Fanny Newcomb and the Irish Channel Ripper

Fanny Newcomb and the Irish Channel Ripper

by Ana Brazil

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Overview

Fanny Newcomb and the Irish Channel Ripper by Ana Brazil

Twenty years after the devastating Civil War, the city of New Orleans teeters on a dangerous social precipice: Will it succumb to the poisonous influence of gamblers, prostitutes, murderers, and pornographers? Or will it claim a bright future built upon the high ideals of education, culture, and political justice?

Twenty-five year old Fanny Newcomb is proud to hope and work for a more enlightened New Orleans. The daughter of a recently-deceased lawyer, she yearns to be a lawyer too, but her poverty forces her to live and work in the rough Irish Channel neighborhood. There, she takes a job teaching typewriting and business classes at the grand, new Wisdom Hall settlement house.

Huddled along the Mississippi River just south of Canal Street, the Irish Channel is home to the city’s struggling Irish and German immigrants. While Channel men toil daily to make a living wage, many of the Channel girls and women are forced to prostitute themselves to stay alive. Very few of them have time for classes at Wisdom Hall.

Wisdom Hall founder and principal Sylvia Giddings—privileged daughter of an uptown family—wants to educate and help the women of the Irish Channel escape their predictably restricted futures. But Sylvia’s attempts to enlighten the tradition-bound immigrants are patently unwelcome and she struggles to find and keep her students. And Sylvia’s life would be so much easier if Fanny Newcomb stopped challenging her authority!

Luckily, the Irish Channel neighbors appreciate the work of Sylvia’s sister Olive. Recently graduated from medical school in Germany, Dr. Olive Giddings operates a state-of-the-art infirmary at the rear of Wisdom Hall. She’s eager to prove that her skills are far superior to those of any male doctor’s.

Fanny’s hopes and hard work soon collide with reality when her most promising business student is murdered in the Irish Channel. Not only murdered, but slashed and ripped to shreds, just like Jack the Ripper’s London victims were months earlier.

Sylvia’s German carpenter is quickly arrested as a Ripper copycat, but Fanny realizes just as quickly that the carpenter is not the killer. Desperate to know what happened to her student, Fanny Newcomb launches into a hunt for the self-proclaimed Irish Channel Ripper. Fanny knows that she has the skills to identify the murderer; she just has to work hard and smart. Fortunately, she is not above spying, lying, or stealing, if it helps her secure information and know the truth.

Letters from the Ripper are posted on streetlamps and published in the newspapers. Each letter promises another brutal slaughter in the Irish Channel. The women and girls of the Channel—especially the students of Wisdom Hall—cower in fear.

Fanny enlists Sylvia and Olive in her quest to find the murderer, and together they identify six men who could be the Irish Channel Ripper. The women pursue each suspect through New Orleans’ churches, cemeteries, hotels, and houses of prostitution.

But Fanny’s hunt for the Irish Channel Ripper infuriates her father’s former law partner Lawrence Decatur. It’s bad enough that Fanny wants to practice law and refuses to marry him, but rooting out a murderer goes against everything a proper woman should cherish! Very reluctantly, Lawrence agrees to assist Fanny in her investigation.

Talented Irish Channel police detective Daniel Crenshaw is both alarmed and awestruck by Fanny’s persistence. After much frustration, Fanny and the detective declare a delicate truce and attempt to work together. Can this partnership make the difference?

Can Fanny Newcomb stop the Irish Channel Ripper before he kills again?

2018 winner of IBPA's Ben Franklin Gold Award, Historical Fiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781937818630
Publisher: Sand Hill Review Press
Publication date: 11/01/2017
Series: Fanny Newcomb , #1
Pages: 374
Sales rank: 829,962
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.83(d)

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Fanny Newcomb and the Irish Channel Ripper 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
ReadersFavorite 9 months ago
Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite Just put a word like “Ripper” into the title of a mystery book, and you’re bound to attract interest from Jack the Ripper fans. But Fanny Newcomb and the Irish Channel Ripper by Ana Brazil is not about that dreaded murderer. Nor is it set in the darkened alleyways of old England. No, this historical fiction is set in the Irish Channel section of New Orleans in the late 1800s. As you join Fanny Newcomb and her unlikely fellow sleuths, Dr. Olive Giddings and her sister, Sylvia, in solving the heinous death of a young woman at the hands of this other Ripper, you will find yourself not only enjoying the challenge but also learning a great deal about the attitudes of men toward women way back then. Moreover, if you’re a modern day woman who is big on equality issues, don’t be surprised if you come away just a bit incensed at the narrow-minded male thinking you’ll encounter. But that will make you admire Fanny and her intelligent, resourceful team even more as they do what the men couldn’t do: identify the killer! After the police arrest Karl, whom the ladies are positive is not the Ripper, and the bloodthirsty mob is ready to string him up, Fanny, a prominent lawyer’s daughter, is so relentless in her attempt to save Karl from the gallows that the more she digs, the deeper she puts herself in danger. Her list of suspects is short, and the reader, like Fanny, has plenty of reasons to suspect any one of them. And that’s half the fun of reading this novel: will the one you picked out early in the story be the right one? Ana Brazil has gone to a great deal of trouble to research her information on the life and times in late 1800s New Orleans, rife with prostitution, poverty, religious and cultural conflicts. She has supplied an extensive bibliography, and that accounts for the very authentic settings and attitudes in this story. Further, in a rather personal approach in the Afterword, Brazil supplies facts on which her historical fiction is based, along with giving the reader insight into how the characters of Fanny, Olive and Sylvia were created. This section is as interesting as the story itself. Fanny Newcomb and the Irish Channel Ripper is an excellent first novel, and going by the ending paragraph, one suspects Ana Brazil is possibly planning a sequel. I can actually see this developing into a TV series like the award-winning Canadian series, The Murdoch Mysteries. Has Ana Brazil set the stage for a similar series with this book? Only time will tell.
Cherylkochbooks More than 1 year ago
This book had charm, wit, and humor about it. The outcome was an entertaining read. While, the title mentions the Irish Channel Ripper; this book is not dark and overly gruesome. Therefore, readers who are a bit skirmish can still read this book. Fanny, Olive, and Sylvia sure brought the entertainment. These three ladies really tried their hardest to solve the killings. They may not have always had the best approach but they showed heart. In fact, I believe a big part of the mystery solved goes to these ladies. I enjoyed them all. Although, I would be remiss if I did not mention the two men in this book as well. There is Lawrence and Detective Crenshaw. These two men worked well together,; despite the circumstances that brought them together. Besides, any man that can put up with Fanny is a good guy. The story was brought to live by these characters. The author did a nice job of bring the time period to life as well. It was like I was transported back in time. I could picture everything. For my first read by this author, I enjoyed it and would read more books by this author.
Cherylkochbooks More than 1 year ago
This book had charm, wit, and humor about it. The outcome was an entertaining read. While, the title mentions the Irish Channel Ripper; this book is not dark and overly gruesome. Therefore, readers who are a bit skirmish can still read this book. Fanny, Olive, and Sylvia sure brought the entertainment. These three ladies really tried their hardest to solve the killings. They may not have always had the best approach but they showed heart. In fact, I believe a big part of the mystery solved goes to these ladies. I enjoyed them all. Although, I would be remiss if I did not mention the two men in this book as well. There is Lawrence and Detective Crenshaw. These two men worked well together,; despite the circumstances that brought them together. Besides, any man that can put up with Fanny is a good guy. The story was brought to live by these characters. The author did a nice job of bring the time period to life as well. It was like I was transported back in time. I could picture everything. For my first read by this author, I enjoyed it and would read more books by this author.
hpgirl2008 More than 1 year ago
I thought this was quite a good book - I love historical fiction and Jack the Ripper is of course one of the most interesting subjects of all time because he was never discovered or caught. So I love to read anything on the subject, and I really enjoyed this book because Fanny is this teacher who seems to want to be much more than that - she seems to want to be a sleuth and she will do anything she can. And when one of her students turns up dead and killed in the same fashion as the original Ripper but in New Orleans, she decides she is not going to give up until she figures it out. Now in saying this Fanny may seem "overblown" and pompous, but she's not - she is a regular gal who feels that it is her responsibility to find the truth because no one else seems to get it. But the question is will she be able to figure it out before the "Ripper" kills again? The author does a great job with late 19th century New Orleans, love the background of this beautiful city. And I also love the way people treat Fanny because she isn't a cop or PI, but she doesn't care - she just keeps going. I love that passion of hers and that is part of the reason she is such a great character - she is very well focused and complex, and of course we feel everything that she is feeling. One of my other favorite characters is Olive - Fanny's sister - who is a woman in a man's world. She is in the medical field. So this gives Fanny a little bit of an edge having Olive beside her to help her with anything she doesn't understand. And Sylvia their other sister is not quite as enticing as the other two, but nonetheless important to the story. Because it takes them all. I won't give any of the good parts or ending away, you have to read it for yourself to find that out! But I promise if you enjoy historical fiction this is a good one, and it's not a nasty language book with lots of horror - it's definitely a must read! So please check it out :) I was given a free copy of this book to read - no review was required.