Deep in water, mire, and a mystery.
A famous boarder has gone missing during the flood of 1907, and all clues point to murder. A half-heard conversation, a broken knife, cut rope, a missing onyx clock, and blood that can't be explained. Mrs. Peterson fears the truth, yet as the waters rise, they dredge up her past, challenge her present, and force her to consider a new future.
An unlikely pair.
Mr. Graham rows in at precisely the right moment; an older, dabbling detective with a pragmatic approach to everything he does. The two join forces and, despite a string of hilarious mishaps, commit themselves to a common goal: To solve the mystery of Anna Baker.
Set during the Pittsburgh flooding of 1907, Union Street Boarding House is a reworking of the 1913 novel The Case of Jennie Brice by Mary Roberts Rinehart.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was a really wonderful, lighthearted, and entertaining read for me on my first two mornings of post-summer solitude (thank you, back to school!). Mrs. Peterson is a supremely lovable and hilarious character. She's an upstanding member of her community, having plummeted to the lower-middle class rungs of Edwardian Pittsburgh society after a marriage that her first-tier family didn't approve of. The mystery itself involves Anna Baker/Mrs. Lawrence and her husband, and Mrs. Peterson is partnered by the much older Mr. Graham to find out what happened to her boarder. There are clues throughout, and plenty of twists, turns, and laughs to keep the story engaging and fun. The ending is fair and perfectly executed, with no annoying loose ends—and a surprise, to boot. Cozy mysteries are what I turn to when I don't want to work too hard but still want to be pulled in. Union Street Boarding House ticked all the boxes for me, bringing to life a time and a setting in US history that I knew very little about. The writing is clean, tight, and engrossing, and the characters are layered and well developed. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a hankerin' to buy a rowboat.
I positively adored this book! Considering I started it on my lunch break at work and finished it by bedtime the same day, I think it's safe to say the story had me hooked. Set in Pittsburgh in 1907, the main character (and our POV for the narrative) reminded me of Ms Marple, yet with a timidity and grace appropriate of a woman of that era. The story was well paced, the dialogue felt natural, and the mystery an engaging one. Union Street Boarding House was a quick read, enjoyable from the first page to the last. Anyone who enjoys a good period piece or a good mystery would be well served by this little gem!