In Murder on Millionaires' Row, Erin Lindsey's debut historical mystery, a daring housemaid searches Gilded Age Manhattan for her missing employer and finds a hidden world of magic, ghosts, romance, and Pinkerton detectives.
"With a strong, likeable heroine and a well-drawn cast of characters, this highly recommended romp through late 19th-century New York will have readers clamoring for the next installment."—Library Journal (Starred)
Rose Gallagher might dream of bigger things, but she’s content enough with her life as a housemaid. After all, it’s not every girl from Five Points who gets to spend her days in a posh Fifth Avenue brownstone, even if only to sweep its floors. But all that changes on the day her boss, Mr. Thomas Wiltshire, disappears. Rose is certain Mr. Wiltshire is in trouble, but the police treat his disappearance as nothing more than the whims of a rich young man behaving badly. Meanwhile, the friend who reported him missing is suspiciously unhelpful. With nowhere left to turn, Rose takes it upon herself to find her handsome young employer.
The investigation takes her from the marble palaces of Fifth Avenue to the sordid streets of Five Points. When a ghostly apparition accosts her on the street, Rose begins to realize that the world around her isn’t at all as it seems—and her place in it is about to change forever.
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
ROSE GALLAGHER OF 55 MOTT STREET — JUST ANOTHER DAY — CLARA'S ADVICE — THE FIRST CLUE
As I tell you this story, I'll thank you to remember that I was young and in love. That's not an excuse, but if you're looking to understand what happened on that day in January 1886 — what really happened, mind you, not the version you read in Harper's Weekly or The New-York Tribune — then you ought to have the whole picture. So yes, I was nineteen years old, and yes, I had a blinding crush on my employer, one Mr. Thomas Wiltshire of 726 Fifth Avenue, and those facts together led me to make certain choices in those early hours, choices that might charitably be called naive. Some of the actions I took I'm not particularly proud of. But I wouldn't take a one of them back, either — which is saying a lot, considering how near they came to getting me killed.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. I really ought to start at the beginning, which means I should say a little about where I'm from. If you're from around here, then you know that in New York, where you come from is everything. It defines your place in the world — your past, present, even your future if you let it. Why, just your name and address tell a stranger pretty much everything he cares to know about you. Not just where you live, but how: what parish you belong to, how much money you've got, where your people came from before they were Americans. He can even make a fair guess as to what you do for a living. Your name and address label you a certain type of New Yorker, a creature with particular habits and distinctive plumage, not unlike a species of bird. Black-capped chickadee. Northern mockingbird. Italian fruit vendor. Chinese laundryman. So when I say that my name is Rose Gallagher of 55 Mott Street, well, that's a whole story right there, and a common one at that. The story of an Irish girl from Five Points.
What do those words conjure in your head? A photograph of some fair-haired, reedy thing leaning out of a tenement window to hang washing on the line while drunks and ragpickers loiter in the alley below? Well, you wouldn't be far from the mark. But there's more to me than that slip of a girl, just as there's more to Five Points than the vice and violence you read about in the papers. Oh, it's a wretched enough corner of the world, to be sure, but it's home. And it's where I learned that if you don't take care of you and yours, there's nobody else will do it for you.
Which brings me back to the day Mr. Thomas Wiltshire disappeared, and everything I knew in the world went spinning down the drain.
Funny, isn't it, how the days that change your life forever start out like any other? I don't remember much about that morning, except that it was a Sunday and my day off, so I took my mother to church. I'd have spent the afternoon scrubbing Mam's floors and putting dinner on the stove, though I've no recollection of it. My first clear memory of the day is hanging off a strap on the Sixth Avenue el, trying to hold my copy of Harper's Weekly steady while the train rattled and swayed beneath me. The el, if you haven't had the pleasure, has all the lumbering grace of a three-legged bull, which makes reading the fine print of Harper's a bit of a trick, especially when it's coming on to dark outside. Luckily, I wasn't trying to read the print; I was too busy poring over the illustration on the cover.
It featured Mother Earth seated on her throne at the heart of the world, attended by her children as she greeted the New Year. She looked like a Roman goddess, serene and beautiful, smiling benevolently down at the cherubic 1886. I'd never seen anything so fantastical, so thoroughly exotic. Children of the world clustered around her, African and Indian and Celestial. Skins of lions and tigers beneath her sandaled feet. The volcano looming in the background, the waterfall plunging majestically over a cliff. What wondrous places had the artist traveled that he could capture images like these in such sumptuous detail? I felt a familiar pang of longing, and for a moment I imagined myself standing in a steaming jungle, brushing up against leaves the size of an elephant's ear while I listened to birds shriek and insects sing, the roar of a waterfall in the distance.
Maybe it was longer than a moment, come to think of it, because the next thing I remember it was full dark and I was making my way down the steps of the Fifty-Eighth Street Station in the rain. I must have made a pitiful sight hurrying along the sidewalk with my bonnet pulled low and my precious paper tucked under my arm, because the nighthawks seized on me the moment I turned onto Fifth Avenue, the clip-clop of hooves and calls of "Cab, miss?" trailing me down the block.
I burst through the servant's door at Number 726 with my usual grace, stumbling over the umbrella someone had left open to dry in the entryway. I couldn't wait to show Clara the illustration on the cover of Harper's, sure she would appreciate it as much as I did. But as I made my way down the hall, I heard a frightful clamor of pots and pans coming from the kitchen, and I drew up short.
Warily, I peered around the doorframe. "Clara?" My greeting was met with a crash of the oven door and a string of language as doesn't bear repeating, the gist of which was this: Clara was having a bad day.
"People starving in this city — starving — but that's no bother, just fine, I'll toss away three hours' worth of cooking!"
I braved a single step into the kitchen. "What's happened?"
She whirled on me, hand on hip, eyes flared with righteous anger. "Why? I'll tell you why. Because His Lordship Sir High-and-Mighty can't be bothered to come home for his dinner! Again."
"Oh." I tried to think of a reasonable excuse. "Well, I suppose he's very busy with work."
"I suppose he is. Too busy to send word, even. So important."
"Careful," I said, throwing a worried glance at the foot of the servants' staircase. Mrs. Sellers had a way of appearing on those stairs at the most inopportune moments. "She might hear you." I didn't need to say who she was.
"Don't care if she does," Clara said, but she lowered her voice all the same. She needed her position as much as I, and the housekeeper was always looking for an excuse to get after the both of us, since the only stock of people she cared for less than the Irish were the coloreds. Mrs. Sellers might not have the authority to dismiss us outright, but she could make things difficult with Mr. Wiltshire, and that was cause enough to fear her.
"Did you ask her if we might ..." I stopped myself short of asking a silly question. Mrs. Sellers never let us keep leftovers. To her way of thinking, that would only encourage Clara to prepare too much food in the hopes of keeping some for herself. It wouldn't occur to her that Clara was too decent, not to mention too proud, to do any such thing.
"So I can listen to her lecture me about how it's practically the same as stealing? No, thank you, ma'am."
"I'm sorry, Clara. It's an awful shame." My gaze slid longingly to the roast beef and potatoes cooling on the stovetop. I couldn't recall the last time I'd had Sunday roast. Easter, probably, some years past.
"Well." Clara surveyed the kitchen, her temper cooling along with her cooking. "Some of it'll keep, and there's always soup to be made. But the nerve of the man, not sending so much as a hint of warning. Uncivilized, is what it is. You'd think a proper Englishman would know better."
"I'm sure he had a good reason."
She gave me a wry look. "You're sure of no such thing, except that Thomas Wiltshire can do no wrong."
I felt my skin warming, so I changed the subject. "Look, I've got something to show you." Drawing her over by the lamp, I smoothed out my copy of Harper's Weekly. "What do you think of that?"
Clara squinted. "I hardly know. What is it?" "Why, it's only the most incredible drawing I've ever seen!"
"Is it now?" She raised her eyebrows. "More incredible than the hot springs of Iceland?"
"Well, I suppose —"
"More incredible than the jaguar fishing in the Amazon? Or the squad of saluting elephants in India?" She made a trunk of her arm, raising it high.
"You're making fun of me."
Looking closer, Clara grunted. "All I see is a white lady with other people's babies in her lap."
"Well, I think it's grand," I said, snatching the paper off the table.
"Oh, don't be like that," she laughed. "I'm only teasing. I think it's fine how you get all lathered up over your magazines."
"I'm not lathered up. I'm trying to better myself, is all."
"Better yourself, or escape to the jungle for a spell?"
Escape. It's a strong word, when you think about it. A strong word, and exactly the right one. "And where's the harm in that?" I gestured vaguely at the kitchen. "Is it wrong to want to see more of the world than ... this?"
"I know, honey."
That was the thing about Clara. She did know. She understood me better than anybody, probably because we had so much in common. Clara came from the Tenderloin, which is just about the only part of New York that can give Five Points a run for its money for sheer infamy. She'd seen her share of wickedness and faced more than her share of bigots. Like me, Clara had an ailing mother to take care of. And like me, she dreamed of bigger things — in her case, marrying her sweetheart, Joseph, and saving enough money to buy a little dairy farm in Westchester.
But if Clara's dream seemed just out of reach, mine was downright unattainable. I wanted more than anything to be a Travel and Adventure writer, or maybe an illustrator. But if being a woman wasn't barrier enough, I was also Irish and poor as a church mouse. The four-story town house at 726 Fifth Avenue was about as close to travel and adventure as I was likely to get in this life.
"I just don't want to see you set yourself up for disappointment," Clara said. "You got to be realistic. Dreams is one thing. Goals is another."
"I know." I rolled up my Harper's and stuffed it into the pocket of my overcoat. Forcing a smile, I added, "And right now, my goal is to get some supper in my belly."
"Now that I can help you with." Clara went over to the stove and carved off a slice of the roast, crusty and fragrant, steam rising from it like a chorus of angels. Somehow she'd managed to keep it pink in the center, in spite of it having languished in the oven since late afternoon.
My mouth watered as I watched her load up the plate with golden potatoes and thick, greasy gravy. "What about Mrs. Sellers?"
"I don't see her anywhere, do you?" Clara's smile had just a hint of spite in it. "Now skedaddle. She catches you, we'll both wind up working in the box factory."
I didn't need to be told twice; I grabbed my plate and bounded up the narrow servants' staircase to my room, a little shoebox in the attic where I spent six nights a week.
I sat cross-legged on my bed, hunched over my food like a savage, licking gravy off my fingers as I paged through Harper's. I'd like to tell you that I studied the articles carefully, absorbing worldly details about the Irish question and hostilities in the Balkans, or that I tutted disapprovingly over the latest spiteful cartoons from Thomas Nasty. But I never did care much for politics, and there were no Travel and Adventure stories in this issue to tempt me. So instead I pored over the illustrations, wondering if my own sketches demonstrated enough skill to impress an editor at Harper's or Frank Leslie's. Reaching for my journal, I let it fall open to its most beloved page: a charcoal sketch of a certain gentleman whose likeness I knew nearly as well as my own. I hope it won't sound boastful if I say that even Mr. Wiltshire's own mother would have called the resemblance striking. Every feature had been lovingly rendered: the pale eyes beneath straight dark brows; the high cheekbones and fine nose; the angular jaw framed by a neatly trimmed beard. It was true in every detail but one: I couldn't seem to capture the soul of him, that thoughtful expression that was at once gentle and sharp, reserved and yet curious. The eyes in my sketch were dull and flat, with nothing to suggest the man behind them had any depth at all.
I put the drawing away, resolving to try my hand at reproducing the illustration on the cover of Harper's. I'd wait until month's end, and if there was enough money left over after I'd paid Mam's rent, I'd treat myself to a new journal and maybe even some ribbon to fix my bonnet. "There, you see, Clara?" I murmured to myself. "I know the difference between dreams and goals."
I brought my plate back down to the kitchen before heading up the main staircase to prepare Mr. Wiltshire's bedroom for the night. I knocked softly, though I knew he wasn't there, having learned the hard way that it was best to make sure. (That, my friends, is a story all its own, and may have more than a little to do with the origins of my feelings for my employer. If you should find yourself becoming spoony for a young man, seeing the object of your budding affections in nothing but a pair of halfun-buttoned trousers will surely seal your fate.)
But I digress.
Satisfied the room was empty, I set about my chores, winding the clock and trimming the lamps and so forth. I fussed with his fountain pen and his shirt studs and his griffin cuff links, straightening them all just so. But it wasn't long until I noticed something out of place. Being meticulously tidy, Mr. Wiltshire was not given to leaving his papers strewn about, so the envelope sitting on his dressing table fairly cried out for my attention. Taking it up, I saw that it was unsealed, so I opened it (yes, I know — you will have many such occasions to exclaim at my behavior) and discovered a pair of tickets to the Metropolitan Opera. Nothing much in that, but two things struck me as unusual. First, the opera in question was by Richard Wagner, and it so happened that I had heard Mr. Wiltshire express a particular dislike for Wagner not two weeks before, over sherry with his good friend Mr. Burrows. Second, the tickets were for the evening of January 2, 1886 — in other words, for a performance that had taken place the night before.
I glanced about the room. Had he even come home last night? The bed didn't look to have been slept in, but that didn't tell me much, since Mrs. Sellers would have tidied the room this morning. Taking a quick inventory of his shirt studs, I saw that the mother-of-pearl set was missing. He'd worn those on Saturday, and he never wore the same set two days in a row. No, he definitely hadn't come home. I wondered what sort of urgent matter had arisen to cause my employer to be so detained.
I didn't know it at the time, but detained was quite possibly the understatement of the year.
I went to bed feeling troubled. And by the time I woke up, the coppers were already there.CHAPTER 2
THE COPPERS — CLARA'S COURAGE — ROSE GALLAGHER AND CLARA FREEMAN, DETECTIVES
The police arrived at a little after five o'clock on Monday morning, just a few minutes before I was due to rise. Somehow I'd slept through their ringing the bell, so when Mrs. Sellers burst into my little room in the attic to rouse me, it gave me quite a fright. I sat bolt upright, snatching a crucifix from the wall and brandishing it like a dagger. The housekeeper gasped and leapt back. We stared at each other for a spell, me with my makeshift dagger and she with her hand on her breast, both of us wide-eyed.
"Good Lord. Is that how you sleep in Five Points? With a knife under your pillow?" I glanced at the crucifix in my hand. Our Lord and Savior gazed back at me with solemn eyes, silently advising me to hold my tongue.
"Get up," Mrs. Sellers snapped. "The police are here."
"Coppers?" I hopped up and fumbled for my dressing gown. "Why?"
"Don't ask foolish questions, girl, just get downstairs at once. And wake Clara."
Detective Ward and Officer O'Leary of the New York City Police Department were waiting in the parlor, red-eyed and bewhiskered, looking and smelling like they'd just been dragged out of a Bowery saloon — which they probably had. "This everyone?" the detective asked after they'd introduced themselves.
"It is," Mrs. Sellers confirmed. "Being a bachelor, Mr. Wiltshire doesn't require a large household staff."
"Mr. Wiltshire prefers to use the livery companies," the housekeeper said, managing to sound only faintly bemused at this eccentric behavior.
Ward grunted and wrote something in his ledger.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Murder on Millionaires' Row"
Copyright © 2018 Erin Lindsey.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Well done. Solid, interesting characters. Uncertainty as to who can be trusted. Very capable heroine. Plenty to supply numerous further adventures.
I enjoyed this story a lot .
Rose Gallagher lives in the Five Points District of New York City during the Gilded Age. She works as a maid for Thomas Wiltshire in his elegant Fifth Avenue home. Thomas is handsome, kind, and smart, and Rose fancies herself in love with him. As most young people, she seeks adventure and yearns for something more than working as a servant for the rest of her life. An opportunity presents itself when Rose discovers her employer, Mr. Thomas Wiltshire, has been kidnapped after failing to come home several days in a row with no word from him and no one knowing his whereabouts, not even his closest friend, Mr. Jonathan Burrows. Finding herself embroiled in a mystery involving her beloved employer and determined to bring him home safe and sound, she takes on the role of amateur sleuth in order to crack the case. However, she never in her wildest dreams expected to find an entirely different New York than the one she had always known, filled with spirits, shades, warlocks, witches, necromancers, alchemists, and spells beyond her comprehension. Adventure has found her at last, and she will have to use her wits and her sass to stay alive and uncover the city’s long-kept secrets. I personally loved every aspect of this Gilded Age mystery! Rose is an enchanting heroine who is feisty and courageous, but surprisingly warm and genuine. I sympathized with her plight of being judged as inferior because of her Irish heritage, and I inwardly cheered at her spunk whenever she proved her mettle among more experienced detectives and her superiors. I enjoyed the diverse array of characters as well, from Chinese to African American, and I felt immensely pleased with the author for not succumbing to the use of stereotypes in describing these different cultures and ways of life. Thomas seemed like the quintessential hero and man of science, and I saw him as the perfect fit for Rose in every way. I wish their romance had been highlighted more, and I finished the book longing for more to have happened between them. However, the silent attraction simmering between them unfulfilled still makes me eager to read more from this series, so I think the author succeeded in drawing me in regardless. The mystery and paranormal aspects kept me hooked throughout, and I really enjoyed how the author made everything appear believable, even with a historical setting, which is not easy to do. Overall, I highly recommend this book to all adults looking for a historical mystery with a paranormal twist! A Must-Read for fans of the Gilded Age and shows like Downton Abbey!
I'm not even going to lie - I jumped at the chance to read this book almost entirely based off of that gorgeous cover. I'm a sucker for good cover and this one has that in spades! Happily I enjoyed this book just as much as I enjoyed that cover! This feels like it has been the year where I've discovered historical mysteries. I've started some really great historical mystery series and I can add this one to the list. In this book, Rose Gallagher goes searching for her missing boss when she realizes that the police aren't taking his disappearance seriously. I really adored Rose's character because she was just so determined and strong willed. Her adventures made this book so much fun to read. I really just found myself sucked into the pages of this book. This book took me to a different time and place...heck, it was really a different world where ghosts walked and certain individuals had different kinds of "luck" and I was just transported by it all. The author swept me into the pages of this book so that I didn't want to stop reading. I just HAD to see what was going to happen next. I loved that in this book ghosts were actually dangerous to humans - everything to do with the paranormal actually felt very original to this book. I wasn't sure when I read the book summary how the author would fit ghosts into the storyline but it worked beautifully. I feel like the author really just managed to create this unique world in this book that I couldn't get enough of. I enjoyed my time within its' pages and am looking forward to reading more of this series in the future. Really, what more could you ask? Overall, I really enjoyed my time with this book and am very excited to have found both this series and this author. I need to check out what else Lindsey has written - hopefully she has written more so the wait for book two doesn't seem so long. I'm really looking forward to seeing what kind of trouble Rose can get herself into next. If you are looking for a fun, fast-paced read then look no further then this book. It's a definite page turner with a world that I won't be forgetting about any time soon. I can easily recommend this book to fans of historical mysteries and really mysteries in general! Bottom Line: A fun beginning to a series that I can't wait to read more of! Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher. Thoughts are my own.
a thrilling mystery that captivated me from start to finish MURDER ON MILLIONAIRES' ROW By Erin Lindsey In Gilded Age Manhattan Rose Gallagher is a clever girl with a good head on her shoulders. Working as a maid on Fifth Avenue, she doesn't forget her roots in the rough neighborhood of Five Points. When her boss goes missing, a boss whom she deeply admires, she knows she can't trust the police to pursue the matter. Despite being warned, Rose takes matters into her own hands and begins to investigate. What she discovers is more than she ever bargained for. A whole new world of ghosts, portals, and luck has opened up and Rose Gallagher's life is forever changed. MURDER ON MILLIONAIRES' ROW starts as a normal historical mystery, but quickly develops into an exciting paranormal adventure. I love the historical nature of the story, the author providing well researched details of life in the late 1800s. I grinned at the mention of the American Society for Psychical Research as well as its British counterpart having read several of their journals! The depth of characterization here is wonderful, each person unique, with their own story embedded within the mystery itself. Rose is much more than just a love struck girl with gumption. She's loyal with a good mind and a courageous soul. Subtle nuanced behavior gives readers a glimpse into the minds and motivations of all the characters making me want to learn more about all them. Not so subtle behavior as well adds spice as well - I can picture Clara with her frying pan! Each person is developed to the extent that almost all could star in their own novel! And I'd want to read them all! I want to know more about Mrs. Meyer. I'd love to know how Mrs. Weber and Mr. Smith discovered their abilities. There's so much more to The Dragon and The Bloodhound. I'd love to explore Wang's grocery and find the perfect tea for me. MURDER ON MILLIONAIRES' ROW is a fantastic debut mystery. A multitude of nuanced characters, life and death situations, and a fascinating storyline create a thrilling mystery that captivated me from start to finish! FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book in the hopes I would review it.
Murder on Millionaires' Row" has an interesting mix of mystery, paranormal and witchcraft that helps to make the book an unique cozy read. I enjoyed the inclusion of the supernatural element that is quite a pleasant surprise. There are plenty of action scene to make the overall reading experience exciting but the numbers of twists and turns, at times, are distracting. Towards the last 1/3 of the book, I found myself trudged through the never-ending hurdles to get to the bottom of the truth. And forget about doing the sleuths work; "Murder on Millionaires' Row" is not the convention whodunit type of mystery book. I would give the book a 3.5 star rating based on my overall enjoyment and engaging level.
Murder on Millionaires’ Row is a debut mystery by Erin Lindsey. Rose Gallagher works as a maid in the household of Mr. Thomas Wiltshire on Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1886. Sunday evening Rose arrives home after her day off and goes to prepare her employers room for the evening. Something feels off and Rose is sure that boss has not been in since Saturday. The next morning the coppers arrive after 5 a.m. because Mr. Jonathan Burrows, a friend of Thomas’, has filed a missing persons report. Rose can tell that Detective Ward is not taking the case seriously, and she decides to pursue the matter on her own. Rose has dreamed of becoming a travel and adventure writer. Little does she realize that searching for Mr. Wiltshire and the mystery he is embroiled in will be the adventure of a lifetime. Murder on Millionaires’ Row is a complex novel. Ms. Lindsey captured the Gilded Age with her vivid descriptions of the clothing, the architecture, the literature, music, the language and attitudes of the people especially towards the Irish. New York City is brought alive in Murder on Millionaires’ Row. I can envision Fifth Avenue with its cobbled streets, the carriages, ladies decked out in beautiful gowns with their hats and parasols, and the men in their bespoke suits, hats and carrying their walking sticks. Of course, we can also imagine Five Points with children running around, litter in the streets, and thugs on the street corners as well as the Tenderloin with its dangerous bars, illegal businesses and men who will knife you for your money. The author did her research for this story, and I appreciated the author’s note at the end. Rose is a feisty Irish lass who has a crush on her employer. Nothing is going to stand in her way of tracking Mr. Wiltshire down when he goes missing. She is tenacious and intelligent. Thomas Wiltshire is a complex man with a unique position. He introduces Rose to another side of life that she had no idea existed. Another great character is Clara Freeman who is the cook for Mr. Wiltshire. I did feel the Rose’s infatuation with Mr. Wiltshire was mentioned too often. It seems to be the only reason she is searching for her employer. I felt Rose was also curious and needed the challenge (a much better rationale). I cannot believe she managed to keep from being fired by the tartar of a housekeeper. Rose disappeared frequently while looking for Mr. Wiltshire. Clara has hidden layers. We just dig at the surface in Murder on Millionaires’ Row. I found Murder on Millionaires’ Row to be a slow starter. The pace picked up the further I got into the story as well as my interest. I was unprepared for the paranormal aspects, but I was delighted by it. It added another layer to the story along with Pinkerton agents, ciphers and magic. Included in the story are witches, mediums, ghosts, shades and so much more. The mystery is multifaceted. It plays out over the course of the book with new aspects being regularly introduced. At times it does feel overwhelming (there is a lot going on). I would have liked the mystery to have been one that readers could solve along with Rose and Thomas (I love unraveling a puzzle). Murder on Millionaires’ Row is a unique cozy mystery that will take you for a walk on the dark side of New York City.
Murder on Millionaires' Row by Erin Lindsey was an enjoyable look at New York City during the late 1800's. Ms. Lindsey's descriptive writing of Park Avenue, Five Points and the Tenderloin districts made me feel like I was there in New York City with Rose, Clara, Mr. Wiltshire and the other characters. The paranormal aspects of this investigation were complex as well as the murder of two Park Avenue brothers. The book was entertaining although I did find the beginning of the book to be slowly paced. However, it picked up as Rose became more involved in the investigation. The characters are beginning to be developed; and I'm sure that more of them will be revealed if this becomes a series. I admired Rose and her tenacity and determination. However, I found I had to stretch my imagination that the only maid in the household would have so much free time to investigate the disappearance of her employer. All in all this was an engaging read and I would definitely be happy to read more if this becomes a series. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book provided by Minotaur Books/St. Marin's Press. All of the above opinions are my own.
New York City - 1886 Rose Gallagher, age 19, has a crush on her wealthy employer, Mr. Thomas Wiltshire. An Irish girl from Five Points, Rose works in the Wiltshire home as a housemaid. She wants nothing more than to be a Travel and Adventure writer. She visits her mother once a week to clean and cook for her. The woman appears to be sinking into dementia because she talks to her mother’s ghost all the time. While straightening Mr. Wiltshire’s room for the night, she realizes he must not have come home the previous evening. When the police arrives the next morning looking for Mr. Wiltshire, Rose is convinced that something has happened to him. The police don’t seem to think his disappearance is anything to be concerned about. Rose wonders if his friend, Mr. Jonathan Burrows has seen him. So, Rose takes it upon herself to visit Mr. Burrows to try and find out what happened to Mr. Wiltshire. When he tells her that he doesn’t know where he is, Rose doesn’t believe him and decides to follow him. While out looking for Mr. Wiltshire, Rose sees a woman who appears to be an apparition and she is coming for her. Rose ducks into her Chinese friend’s store who hides her. Rose discovers Mr. Wiltshire tied up in a warehouse. Rescuing him, he explains that he is a Pinkerton Detective and is involved in solving paranormal cases. He explains to her the difference between shades and ghosts. The apparition that came for Rose is a shade. He seems to think that her mother’s energy is being sapped by her grandmother’s ghost being around the woman all the time. As Rose and Thomas become more involved in this case, things become very dangerous and Rose’s life is in serious danger. The idea of this plot is interesting but I found it very far-fetched and just a bit gory for me. I do have to applaud the author for her imagination though. Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.