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Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Book Review: Death of a New American: A Mystery by Mariah Fredericks

Jane, the ladies' maid we met in A Death of No Importance, gets embroiled in another mystery in this second book in the series.

The mousy sister from the last book, Louise, is actually engaged to a wealthy and accomplished young man from a prestigious family. His uncle, whose house on Long Island is to be the setting for the wedding, is the current New York City police investigator who has been recently much lauded for his great success in starting up an Italian Squad to root out crime, especially related to The Black Hand. He's so passionate about this work that he even employs several Italians at his house, which is both noble, and also a little icky in the paternalistic racism. But he's trying.

Pretty much as soon as they arrive, Jane meets the nanny, Sofia, and then Sofia is dead. The official story that there was an attempted kidnapping of the baby who Sofia was murdered while protecting, doesn't ring true with Jane. She thinks there's more to it. And with the help of journalist Michael Behan, she investigates.

Once again, we get a view of this 1910s America that isn't featured much in literature, when everyday life was just so much more dangerous, especially among the lower classes, and that was just considered a given and no one gives it much thought. Jane is relatively independent but not anachronistically so, which is refreshing. The mystery is well set up and kept me guessing. I really like this series and am looking forward to seeing where it goes next!

This book is published by Minotaur, a division of Macmillan, my employer.

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