Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters and sense of time and place
Cons: Mystery could be stronger
The Bottom Line:
Visit this duo
Compelling trip back in time
Murder of a Poor Teen
With the way the previous book in the Gaslight Mysteries ended, picking up the next book as soon as possible was a given. Not that I’m complaining because Murder on Mulberry Bend was about good book.
Through her renewed friendship with Richard, Sarah Brandt has discovered the Prodigal Son Mission. Despite the name, this mission actually ministers to teenage girls who might ordinarily be out on the street. They are taught all manner of things to help them make a respectable life for themselves.
And it gets her involved in another murder when Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy asks her to identify the teenage woman who has been found in the park. It’s one of the residents of the mission that she’s just met. With no one to fight for justice for this young woman, Sarah insists that Frank track down the killer with a little help from her. But will they uncover any leads?
Yes, I know I said I had to pick up this book because of a cliffhanger. That involves an ongoing storyline involving the murder of Sarah’s husband. We get some significant developments there as well, and I am still hooked. I have to know what is going to happen next with this cold case.
The pace of this mystery is weaker than some of the other books in the series. Don’t get me wrong, I was certainly hooked the entire time. But it just felt like the twists I’ve come to expect weren’t there. Or maybe that was because I had a feeling I knew what was going on early in the book.
But as I said, I was still hooked as I was once again transported to New York City in the 1890’s. The little details of everyday life transport us back in time with ease.
And I was thrilled to see these characters again. Yes, I’m getting a little tired of how Frank and Sarah interact at times, but I’m still enjoying their extremely slow burn romance. It helps to remember that it’s only been a few months for them, and their social classes make them think they could never be together. The rest of the cast is extremely sharp as well, which is no surprise at this point in the series since the characters are always sharp.
I’m quickly coming to realize that any time spent with Sarah and Frank and their world is time well spent. No wonder this series has so many fans. Now that I’ve finished Murder on Mulberry Bend, I’m plotting how quickly I can return and visit them again.
Continue your trip back in time with the rest of the Gaslight Mysteries.
This review is part of this week's Friday's Forgotten Books.