Murder on Lexington Avenue (Gaslight Mystery Series #12)

Murder on Lexington Avenue (Gaslight Mystery Series #12)

4.4 38
by Victoria Thompson
     
 

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When Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy is assigned to investigate the murder of an influential man in the deaf community-presumably because his own son is hearing impaired-midwife Sarah Brandt lends a hand, only to find herself searching for a killer in an unfamiliar world where those who can hear refuse to listen to those who cannot.  See more details below

Overview

When Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy is assigned to investigate the murder of an influential man in the deaf community-presumably because his own son is hearing impaired-midwife Sarah Brandt lends a hand, only to find herself searching for a killer in an unfamiliar world where those who can hear refuse to listen to those who cannot.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Thompson’s fine 12th mystery set in turn-of-the-20th-century New York City (after 2009’s Murder on Waverly Place), Det. Sgt. Frank Malloy investigates the murder of Nehemiah Wooten, who was bludgeoned with a loving cup Wooten won for sculling at Harvard more than 30 years earlier. A follower of Alexander Graham Bell’s views on eugenics, Wooten was opposed to two deaf people getting married on the grounds that such unions would produce only deaf offspring, an attitude that earned him an enemy within his own home. Wooten’s attractive 16-year-old daughter, Electra, who could not hear, was hoping to marry a deaf teacher. When Malloy visits Wooten’s pregnant widow and her water breaks, he calls in midwife Sarah Brandt. Thanks to her access to the victim’s household, Sarah proves invaluable in helping him uncover the killer. While the psychology of the crime is less complicated than some might prefer, Thompson does a solid job bringing the past to life. (June)
Library Journal
The murder of a wealthy, influential businessman has Det. Frank Malloy investigating the complications of the dead man's family life and rivalries between two schools for the deaf. The case has personal ramifications for Malloy as his own son attends one of the schools. Thompson's 12th historical (after Murder on Waverly Place) set in turn-of-the-century New York City and featuring Malloy and midwife Sarah Brandt skillfully balances several unusual plot lines: a secret pregnancy, the tense conflict among educators on how to teach the deaf (sign language vs. lip reading), and an ongoing relationship between the victim's deaf daughter and her tutor. VERDICT Thompson embellishes her beautifully constructed mysteries with little-known historical tidbits; her long-running series will offer rewarding reading to fans of Rhys Bowen and Cordelia Frances Biddle. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 2/1/10.]
Kirkus Reviews
More murder among the upper classes in turn-of-the-century New York. When businessman Nehemiah Wooten is found in his office, his head smashed in, his widow doesn't seem greatly upset by the death. But when she goes into labor, it's a chance for Detective Frank Malloy to get his midwife friend Sarah Brandt into the house. Sarah makes herself invaluable to the household and manages to pick up information Malloy could never have uncovered. She learns that nobody knew Valora Wooten was pregnant, perhaps because the child is not her husband's but that of his partner's son. Wooten's firm views on eugenics drove him from his wife's bed after the birth of their deaf daughter Electra, who has been taught to lip read but has secretly been taking lessons in American Sign Language from a teacher from a rival school with whom she has fallen in love. Mrs. Wooten brazens it out, insisting the child is her husband's. Electra is glad her father is dead since he stood in the way of her romance. And her brother Leander's indifference is deepened only slightly when he's murdered on a visit to the Bowery. Malloy is surprised to find a bitter rivalry between lip-reading and ASL, which his own deaf son is learning. Wooten was so widely disliked, however, that his views on the deaf provide just one more motive for murder. Thompson (Murder on Waverly Place, 2009, etc.) illuminates a battle in the deaf community that continues even today.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425241875
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/07/2011
Series:
Gaslight Mystery Series, #12
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
199,049
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Victoria Thompson is the Edgar(r) Award-nominated author of the Gaslight mystery series and 20 additional historical novels. She lives in Pennsylvania with her family.

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Murder on Lexington Avenue (Gaslight Series #12) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Mr. Edward Higginbotham of the Institution for the Improved Instruction of Deaf Mutes visits businessman and school patron Nehemiah Wooten at the latter's office. He plans to discuss with Wooten the desires of the man's pretty sixteen year old daughter Electra, a student at the school; she wants to marry a New York Institute for the Deaf and Dumb teacher Adam Oldham. Higginbotham finds Wooten dead. Because NYPD Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy has a son who attends the "Lexington School" that Higginbotham runs and the witness asks for him, he is assigned the lead as the brass believes he brings insider information. This proves true as he understands the deep philosophical divide between the rival two schools teaching deaf children. The DS quickly knows the murder weapon is a brass loving cup and learns the deceased is a believer in eugenics as lectured recently by Alexander Graham Bell; as such Wooten opposed two deaf people marrying out of fear they will pass on the hearing flaw to their offspring. However, Malloy makes little progress so when a second homicide in the Wooten family occurs, he hesitantly asks midwife Sarah Brandt, who has helped him on previous Manhattan murder mysteries, to provide him advice. The latest Gaslight Era murder mystery is a terrific entry that uses the background like references to Bell to set the era while also providing insight into the two predominate education theories of teaching deaf students. The whodunit is complex as Malloy works his investigation assisted by Sarah, but has too many suspects from family, business and school to rule out. Readers will appreciate the latest Victoria Thompson's historical investigate tale. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best Series I have read in a long time, this book made up for the disspointment a lot of fans had over Murder in Waverly Place, which was a great Murder Mystery but it lack a bit of interaction between Malloy and Sara. Fans of Malloy and Sara will be very pleased, they are certainly making progress, they are much more relaxed around each other and theres a bit of a change where Malloy needs Sarah to help him and does not seem to be annoyed or scared to have her in the house where the possible culprit lives. Mrs Malloy makes a short but very funny appearance and it was nice to see more of Malloys world as opposed to Sarah's. The author teases us with a bit of Catherine and her origins, I expect the next installment will cover more of it. All in all I was extremely please with this installment and I am waiting anxiously for the next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I happend by chance to stumble upon this series. Now i am hooked. It is a love story within a mystery. A Massie Dobbs set in New York at the turn of the cemtury. But a lot more fun with the setting in NYC. I love how Ms. THOMPSON develops the seconday characters of Mrs. Decker, Mrs. Elsworth, Mrs. Malloy and Maise. With each book she builds upon the other characters and the many ethnic groups found in the city. Wouldnt this be great as a mystery series on PBS?
Sagesplottwister More than 1 year ago
This series is like comfort food. I keep coming back to see what happens next. I am a sucker for a gentle love story neatly tucked into a mystery. Keep writing Victoria.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of the Gaslight series. Victoria Thompson combines love, humor and mystery in a combination that makes you always looking to read more. I love series novels when you get to know the main characters in the book. Mrs. Brandt and Detective Malloy make a superb couple. The time period of New York in the early 1900's is also interesting. There is so much diversity of nationalities and also social classes. All of this without any sex or swear words, another reason I like it and recommend it. You don't find that very often.
stridel More than 1 year ago
Victoria Thompson has never disappointed and this novel is no exception. Always enjoy her work.
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darwindog96 More than 1 year ago
Sticks with the ongoing relationship of Sarah and Malloy. Hard not to figure this one out early on or to eork up any sympathy for the supporting characters for this story
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