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Death in Saratoga Springs
     

Death in Saratoga Springs

by Charles O'Brien
 

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From the slaughterhouses of Manhattan to the elite enclaves of Saratoga Springs, private detective Pamela Thompson follows a trail of death and deception left by a Civil War hero. . .

Death In Saratoga Springs

New York City, 1894. Captain Jed Crake is a decorated veteran of the Union army and a successful mogul in the meatpacking industry. But this powerful

Overview

From the slaughterhouses of Manhattan to the elite enclaves of Saratoga Springs, private detective Pamela Thompson follows a trail of death and deception left by a Civil War hero. . .

Death In Saratoga Springs

New York City, 1894. Captain Jed Crake is a decorated veteran of the Union army and a successful mogul in the meatpacking industry. But this powerful man also has a hidden private life as a predator of young women. Working for attorney Jeremiah Prescott, private investigators Pamela Thompson and former NYPD detective Harry Miller are engaged to search for a maid allegedly abducted by the captain. . .

Before they can find the missing woman, Crake's dark history catches up with him and he is murdered in a posh hotel in Saratoga Springs. As fate would have it, Pamela's ward, Francesca Ricci, working as a chambermaid in the hotel, is accused of the crime. Now, in this pastoral playground of the idle rich, it's up to Pamela and Miller to find Crake's killer--as well as his victim--and save an innocent girl from a fate worse than death.

Praise for Death of a Robber Baron

"O'Brien captures the colorful details and varied characters of an opulent era deftly." --Publishers Weekly

"A pleasingly detailed look at the age of the robber barons along with enough strongly characterized suspects to keep readers guessing." --Kirkus Reviews

"The author skillfully weaves in fascinating details about American social history. Pair with Stefanie Pintoff, and also recommend for fans of Rhys Bowen's ‘Molly Murphy' series." --Library Journal

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
04/28/2014
In O’Brien’s sedate follow-up to 2013’s Death of a Robber Baron, Pamela Thompson looks into the disappearance of Ruth Colt, a young woman of mixed race whose aunt, Martha Colt, is housekeeper to the powerful Crawford family. Martha believes that wealthy military veteran Jed Crake—a known sexual predator—has killed Ruth. When Crake travels from Manhattan to Saratoga Springs for the summer, Pamela’s teenage ward, Francesca Ricci, goes undercover as a chambermaid there to monitor his activities. Then Crake is murdered, and Francesca is arrested for the crime. As Pamela, boss Jeremiah Prescott, and colleague Harry Miller probe a circle of suspects, including Crake’s hedonistic wife, a vengeful butcher, and an unstable bellboy, they uncover a series of dark secrets reaching back to the Civil War. O’Brien accurately evokes the affluent Saratoga of 1894, but the slow-moving investigation follows a predictable path until a nice, last-minute twist. Agent: Evan Marshall, Evan Marshall Agency. (June)
VOYA, August 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 3) - Alicia Abdul
The second in a series of Gilded Age mysteries, O’Brien sets the tone, atmosphere, and hardships in the late nineteenth century. Focusing on a meatpacking tycoon and storied Union army captain, Jed Crake, there are two separate mysteries: one of the missing young women, namely helpless chambermaids, but specifically, the newest victim whose disappearance had not garnered any attention until months later. When Prescott and Associates joins the investigation, their prime suspect, Crake, ends up dead. Not only must the private investigators piece together the dead girls’ killer connection and how they were disastrously disposed of using the meatpacking plant itself, but who among the elite in and around Saratoga Springs may have wanted Crake dead. This undercurrent of dark family secrets, political payoffs, and adultery make for a strong historical mystery that is as much about the characters as the time period’s lawlessness. The pacing of details, character introductions, and uncovered history keeps readers engaged as they sift through the clues in an authentic whodunit. While the late 1890s in upstate New York is a prominent feature of the story, most young adults would not gravitate toward it unless they are fans of the genre or want to read about the history in their own backyard, yet adults will appreciate its accurate portrayals and genuine mysteriousness. Reviewer: Alicia Abdul; Ages 17 to Adult.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-04-01
During the Gilded Age, the wealthy could, and did, get away with murder. It's 1894. The rich, Southern Crawford family wants New York City attorney Jeremiah Prescott to look into the disappearance of their housekeeper's niece since the corrupt New York police are not interested in looking for a young black girl. Prescott's operatives, former NYPD detective Harry Miller and lovely widow Pamela Thompson, are skilled, in their different ways, in obtaining information. Many clues point to the involvement of Capt. Jed Crake, a decorated Union Army veteran whose bad reputation with women includes at least one rape during the Civil War. Crake, a crude man who's made a fortune in meatpacking, is in ill health. His wife is a much younger former prostitute with a lover of her own. While Pamela and Harry are pursuing their investigations, the Crakes repair for the summer to the Grand Hotel in Saratoga Springs, playground of the rich and famous. Soon after, Crake is found murdered, and a young chambermaid who's a friend of Pamela's is arrested for the crime. The sleuths soon determine that a number of people had reason to kill Crake: his wife, her lover, and several members of the Crawford family, whose hatred of him dates back to the war. As they circulate among the varied denizens of the beautiful summer playground, more and more information comes to light. But will it be enough to reveal the truth?This leisurely second effort in O'Brien's new series (Death of a Robber Baron, 2013, etc.) is short on both ingenuity and psychological tension; it's evidently aimed at history buffs and daydreamers rather than armchair sleuths.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780758286383
Publisher:
Kensington
Publication date:
05/27/2014
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
883,577
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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