Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Book Review: Murder in Chelsea by Victoria Thompson (Gaslight Mysteries #15)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Characters and plot pull you in
Cons: Series timelines seems compressed
The Bottom Line:
Catherine in danger?
Story draws the reader in
Series shift ahead

The Mystery of Catherine

Over the last few books in the Gaslight Mysteries, author Victoria Thompson has been teasing us with information about Catherine, the young girl that series protagonist Sarah Brandt has taken in.  The time has come to officially answer all of those questions and get Catherine’s background.  That made Murder in Chelsea a compelling read for this series fan.

When midwife Sarah Brandt returns from an especially difficult delivery, she learns that a woman has stopped at the mission where Catherine was abandoned asking after her.  Determined to find out what is going on before turning the child she has grown to love over to someone else, she meets with the woman in her boarding home.  The story this woman tells makes Sarah wonder if Catherine is in danger.

So, she enlists the help of Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy.  However, when Frank goes to meet the woman, he finds her murdered.  Now the concerns about Catherine’s safety have increased, and Sarah and Frank start to investigate.  Will they be able to protect Catherine?

If you are new to the series, you could certainly jump in here.  There’s enough background to explain the characters and their relationships.  However, fans of the series will be more invested in the characters, so the events of this book will mean more to them.

And that includes some of the character interactions.  I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the scenes between Sarah, Frank, and some of the supporting characters.  The way the characters are interacting is surprising and fun, and I definitely mean that in a good way.  It’s a testament to the growth we’ve seen over the course of the series.

The plot pulled me in and didn’t let me go.  I finished the book in two days because I couldn’t put it down.  Just when I thought I might have a handle on what was going on, something would happen that would make me question what I thought I had figured out.  I has my suspicions as I neared the end, but it took Frank and Sarah to fully explain everything.

I do have some timeline questions.  Not within this book, but this book seems to compress the timelines of earlier books in the series.  It would take rereading those earlier books to figure it out for sure, so I will let it go – or try to.  Not that I wouldn’t enjoy rereading the series, but I would prefer to catch up since I am still quite a few books behind.

I’ve marveled with each book in this series how much I am pulled into the world of New York City in the 1890’s.  I am always reluctant to put the books down, and it seems that with each passing book, I am more and more invested in the lives of these characters.  That’s not a complaint in the slightest.

This book does contain some major changes for the characters, changes fans have been rooting for and will be happy about.  I knew the changes were coming soon, and I’m looking forward to seeing specifically how everything set up here plays out.

The Gaslight Mysteries seem to get better with each book.  Murder in Chelsea is another fantastic entry in the series.  I will be revisiting Sarah, Frank, and the rest again soon.

Need another trip back in time?  Here are the rest of the Gaslight Mysteries.

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