Friday, February 17, 2023

Book Review: Murder on Wall Street by Victoria Thompson (Gaslight Mysteries #24)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters, mystery, sense of time and place
Cons: None 
The Bottom Line:
Death of a banker
With plenty of strong suspects
A book fans will love

High Finance Murder

It’s no secret I am addicted to the Gaslight Mysteries.  Author Victoria Thompson has created a fantastic set of characters in the New York City of the 1890’s and now early 1900’s, and I always enjoy my visits with them.  Murder on Wall Street is a perfect example of why fans look forward to each book in this series.

Investment banker Hayden Norcross has been shot in his office down on Wall Street.  While retired police detective turned private eye Frank Malloy wouldn’t have given that any thought, his friend Jack Robinson wants to hire him to solve the crime.  Jack is a reformed gangster, and he is afraid that his connection to Hayden will make him a prime suspect.

Since the Norcrosses move in society and are involved in business, Frank’s wife Sarah and her parents get involved, helping navigate these worlds where Frank isn’t as comfortable.  The issue isn’t finding suspects but figuring out which of the people who didn’t like Hayden actually shot him.  Will they figure it out?

If you aren’t familiar with the series, Sarah and Frank have always been equally involved in solving the murders they face since the beginning.  In fact, the story is usually equally told from their points of view.  It’s been a few books since Sarah’s parents had more than a cameo, and I loved getting to see more of them here.  Yes, the rest of the regulars are around to help solve the case as well.

Since the majority of the focus is on the mystery introduced here, you could easily jump in.  You get enough context to understand the relationships between the characters.  However, I am going to argue that you should really read the books in order.  Not only are some plot twists in the character’s lives from earlier books in the series spoiled by necessity, but you won’t fully appreciate some of the character moments we get here.  There was one in particular that had me tearing up it was so fantastic to see.  I know it can be intimidating to jump into a long running series like this (I was when I finally took the plunge with this one a few years ago), but I promise you, it is worth it.

Quite often with these books, I’m a plot point or two ahead of the characters.  In this book, I couldn’t figure out where things were going, and I definitely mean that as a good thing.  Yet, when I hit the end, everything made perfect sense.  And what a thrilling ending we got.

While still dealing with some serious issues, this book has a bit more humor in it.  As usual, that comes mostly from the series regulars interacting with each other.  I just love their relationships.

This book pulled me into the time period as well, which isn’t at all a surprise.  While there aren’t big historical events impacting the plot, attitudes of the time are firmly impacting the characters, and there are a couple of passing references to real things going on during the time period.  What I find especially fun are a couple references to what the characters think things will be like in the future.  Naturally, they are very wrong.

I’m going to catch up on this series this year, and I’m going to be sad when I just get to visit these characters once a year.  If you are looking for a great historical series, I highly recommend you check out the Gaslight Mysteries.  If you are a fan, you will delight in every page of Murder on Wall Street.

Check out the rest of the Gaslight Mysteries.


  1. I think I would like this series a lot. It's one of my favorite time periods.

  2. I've always meant to read this series so appreciate the reminder. Although it is not a traditional mystery, I just read Trust by Hernan Diaz with my book group which is set in NY's financial world in the early 20th century. The mystery is about a sort of power couple no one really knows and there are several different versions of their story. It made me wonder why there weren't more mysteries set in that world - the only series I have read was a charming one by Annette Meyers.

  3. I really enjoyed this one and love when Sarah's parents have more page time.


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