Thursday, November 30, 2023

The Gaslight Mysteries

I started a new series this summer that I am really liking. The Gaslight Mysteries by Victoria Thompson.  

I have read/listened to the first three books in this 26 book series. 

The first book in the series is Murder on Astor Place.

"From bestselling author Victoria Thompson, the first novel in the Edgar® and Agatha Award-nominated Gaslight Mystery series introduces Sarah Brandt, a midwife in the turn-of-the-century tenements of Manhattan who refuses to turn a blind eye to the injustices of the crime-ridden city…

After a routine delivery, Sarah visits her patient in a rooming house—and discovers that another boarder, a young girl, has been killed. At the request of Sergeant Frank Malloy, she searches the girl’s room. She discovers that the victim is from one of the most prominent families in New York—and the sister of an old friend. The powerful family, fearful of scandal, refuses to permit an investigation. But with Malloy’s help, Sarah begins a dangerous quest to bring the killer to justice—before death claims another victim…"

Book two: Murder on St. Mark's Place


"Thinking she has been summoned by German immigrant Agnes Otto to usher a new life into the world, Sarah Brandt is greeted by the news of an untimely death instead. It seems that Agnes’s beautiful younger sister, Gerda, had fallen into the life of a “Charity Girl.” Caught up in the false glamour of the city’s nightlife, she would trade her company—and her favors—not for money, but for lavish gifts and an evenings’ entertainment. And now she was dead; victim, no doubt, of one of her “gentlemen friends.”

"No one cares much about the fate of girls like Gerda, but Sarah does. And she vows to find her killer. To do so, she turns to Sergeant Frank Malloy. As the two pursue an investigation that leads from the bright lights of Coney Island to the stately homes of Fifth Avenue, they find that their shared passion for justice may cost them dearly…"

Book Three: Murder on Gramercy Park

About: "At a summons from Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy, Sarah arrives at the elegant home of famed magnetic healer Edmund Blackwell to find his wife in labor—and the good doctor dead from an apparent suicide. Only Malloy sees what no one else wants to: that Blackwell was murdered in his own home…

After a successful delivery, the Blackwell baby falls mysteriously ill. Relying on her nurse’s training and woman’s intuition, Sarah discovers the source of the baby’s sickness—and discovers a scandal that leads Malloy’s investigation down a gilded path paved with greed, deception, and desire… 

The name of the books are the streets that Sarah's "case" takes place. In the first three books, she goes to the residence to deliver a baby, or help with a pregnancy and stumbles into something more. Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy is called in because there is a police matter. He really doesn't want Sarah there and there is a lot of annoyance between the two. But Sarah is very independent, smart and determined to help her patient's and families. There is a spark between the two but at the time of these books, they are ignoring this.

Sarah is the widow of a doctor. We learn that midwives are looked upon as almost women of the night. Apparently doctors weren't a very respected profession either. She left her wealthy, high society family to marry a doctor. After his death, they assumed she would return home "where she belonged". But she continues to live by herself and support herself.

Frank is a widower with a young son and lives with his mother. The police don't have a good reputation either but Frank tries to do what is right not what other law enforcement thing should be done.

This series reminds of the PBS series Scarlet and the Duke. If you like that series, you will like this series. Quick reads, likeable characters, plots that get you right away.

I highly recommend this series!

Victoria Thompson also writes The Counterfeit Lady Novels. Those sound equally as good. 

Check out all of her books here:

1 comment:

  1. Gayle, I'm so glad you've discovered this long-running series and are enjoying it. I've known of it and thought I might have read a book or two, but apparently not. (I checked my list.) I do know that I've seen the author at mystery conferences and listened to her on panels. She's been writing for a long time. Enjoy!