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Murder in Little Italy (Gaslight Mystery Series #8)

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  • Posted August 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Good but predictable

    This novel is the 8th installment in the Gaslight mystery series. The Gaslight series is set in New York in the mid-1890s, and they are all excellent "period pieces." This one is no exception. The characters are believable and the historical aspects of the book are great. Once again Sarah Brandt the midwife teams up with Frank Malloy the detective to find a murderer -- this time, of a girl for whom Sarah has just delivered a baby.

    This novel shares many strengths with its predecessors, but it is a bit more predictable. I figured out who the murderer was, and why, by about the third or fourth chapter, if not sooner. I've predicted it early in other Gaslight novels but here it was simply too obvious to a reader in the year 2010. The author had to walk a fine line here: situation in which the characters find themselves is very modern, but would have been unthinkable to people in 1896. The trick, which Ms. Thompson usually pulls off wonderfully, is to make it a mystery for both 1890s and 21st century people. This time it was really only shocking and mysterious to the people of the past; you could see a story much like it on almost any soap opera of today.

    That said, although I knew who did it, watching Frank Malloy and Sarah Brandt struggle with the problem and figure it out was entertaining as always. I enjoyed the cameo appearances by Teddy Roosevelt (she writes him much as I imagine him acting), and I very much liked Officer Donatelli, who assists Frank for the entire time in this novel. I haven't read the later books (9 and up) yet but I sincerely hope Donatelli is brought back in the future -- he's a great character.

    This is a solid installment to the Gaslight series, if not quite as mysterious as the rest have been. I strongly recommend it to anyone who likes the other novels in the series, or who likes historical novels, and also to anyone who likes strong, well-written characters.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2006


    This is yet another great mystery with a twist. You might think you know who the killer is but do not be so sure Ms. Thompson always has something up her sleeve.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2006


    I LOVE the Gaslight Mysteries and Thompson's new book is no exception. I couldnt put it down and I eagerly await her next installment!!

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