Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Gaslight Mysteries

I've been reading the Gaslight Mysteries for a few years now and with the release of book 20 today I decided to start posting my reviews of that series to the blog. I'll start with the first 6 books today and post 6 more tomorrow, then the final 7 after that. I'll post my review for book 20 separately after I'm able to read it. I recommend this series if you enjoy historical mysteries or cozy mysteries. I wouldn't say these are exactly cozy, but they are pretty mild and the main character is an amateur so it might appeal cozy mystery readers.



Murder on Astor Place (Gaslight Mystery, #1)Murder on Astor Place by Victoria Thompson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Category: Adult
Genre: Mystery

Gaslight Mysteries book 1:

After a routine delivery, midwife Sarah Brandt 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, and 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.

Murder on Astor Place was a bit predictable, but I still enjoyed it. I found the main character very likable and I liked the dynamic between her and the police detective Malloy. This reminiscent of Anne Perry's books, only set in New York and not nearly as detailed. I think it’s a promising start to the series, and I’m looking forward to reading more.



Murder on St. Mark's Place (Gaslight Mystery, #2)Murder on St. Mark's Place by Victoria Thompson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Category: Adult
Genre: Mystery

Gaslight Mysteries book 2:

As a midwife in the turn-of-the-century tenements of New York City, Sarah Brandt has seen suffering and joy, birth and death-and even murder. And the crime ridden streets of the teeming city offer little relief from either.

Murder on St. Mark’s Place was a satisfying second book in the Gaslight Series. I'm enjoying this series almost as much as Anne Perry's books. There are many similar elements to her Pitt series and her Monk series. I especially liked the progress of the relationship between Malloy and his son. There was one scene there that actually had me tearing up. Also Malloy and Sarah have begun to warm up to each other, which was nice.

The only negatives would be that although I wasn't expecting the slight twist, it was very obvious who the killer was. And Sarah was just too slow at figuring out the obvious about a few things.



Murder on Gramercy Park (Gaslight Mystery, #3)Murder on Gramercy Park by Victoria Thompson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Category: Adult
Genre: Mystery

Gaslight Mysteries book 3:

As a midwife in the turn-of-the-century tenements of New York City, Sarah Brandt has seen her share of suffering and joy, birth and death. Now, she learns that crime doesn’t discriminate, when the highest echelons of society are rocked by murder…

Murder on Gramercy Park was another mystery that was pretty easy to figure out, but the real draw to this series are Sarah and Malloy themselves. I really enjoy reading about them and their interactions with each other and the other people in their lives, particularly Malloy and his son Brian. Malloy is slowly growing as a character and I'm pleased with the direction he is going. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.



Murder on Washington Square (Gaslight Mystery, #4)Murder on Washington Square by Victoria Thompson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Category: Adult
Genre: Mystery

Gaslight Mysteries book 4:

Turn-of-the-century New York City midwife Sarah Brandt and Detective Sergeant Frank Molloy are thrust into a twisted case of murder—when a seductress falls victim to her own charades.

Murder on Washington Square was another enjoyable installment in the Gaslight series. One thing I have noticed is that the mysteries in these books are pretty easy to figure out. I do wish Sarah and Malloy weren't so slow sometimes. Maybe I feel this way because I'm comparing it to Anne Perry's books. I really think her books are a step above most mysteries in their cleverness.

The most enjoyable aspects of this series are the developing relationship between Sarah and Malloy, and Malloy's ongoing investigation into the death of Sarah's husband. I like that there is that one ongoing thread that keeps me coming back for more while also trying to figure out the single mystery to solve in each book. And Frank's grumpiness with Sarah involving herself in his cases always makes me smile. I enjoy this series a lot so I will keep reading.



Murder on Mulberry Bend (Gaslight Mystery, #5)Murder on Mulberry Bend by Victoria Thompson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Category: Adult
Genre: Mystery

Gaslight Mysteries book 5:

Sarah Brandt, a midwife in turn-of-the-century New York City, has seen more than her share of joy and sorrow, birth and death. Now she will see for the first time how the squalor of the streets can breed madness and murder…

Murder in Mulberry Bend was one of the better books in the Gaslight series so far. I loved the progress in the relationship of Frank and Sarah in this installment, and throwing someone else into the mix made it even better (view spoiler) Frank's investigation into Tom's death is also still ongoing and he makes some progress here so that was another added bonus. I'm also enjoyed the addition of Addie to the story and the whole School for Wayward Girls.

I wasn't too crazy about how, yet again I figured out who the killer was and what the murder weapon was pretty early on and Sarah and Malloy were so clueless. Still all the other elements of the story made it very enjoyable so I will continue onto the next book.



Murder on Marble Row (Gaslight Mystery, #6)Murder on Marble Row by Victoria Thompson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Category: Adult
Genre: Mystery

Gaslight Mysteries book 6:

Police Commissioner Teddy Roosevelt calls Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy into his office for an especially difficult assignment. A wealthy factory owner has been killed by a bomb in his office, and anarchists are high on the list of suspects. Malloy isn't so sure that the easy answer is the right one but Roosevelt wants justice done, whoever the culprits are.

What I liked most about Murder on Marble Row is that it kept me guessing, something that the other books in this series haven't been able to do. I also really like that this series includes some real people from New York history. Teddy Roosevelt has been mentioned in previous books and here as Police Commissioner, he actually assigns Malloy to a case himself. I also liked that Sarah's mother helped with this case.



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