrs. O'Neill wanting Frank Malloy's help. Mr.s O'Neill is a friend of Frank's widowed mother, Alma Malloy, from their neighborhood before the wedding. Mrs. O'Neill says the police have arrested her daughter, Una, for the brutal murder of her husband, Randolph Pollock. After all, Una was found cradling her head husband's head in her lap, her clothes covered in his blood. With Frank and Sarah away, it's up to Maeve, Officer Gino Donatelli, and Sarah's parents, Felix and Elizabeth Decker, to find the real killer. Mrs. Decker is glad to help, as always. Mr. Decker is brought in because Maeve found a ledger and hopes he can explain its contents.

Randolph Pollock, as we soon learn, was the classic abusive, control freak husband. He allowed no communication between Una and her mother. More unsavory details about his character are uncovered during the investigation.

Thanks to Maeve's efforts (and those of a shady defense attorney who was a friend of her late grandfather), Uma is released on bond. The very lovely Uma's reaction to a break-in at her home, which included opening her husband's safe seem inexplicable. The servants, Velvet the cook, the maids Hattie (?) and Jane, and the boot boy, teen-aged Eddie, are uneasy. They need references and their back pay to safely leave. One of them doesn't wait.

The scenes where the Pollock house is besieged with reporters would be unpleasant to live through. The poor souls can't even get out to buy more food. Still, it's better than Uma's cell in the notorious Tombs prison, undergoing renovation at the time.

I don't want to give too much away, but several persons aren't what they seem. A couple of the mysteries were pretty easy to figure out, but I very much enjoyed our supporting characters getting their time in the spotlight. I got a particular chuckle out of Felix Decker realizing that he'd never noticed his ordinary life was rather dull.

On the personal side, Gino and Maeve are getting closer, even if Maeve isn't eager to admit how much she cares for him. Even more fun, for me, was listening to the interactions between a long-married couple who still love each other, such as the Deckers. I liked it when Elizabeth reminded Alma (who is nervous of the high society people who are her son's in-laws), that they're family now.

Sarah and Frank fans, fear not. They do show up in the last chapter. Felix has a business opportunity for Frank, if the new multi-millionaire would be interested. I'm interested in seeing how things work out in the next book.

While I enjoy listening to these books, it does make it hard for me to remember all the names. Also, I sometimes have trouble being sure of names. I wasn't sure if the Pollocks' maid was named 'Hattie' or 'Patty' until I read it in book 20, Murder in the Bowery. (It's 'Hattie'). ( )
  JalenV | Jul 8, 2019 |
Although this book pledges to be Christmassy the holiday cheer fell short and left me a little disappointed in that aspect. However, the story itself did not leave me with any regrets and I found the characters endearing.
  mitzee333 | Oct 5, 2018 |
This book is completely different from the other books in the Gaslight Mystery series, featuring Frank Malloy and Sarah Brandt. Frank and Sarah are off on their honeymoon in Europe and don't make a single appearance in this book. Nevertheless, this has turned out to be one of my favorites.

One night, Sarah's nursemaid, Maeve Smith, answers the door to find Mrs. O'Neill crying outside. She's looking for Frank, who she hopes can help her free her daughter, Una Pollock, who has been arrested for the murder of her husband. Maeve enlists Sarah's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Decker, along with Officer Gino Donatelli, and decides to work on the investigation herself. Naturally, it hits a few road bumps along the way and it's fun to see how Maeve organizes everyone.

I wondered where the author would be going now that the two main characters have married each other, and Frank is no longer a detective with the New York Police. It's clear that in the future Frank will be working as a private deceive and will be able to incorporate the secondary characters into some investigative roles. I loved the way the author developed some of the lesser known characters in this series, especially Felix Decker. This historical cozy series can be read out of order but I feel like the change in the characters over the years makes it better if you read at least a couple of the earlier books.
( )
  Olivermagnus | Aug 9, 2017 |
I'm listening to the Library of Congress Talking Books version of this novel, narrated by Marsha Rehns. The voices of the characters sound gratingly awful. This is a narrator who prompts one to ask, "do people actually speak like this?...ever?. It's all I can do to finish the book, I'm tempted to quit. Shabby work, Ms. Rehns. I will hang in, only because I am fond of this series. ( )
  briellenadyne | Jul 18, 2017 |
LOVED reading the mystery with Maeve and Gino. Felix and Elizabeth being part of it worked, but was a tad awkward. ( )
  fbswss | Apr 25, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Victoria Thompsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
FotoliaCover imagesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sasscer, AshleeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Toren, SuzanneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Wishing Liam, Ryan, and Keira a wonderful Christmas!
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Maeve hurried to answer the door.
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