Heiress Prudence MacKenzie is a valuable partner to attorney Geoffrey Hunter, despite the fact that women are not admitted to the bar in New York’s Gilded Age. And though their office is a comfortable distance from the violence that haunts the city’s slums, the firm of Hunter and MacKenzie is about to come dangerously close to an unstoppable killer . . .
Lies That Comfort And Betray
The murders in Whitechapel are shocking enough to make news worldwide, and in the autumn of 1888, Geoffrey and Prudence find the stories in the New York Herald quite unsettling. But London is not the only city to be terrorized by a mad butcher.
Nora Kenny makes the occasional journey on the Staten Island ferry to work in Prudence’s Fifth Avenue house, just as her mother once served Prudence’s mother. As little girls, they played freely together, before retreating into their respective social classes. Still, they remain fond of each other. But when Nora slips away to Saint Anselm’s one chilly Saturday to confess her sins and never returns, Prudence is alarmed. And when Nora’s body is discovered in a local park, Prudence is devastated.
Nora will not be the only young woman to fall victim, but the police are uncertain what they are dealing with. Has the Ripper sailed across the Atlantic to find a new hunting ground? Is some disturbed soul copying his crimes? A former Pinkerton agent, Geoffrey intends to step in where the New York Metropolitan Police seem to be failing, and Prudence is just as determined to protect the poor, vulnerable females being targeted. But a killer with a disordered mind and an incomprehensible motive may prove too elusive for even this experienced pair to outwit.
From the author of What the Dead Leave Behind, this is a suspenseful and richly atmospheric mystery that captures both the elegance and sophistication of nineteenth-century New York, and the secrets and bloody terrors that lurked behind its gilded facades.
Praise for What the Dead Leave Behind
“Naturally I always gravitate toward any book set in old New York, and this one exceeded expectations. It has everything one could expect from a historical mystery: set against the blizzard of ’88, a smart heroine pits her wits against an evil stepmother out to destroy her.”
—Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author of the Molly Murphy and Royal Spyness mysteries
“Simpson's debut, first in a planned series, features complex characters, a vivid look at old New York in the late 1800s, and a mystery with a twist.” —Kirkus Reviews
“An engrossing, complex tale of betrayal and triumph that takes the reader deep into the heart of Gilded Age Manhattan.”
—Alyssa Maxwell, author of Murder at Rough Point
“Launching an atmospheric new series set in Gilded Age New York, Simpson incorporates historical events and figures to add verisimilitude to this tension-filled story. For mystery readers who appreciate period detail, including fans of Anne Perry’s Thomas and Charlotte Pitt mysteries.”
—Library Journal (starred review)
“Rosemary Simpson vividly recreates the world of nineteenth-century New York City in this exciting debut mystery. Every level of society intersects as we explore a world in which corruption touches both the highest and the lowest and nothing and no one is exactly what they seem.”
—Victoria Thompson, bestselling author of Murder in Morningside Heights
“This is a story to savor . . . Prudence is a stubborn, quick-witted American heroine who will remind readers of Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily Ashton and Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia Grey.”
“A beautifully crafted mystery, full of intrigue and historical atmosphere, with great characters and the potential for further adventures.”
—Catherine Lloyd, author of Death Comes to the Fair
“Richly plotted . . . Simpson anchors an appealing detective duo in a colorful and well-researched depiction of period settings and personalities.”