Murder in the Bowery (Gaslight Mystery, #20)Murder in the Bowery by Victoria Thompson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Molloy family, including the extended members, are at work on a new case. Gino and Frank are visited by a young man who hires them to find his little brother. He tells them that he and his brother were sent out to Minnesota on the Orphan Train, and he had gotten lucky working with a man who owned a general store. Now that the man had left him the store, he wanted to share his good fortune with his brother whom he hadn’t seen since they were split up years earlier.

Frank and Gino begin work and soon find that there are many more layers than the young man has told them. This story takes place with the backdrop of the newsboys’ strike, an actual event that stopped the sale of two very popular papers owned by two very famous men, Hearst and Pulitzer. The Newsboys play a large part in the story and in the solution of the mystery. This one involves a very ugly story in a very ugly family, as well as a good guy dressed in black.

I see a future story with the man in black; at least I hope so. There is also a new venture for Sarah, a maternity hospital for poor girls who have nowhere to go.

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Murder on the Serpentine

Murder on the Serpentine (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt #32)Murder on the Serpentine by Anne Perry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Anne Perry does it again. Commander Thomas Pitt of Special Branch, receives a royal summons. A gentleman has died mysteriously, and the Queen doesn’t believe the official version. Neither does Pitt when he investigates. A story filled with the abuse of power, and the cruelty it brings to those closest by, follows.
Both Thomas and Charlotte are hurt and upset by the emotions this type of abuse brings, and the victims are spread far and wide. Both step to the very edge of propriety and wisdom, one to solve the case and one to try to regain her footing in the new world of her husband’s position.

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A Mystery at Carlton House

A Mystery at Carlton House (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries Book 12)A Mystery at Carlton House by Ashley Gardner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another excellent trip into 1818 England and Captain Lacey and family. The book opens with the birth of Gabriel and Donata’s child, which is suspenseful. Lacey is then approached by Spendlove, a Bow Street Runner who is an enemy of both Denis and Lacey. He wants proof that the strange doings at Carleton House (home of the Prince Regent) can be laid at the feet of the mysterious and dangerous James Denis.

He threatens Lacey with a promise that Lacey knows he can fulfill, so Lacey undertakes to find out what is happening at the Prince’s home. So many details that Gardner excels at are seen here, from the Prince’s demeanor and physical appearance to the decor at Carlton House to Donata’s ease and familiarity with the Regent. Lacey appears an outsider but he understands them better than they know. Donata and Grenville are also keen observers and are insiders of the Ton world.
A secondary story with Marianne plays more into the story than first appears clear.

This is a well-done mystery and an even better story of family and friends – of all types.

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Bone Box (Decker and Lazarus)

Bone Box (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #24)Bone Box by Faye Kellerman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Excellent entry to the series. It appears that both Kellerman and Decker have gotten a second wind in the small upstate New York town of Greenbury. Rina is out on a hike taking photos when she steps on what turns out to be a skeleton.

The search of the wooded area and trail eventually turns up more bodies and an intriguing mystery. This one brings out all the cavalry, including Marge, Scott and even Chris Donatti. I hope this doesn’t mean that this is the end. Even though age is starting to affect all the crew, their minds are still as sharp as ever. I like the way that Kellerman takes the Five Colleges background to upend a few ideas about college students and their professors.

This one takes a few turns and goes coast-to-coast before finding the culprits not far from home. There is also a look at all the kids and their kids, making me wonder if Peter and Rina will want to retire and spend all their time visiting grandchildren. I hope not.

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Protecting Justice

Protecting Justice (Justice Team, #4)Protecting Justice by Misty Evans
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wild one in the Justice Team series. Lots of elements here, including Washington power, Beltway intrigue, plain old money as a motivator, two alphas as leads and a murder. Tony Gerard, the Capitol Police officer first encountered in Exposing Justice, plays a lead here.
He’s asked to provide emergency security for a Senator’s family after the Senator’s death. Tony meets the whirlwind that is Fallyn Pasche and the craziness begins. This is a good story with a good romance and, unfortunately, not too crazy to believe.

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Murder in Morningside Heights (Gaslight)

Murder in Morningside Heights (Gaslight Mystery, #19)Murder in Morningside Heights by Victoria Thompson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This one takes place after Frank and Sarah return from their honeymoon and they have worked to start their own investigative agency. A man comes to Frank and asks him to investigate the brutal murder of his daughter at an exclusive women’s college. She had taught at the prestigious school as well as been a graduate of it.

The conversations are enchanting, if horrifying, regarding women’s place and how, of course, no woman who had an offer of marriage would actually work. Even more horrifying is the conversation between Frank and the college president in which Frank is told that women are horrified by sex and only tolerate it for the purposes of procreation (!). Therefore….

Many ideas get an airing here that are surprising and hideous and the crime is solved by a group effort. More interesting is the ending which promises that Sarah will not be a typical wife.

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The Alexandria Affair (Capt. Lacey)

The Alexandria Affair (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries, #11)The Alexandria Affair by Ashley Gardner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A rollicking, world-traveling tale of Captain Lacey and his good friend Grenville, finally taking the trip to Egypt they have discussed for years. They insert themselves into many adventures and situations along the way.

Gardner finds a way to place them into all kinds of danger, too. I’m not sure whether it’s over the top or not. However, a few things of lasting import happen, namely the solidifying a friendships and a confrontation with the mysterious follower who has harmed both Lacey and Brewster.

Throw in a commission from the nefarious Mr. Denis, and you have a soup of a story that is ultimately satisfying.

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