MURDER ON ASTOR PLACE: A GASLIGHT MYSTERY BY VICTORIA THOMPSON

The Gaslight Mystery series includes 18 (!) books, and the now-legendary author, the gifted Victoria Thompson, always brings something new and exciting to the franchise. Murder on Astor Place, the very first Gaslight chapter, follows Sarah, a kind-hearted midwife who's been through a lot in her life and experienced both pain and happiness.

And now she's involved in something much bigger than herself - a murder case that touched one of NY's wealthiest and most influential families. Miss Brandt comes from a rich fam herself, but she's been alienated from them all for longer than she can remember. So, when Alicia, a young lady from the elite circles, is found dead, Sarah has no other choice but to "climb back" to the highest ladders of society in order to track the murderer.

The past is haunting her on every step of the way, and the cops are too corrupted to lend her that much-needed help. That leaves her totally alone in a quest to find the killer and avenge the poor gal's death. Malloy, a detective, doesn't really like the woman and her constant questions, but he does reach out to her when they take him off the case.

That's how the motivated cop and the furious and witty midwife turn into a team of investigators and start their search. Both characters are engaging, masterfully sculpted and all-around fun to follow and their unlikely union is what makes Murder of Astor Place a must-have. The book comes with fascinating details that handsomely depict the "ins and outs" of the late 19th-century New York, a great plot and a fine mix of comedy, drama, murders, lies, betrayals and love.

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