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Murder in Little Italy

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When midwife Sarah Brandt visits Little Italy to check up on a new mother who delivered her baby just the day before, she finds the young woman dead. The family insists that the death was from complications of childbirth. Sarah thinks not. Neither does the woman's own mother, an Irishwoman who spreads the story that the girl was murdered by her Italian in-laws, the Ruoccos When midwife Sarah Brandt visits Little Italy to check up on a new mother who delivered her baby just the day before, she finds the young woman dead. The family insists that the death was from complications of childbirth. Sarah thinks not. Neither does the woman's own mother, an Irishwoman who spreads the story that the girl was murdered by her Italian in-laws, the Ruoccos-an accusation that inflames tensions between the two immigrant groups. A second death in the tenements nearly leads to riots in the streets as political factions and organized crime take sides and square off over wild rumors and newspaper accusations. Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy is going to need Sarah's help to unravel the secrets of these troubled families, bring a killer to justice-and restore order to the volatile community.


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When midwife Sarah Brandt visits Little Italy to check up on a new mother who delivered her baby just the day before, she finds the young woman dead. The family insists that the death was from complications of childbirth. Sarah thinks not. Neither does the woman's own mother, an Irishwoman who spreads the story that the girl was murdered by her Italian in-laws, the Ruoccos When midwife Sarah Brandt visits Little Italy to check up on a new mother who delivered her baby just the day before, she finds the young woman dead. The family insists that the death was from complications of childbirth. Sarah thinks not. Neither does the woman's own mother, an Irishwoman who spreads the story that the girl was murdered by her Italian in-laws, the Ruoccos-an accusation that inflames tensions between the two immigrant groups. A second death in the tenements nearly leads to riots in the streets as political factions and organized crime take sides and square off over wild rumors and newspaper accusations. Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy is going to need Sarah's help to unravel the secrets of these troubled families, bring a killer to justice-and restore order to the volatile community.

30 review for Murder in Little Italy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Phrynne

    I am beginning to think that historical mysteries are my favourite of genres and when they consist of a long series I am at my happiest. Murder in Little Italy is number eight in this series which is getting better and better as it progresses. The author is very good at teasing the reader with possibilities which always almost happen and then become promises for the next book - or the next. Will Frank and Sarah ever get together? Will they ever discover the truth of her husband’s murder? We just I am beginning to think that historical mysteries are my favourite of genres and when they consist of a long series I am at my happiest. Murder in Little Italy is number eight in this series which is getting better and better as it progresses. The author is very good at teasing the reader with possibilities which always almost happen and then become promises for the next book - or the next. Will Frank and Sarah ever get together? Will they ever discover the truth of her husband’s murder? We just have to keep coming back to find out.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jonetta

    Sarah Brandt is summoned to attend to the birth of a supposedly premature baby in Little Italy but she’s amazed when she ends up delivering a healthy and robust boy. It’s obvious that the gestation date is off by a couple of months, which sets off a firestorm in the Ruocco family as the baby’s paternity is now in question. When she returns to check on the mother and child the next morning, she walks into chaos as the mother’s death is discovered. It’s murder when Sarah determines her death isn’t Sarah Brandt is summoned to attend to the birth of a supposedly premature baby in Little Italy but she’s amazed when she ends up delivering a healthy and robust boy. It’s obvious that the gestation date is off by a couple of months, which sets off a firestorm in the Ruocco family as the baby’s paternity is now in question. When she returns to check on the mother and child the next morning, she walks into chaos as the mother’s death is discovered. It’s murder when Sarah determines her death isn’t related to the childbirth. I figured out the baby’s paternity rather quickly but it was terribly entertaining to follow Frank Malloy and Sarah as they try and untangle this mess. It took me a little longer to figure out the identity of the killer as the clues were murky and the list of potential suspects was just about everyone in the family! I loved the ease in which Frank and Sarah now operate with each other and there are a couple of really tender moments. We’re getting close....! The author gets so much right about turn-of-the-century (early 1900s) New York. Every book is an educational experience nestled in between an interesting mystery. This one shines a light on the prejudices against the Irish and Italian immigrant communities, a sad commentary on how little has changed in over a century. Still loving this series.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Melisa

    These books go down like a smooth glass of wine.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tamar overwhelmed by work - on temporary hiatus

    Did I really just erase my review!?! Aughhh. It was a melancholy review so maybe it's just as well. I was brooding over the fact that this is the last of the GM's read by Callie Beaulieu. I have grown so used to her voice that when I read GM#9&10 I wanted to boo Suzanne Toren off the stage (no offense ST, but your reading of Sarah Brandt and Frank Malloy have forever changed the vision of them in my imagination - the former now sounds dowdy and the latter gruff - where's the romance in that????? Did I really just erase my review!?! Aughhh. It was a melancholy review so maybe it's just as well. I was brooding over the fact that this is the last of the GM's read by Callie Beaulieu. I have grown so used to her voice that when I read GM#9&10 I wanted to boo Suzanne Toren off the stage (no offense ST, but your reading of Sarah Brandt and Frank Malloy have forever changed the vision of them in my imagination - the former now sounds dowdy and the latter gruff - where's the romance in that?????). Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I can try to pick up where I left off…where was I?....Oh, yes. Sarah Brandt is called to the Italian immigrant family who live above their successful (and Sarah’s favorite) Italian Restaurant. She must deliver a vastly premature baby to the fifteen year old wife of the family’s youngest son. What ho? This vastly premature infant is a robust full-term baby and everyone is counting the months back to the time that the couple first met (about five or six months prior to the delivery). The quick -tempered Italian Matriarch barely tolerated her daughter-in-law to begin with but now she is hurling insult after insult to the “Irish Mick” whore who ensnared her youngest son – lots of prejudice here between the immigrant classes. Mama Ruocco tells the daughter-in-law, in no uncertain terms, that she is to pack up and crawl back home to her mother because she and the baby are not welcome in her house. Sarah convinces Mama Ruocco that the DIL only just delivered the baby and that she should at least be able to rest the night and leave in the morning. DIL could care less about the baby she has just delivered, who is a terrible inconvenience, and she is happy to let her barren SIL M help out in the meantime. Sarah returns in the morning, and what do you know? DIL is found dead in her bed. Sarah suspects murder, rival gang turf war in stirring in the streets, she calls in Frank, and the fun begins…..this book was a little more obvious than some of the others. It’s not too hard to figure out who committed the murder and why – nor is it hard to figure out who is the father – but there are still twists and turns to enjoy as well as the chemistry between Frank and Sarah (and the final performance by CB).

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tammie

    When midwife Sarah Brandt visits Little Italy to check up on a new mother who delivered her baby just the day before, she finds the young woman dead. The family insists that the death was from complications of childbirth. Sarah thinks not. This has got to be my least favorite book of the series. I did not enjoy this one as much as the others mainly because the family that the mystery surrounded just really grated on my nerves. None of them were very likeable, and I had a hard time caring what h When midwife Sarah Brandt visits Little Italy to check up on a new mother who delivered her baby just the day before, she finds the young woman dead. The family insists that the death was from complications of childbirth. Sarah thinks not. This has got to be my least favorite book of the series. I did not enjoy this one as much as the others mainly because the family that the mystery surrounded just really grated on my nerves. None of them were very likeable, and I had a hard time caring what happened to any of them. And once again the mystery was easy to solve. I also would have liked more development of the subplots that have been a part of the series, but hardly anything happened there. Review also posted at Writings of a Reader

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    I'm glad that after I read eight books of this series I like it as much as in the beginning and the stories remain satisfyingly interesting and the main characters develop in each instalment and their personal stories aren't getting boring! The mystery in this instalment was very intriguing and even though I guessed right until some point I couldn't imagine the final resolution! I felt sorry at the end! As for Sarah and Frank Malloy they are absolutely adorable! Missed Malloy's interaction with Br I'm glad that after I read eight books of this series I like it as much as in the beginning and the stories remain satisfyingly interesting and the main characters develop in each instalment and their personal stories aren't getting boring! The mystery in this instalment was very intriguing and even though I guessed right until some point I couldn't imagine the final resolution! I felt sorry at the end! As for Sarah and Frank Malloy they are absolutely adorable! Missed Malloy's interaction with Brian though in this instalment! Can't wait to read the next book!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    Midwife Sarah Brant is called to the Ruocco family for a birth in their home over their Italian restaurant. Antonio’s new Irish wife is in labor, but she is two months early. However, when the baby arrives, Sarah begins to suspect that the baby is actually full term and Nainsi lied about when she got pregnant. When Sarah returns for her follow up visit the next day, she finds that Nainsi died in the night – although she quickly realizes that Nainsi didn’t die from complications from child birth Midwife Sarah Brant is called to the Ruocco family for a birth in their home over their Italian restaurant. Antonio’s new Irish wife is in labor, but she is two months early. However, when the baby arrives, Sarah begins to suspect that the baby is actually full term and Nainsi lied about when she got pregnant. When Sarah returns for her follow up visit the next day, she finds that Nainsi died in the night – although she quickly realizes that Nainsi didn’t die from complications from child birth and sends for Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy. Since Frank is Irish, his presence draws suspicion from the family. As the racial tensions in the city over this incident begin to rise, Frank must find a way to solve the case. Can he do it with Sarah’s help? This is another engrossing trip back in time. These books suck me into another time and place. The mystery here is strong and takes up much of the book, only allowing for brief updates on ongoing stories. However, the case is more than enough to keep us turning pages. Frank and Sarah continue to be strong leads. Frank is a little more dominant in this book, but Sarah still makes significant contributions to solving the case. There are twists, red herrings, and a strong group of suspects. I really could have believed anyone was guilty until Frank and Sarah figured things out at the end. As always, this book was over all too quickly. You can bet I’ll be back in time with these characters soon. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    I can't stop reading this series! Fun, easy read! This is #8 in the Gaslight series. This time, Sarah is called to Little Italy to deliver a baby. The Ruocco family's home is above their Italian restaurant. Sarah Brandt soon finds herself in the middle of trouble. The baby could not possibly be that of Antonio Ruocco, the supposed father of the child. Nainsi O'Hara is the baby's mother. Nainsi's mother-in-law, Patrizia, the matriarch of this Italian famity is furious. She believes her son has be I can't stop reading this series! Fun, easy read! This is #8 in the Gaslight series. This time, Sarah is called to Little Italy to deliver a baby. The Ruocco family's home is above their Italian restaurant. Sarah Brandt soon finds herself in the middle of trouble. The baby could not possibly be that of Antonio Ruocco, the supposed father of the child. Nainsi O'Hara is the baby's mother. Nainsi's mother-in-law, Patrizia, the matriarch of this Italian famity is furious. She believes her son has been tricked into marrying Nainsi. She wants Nainsi to be thrown out of the house immediately. Sarah convinces Patrizia to let Nainsi stay until she has recovered from chilbirth. Sarah returns the following morning to check on Nainsi only to find her dead. When Nainsi's mother arrives a short time later, she becomes hysterical and begins screaming that the Italian family killed her daughter. She calls the police. Sarah ends up once again working with Detective Frank Malloy, who has been directed by Commissioner Teddy Roosevelt to solve this crime. It is important that the crime be solved quickly --the death has sparked a series of riots between Italian and Irish gangs.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mei

    The desire of a wannabe mother can bring on many, many bad things... This crime made me sad... :(

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lata

    Just like all the previous books, the case isn’t all that hard to figure out. The relationships keep bringing me back, as -Sarah and Frank keep edging closer -Sarah and Aggie make progress -We meet Gino Donatelli, one of the new Italian cops on the force and Frank and he begin working together well.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    Maybe I just don't read enough mystery books, but this one had me guessing the whole time. When I thought I had the solution, the tables would turn. Up to the very end, I had no idea. What I really love about this series is that it reminds me of one of these crime shows, like an olden day CSI, without fingerprints and DNA, or Law and Order without the courtroom drama. And they are very well written. I was hoping to see more of a love story develop here in this book, but I know I have a ways to go Maybe I just don't read enough mystery books, but this one had me guessing the whole time. When I thought I had the solution, the tables would turn. Up to the very end, I had no idea. What I really love about this series is that it reminds me of one of these crime shows, like an olden day CSI, without fingerprints and DNA, or Law and Order without the courtroom drama. And they are very well written. I was hoping to see more of a love story develop here in this book, but I know I have a ways to go before we get to see this ship sail. For now, I'll take the little moments and gush.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Murder in Little Italy 4 Stars Well written as always with a realistic portrayal of the animosities and conflicts between the different ethnicities in New York at the turn of the century, which adds to the authenticity of the mystery. Although the culprit isn't as obvious as in previous books, it is possible to figure out the "who-dun-it" by following the clues and conversations. Frank and Sarah's slow burn romance is going strong. While some readers find this a little annoying, for me it makes sen Murder in Little Italy 4 Stars Well written as always with a realistic portrayal of the animosities and conflicts between the different ethnicities in New York at the turn of the century, which adds to the authenticity of the mystery. Although the culprit isn't as obvious as in previous books, it is possible to figure out the "who-dun-it" by following the clues and conversations. Frank and Sarah's slow burn romance is going strong. While some readers find this a little annoying, for me it makes sense both because of the time period and because the genre of historical mystery and not historical romance. Overall, another engaging story in the series. Recommended for fans of cozy mysteries with light romance.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Minx

    I am enjoying this series, lol, which I am kind of binge reading. I am waiting and waiting and waiting for the moment everything changes between Sarah and Malloy. The mystery behind the murderer was a little obvious to me but still well done. I am eager to see what comes next :D.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anne - Books of My Heart

    I continue to love this series! This installment had very little on the personal front and no Brian! Malloy is certainly making a name for himself in homicide.

  15. 5 out of 5

    A.M.G. ☮Hippie/Fantasia☮

    Rating: 5 / 5 As expected with anything Italian related, of course this was a great mystery with an unexpected ending. Picking up where we left off from the previous mystery (as now the interludes between the events of the books are just a few days rather than the months-long interludes that they were near the beginning of the series) we have Sarah Brandt, as always, called to deliver a baby and thus interrupt her daily routine. Next day, BOOM: murder. Obviously, she finds a way to drag Frank ont Rating: 5 / 5 As expected with anything Italian related, of course this was a great mystery with an unexpected ending. Picking up where we left off from the previous mystery (as now the interludes between the events of the books are just a few days rather than the months-long interludes that they were near the beginning of the series) we have Sarah Brandt, as always, called to deliver a baby and thus interrupt her daily routine. Next day, BOOM: murder. Obviously, she finds a way to drag Frank onto the scene, and thus begins another labourious affair at finding out the truth. This time though, our dear Teddy Roosevelt--whom I'm loving as a character, by the way, very interesting to see him represented in his pre-president days as a police commissioner--gets involved, as this particular murder has sparked some "bad blood" between the Irish and the Italians. Strictly speaking, I don't know about this sort of conflict, so I can't speak for what it's about per se except that their forms of Catholicism maybe aren't the same, but in any case it's interesting to see how the author represents their respective communities, although of course it's the Italian one that she mainly focuses on. Basically, what I appreciated is bringing a bigger issue to light in this novel rather than sticking small and just focusing on the murder itself. It's just a great tool to expose the communal dynamics in a place as crowded and as diverse as New York City, even back in the 1890s, it turns out. (Expecting some of the same thing in the next novel of the series that focuses on Chinatown, actually.) On other developing fronts, it seems that Aggie shall now be known as 'Catherine', her true name. Not as cute-sounding, perhaps, but I'm sure we'll get used to it. Other than that, there's one short yet tender moment between Frank and Sarah, but that's about it for the "extra tidbits" portion of this novel. A lot of it really did focus on the central conflict around the murder in Little Italy, but the family dynamics of that were so great that maybe the author just didn't feel that it was necessary or didn't have room to include more personal details of Frank and Sarah's lives and interactions in this one. (It means no Brian though, boo hoo!) Still, no problems there, because the story was entertaining enough without it. Still going strong on this series, no intention of stopping as of yet--on to the next one!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Winkler

    Murder in Little Italy was a suspenseful mystery that kept me guessing until the very end. Nainsi O’Hara Ruocco was a little Irish factory worker who met and married Antonio Ruocco within a few days. Nainsi seemed to be a spoiled girl who was determined to scrape out a better life for herself, but she ended up dead after pushing someone too far. Nainsi’s mother, Mrs. O’Hara, after hearing the Ruocco’s accusations and threats to throw her out, is determined to claim her grandson and raise him on Murder in Little Italy was a suspenseful mystery that kept me guessing until the very end. Nainsi O’Hara Ruocco was a little Irish factory worker who met and married Antonio Ruocco within a few days. Nainsi seemed to be a spoiled girl who was determined to scrape out a better life for herself, but she ended up dead after pushing someone too far. Nainsi’s mother, Mrs. O’Hara, after hearing the Ruocco’s accusations and threats to throw her out, is determined to claim her grandson and raise him on her own. Mrs. O’Hara firmly believes, as does Malloy, that one of the Ruoccos must be the murderer. They all seem to have motive and they all certainly had the opportunity, but how do you pressure someone to help convict a sibling of murder? Mama Ruocco rules the household and the family restaurant with an iron fist. Nothing seems to happen under her roof without her hearing about it and her word is law. Giuseppe or Joe is the oldest boy. He is handsome and charming, but doesn’t treat his wife very well and doesn’t seem to be as interested in supporting the family as he is in drinking and dancing. Maria, Joe’s wife, is pretty plain and quiet, but she helps everyone and has become very attached to the new baby. Maria is determined to keep the baby as her own, which is understandable as she has no children and is not likely to have any in the future. Lorenzo, the middle brother, is a contented bachelor and he is in no hurry to get married. He seems to care a great deal for Maria, however, but how deep does his devotion go? Antonio, the baby boy, is just a teenager himself and is not very familiar with the ways of the world. He is too naive to even know that Nainsi’s baby wasn’t his until his mother tells him. Valentina, the only daughter, is the youngest of the family and is spoiled rotten. Their Uncle Ugo is rumored to be the leader of the Black Hand, an Italian terrorist group that forces everyone in the neighborhood to pay collection money for their safety. Ugo wouldn’t even have to kill Nainsi himself, he could have sent one of his minions to take care of the deed. Unfortunately, everyone in the Ruocco family is convinced someone else committed the crime and no one is interested in helping Malloy solve the case. Malloy is instructed by Police Commissioner Teddy Roosevelt to handle the crime, just as he was in the case of Mr. Van Dyke. It appears that Malloy is finally getting a reputation as an honorable policeman who will handle cases with discretion, tact and without taking bribes. I feel that it is about time that Malloy is recognized for being a cut above the rest! Unfortunately, the attention really doesn’t do anything to help Malloy’s career. He isn’t able to make any additional money by accepting bribes or rewards and most of the cases he is assigned are politically sensitive or almost impossible to solve. Malloy had to use some really creative tactics to interview the Ruocco family, let alone collect enough evidence to convict. Fortunately, he has a new officer working on the case with him, an Officer Gino Donatelli. He is one of the new officers hired after Commissioner Roosevelt changed the requirements for police officers. Now the force is accepting Jews, Italians, and any other qualified man who applies. Women, of course, are still not allowed on the force and the only woman who works at Police Headquarters is Teddy Roosevelt’s secretary. Donatelli was instrumental in solving the case, as was Sarah Brandt. Sarah, of course, stumbles across critical information by accident and sometimes passes on critical things to Malloy, but doesn’t always realize what is the most important. Sarah is good at gathering information, but Malloy is much better at actually solving the crimes. If Malloy could be present when Sarah is talking to people, he would solve the case much more rapidly, but then the story would be over too quickly! The mystery was an interesting one, but the setting itself is always more interesting. This time, there is a feud between the Irish and the Italian immigrants. It is turn-of-the-century New York City and there are strict rules about social status and living quarters. Each immigrant race lives in its own section of New York and other races are not really welcome. Midwives such as Sarah are typically welcome in any neighborhood, while policemen like Malloy aren’t really welcome anywhere. When the newspapers get hold of the luridly exaggerated tale of Nainsi Ruocco’s death, war breaks out between the Italians and the Irish. The Ruocco family runs a successful Italian restaurant so they are an easy target for drunken, angry mobs. Mrs. O’Hara, Nainsi’s mother, cleverly gets some politicians involved from Tammany Hall (a notoriously corrupt place) and they incite Irishmen to attack the Italian neighborhood. While Victoria Thompson doesn’t go into detail about why these two groups dislike each other, she mentions it briefly in previous books. Turns out that the Irish were considered the lowest of the low when they moved to New York City. Now that the Italians are arriving in larger numbers, they have replaced the Irish as the low man on the totem pole. These two races are rivals for a lot of the same jobs and each wants the other to be considered beneath them. The human race is never happier than when they feel superior to another group, no matter how poor they are. In all honesty, the Italian and Irish families lived in very similar housing tenements and were run by the same type of mobs. They also both valued family highly and had rigid social structures within their own communities. Rather than bonding together through all they had in common, they worked hard to tear the other group down and believed that they were superior in every way. In other news, Malloy is still hesitant to investigate the death of Dr. Tom Brandt, Sarah’s dead husband. He is worried that Sarah won’t be able to accept the truth in regards to Tom’s death, but he doesn’t trust anyone else to run the investigation. We don’t get to see Brian, Malloy’s three-year-old son, in this book, but we do get to learn a bit more about Aggie, Sarah’s four-year-old ward. Turns out that Aggie’s real name is Catherine and she is deathly afraid of whiskey. I am sure that there is a family out there somewhere looking for this little girl, but she doesn’t talk so we don’t know that much about her. Hopefully a future mystery will address this and we will get to learn more about this little girl! Most of the book takes place in Little Italy or near police headquarters so there is always something going on. I was fairly confident that someone in the Ruocco household murdered Nainsi, but I was a bit shocked to discover who the real killer was. They were pretty smart and they fooled just about everyone, but a little lie caught them in the end. The ending was kind of bittersweet, actually, even though I suspected the identity of the baby’s father from the first pages. It is amazing what we will do for love!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    3.5 STARS This is probably my least favorite book of the series thus far. I disliked all the mystery characters, and little occurred personally between Malloy and Sarah. I enjoyed the new policeman and the cameos by TR were fantastic.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    3 stars. A typical Gaslight Mystery. The author is really drawing out the side story of Malloy solving the murder of Sarah's husband. It's my favorite story line in this series, but sadly was barely mentioned in this installment. Popsugar 2020-Advanced-A book from a series with more than 20 books. 3 stars. A typical Gaslight Mystery. The author is really drawing out the side story of Malloy solving the murder of Sarah's husband. It's my favorite story line in this series, but sadly was barely mentioned in this installment. Popsugar 2020-Advanced-A book from a series with more than 20 books.

  19. 4 out of 5

    AM

    This review applies to all the Gaslight Mysteries by Victoria Thompson that I have read to date: Murder in Chinatown, Murder in Little Italy, Murder in Lenox Hill, Murder on Bank Street, and Murder in Gramercy Park. OK, I have to admit it: Sarah Brandt and the Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy are growing on me. I have gotten over expecting great detail and seamless narration; realistic emotional displays are obviously too much to ask for from our main characters-- I can deal with that. I can suspe This review applies to all the Gaslight Mysteries by Victoria Thompson that I have read to date: Murder in Chinatown, Murder in Little Italy, Murder in Lenox Hill, Murder on Bank Street, and Murder in Gramercy Park. OK, I have to admit it: Sarah Brandt and the Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy are growing on me. I have gotten over expecting great detail and seamless narration; realistic emotional displays are obviously too much to ask for from our main characters-- I can deal with that. I can suspend my disbelief for a little while and just enjoy the story. I recommend these books as an easy, stress-free read. Good for the beach or a flight or train ride. You only need to invest a small portion of your brain to comprehend these books, so they are great for when your attention is divided, or you just need something to pass the time. I read 4 of them back to back, and was really enjoying them. Then I finished Murder on Bank Street, and picked up the next book on my to-read pile: A set of novellas by Edith Wharton called Old New York. I think something in my brain said these novellas would be a logical next step in my journey-- set in the New York of the latter 1800s, these stories deal with the behind the scenes life of the upper class. A perfect segue, right? I opened the first novella and the language instantly blew me away! That is when I realized that while the Gaslight Mysteries are a fine way to pass an hour or two without expending a great deal of brain power, they were like a Harlequin romance in comparison to Edith Wharton! The differences were as clear as watching Guiding Light, and then watching Citizen Kane, or Gone with the Wind. Each genre has its place, but neither can be mistaken for the other.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amanda McGill

    For full review - The Limit of Books Does Not Exist For those who have never heard of the Gaslight Mystery series before, I would highly recommend it! I remember going in thinking that it was a cozy mystery, but oh man it’s not considered a cozy. There are some very mature themes in the novels and nothing is off limits. The Gaslight series takes place at the turn of the century in New York City and follows midwife, Sarah Brandt, and police detective, Frank Malloy. In the 8th novel, a young married For full review - The Limit of Books Does Not Exist For those who have never heard of the Gaslight Mystery series before, I would highly recommend it! I remember going in thinking that it was a cozy mystery, but oh man it’s not considered a cozy. There are some very mature themes in the novels and nothing is off limits. The Gaslight series takes place at the turn of the century in New York City and follows midwife, Sarah Brandt, and police detective, Frank Malloy. In the 8th novel, a young married woman gives birth, but when Sarah goes in to check on her the next day, she is found dead. Now there is a fight between the in-laws on who gets the baby, which sparks a bigger Italian vs Irish rivalry which leads to another death. I really enjoy this series and I always feel so cozy and warm when I can re-connect with Sarah and Malloy. I love the two of them together and really want them to get together!! I found that this book was lacking compared to the other books in the series. I think it was because I guessed who the killer was right away. There was also not many subplots to get away from the main storyline. I can’t believe Malloy’s mother and son weren’t even in the novel!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Peggy

    The local midwife, Mrs. Brandt is called to deliver a baby to an Irish girl married into an Italian family. Upon delivery, the family realizes that the baby could not possibly be their sons as it is a full term baby and the couple had only known each other 7 months. They feel cheated and tell the girl that she and her bastard must leave the next day. Unfortunately for Nainsi, she is murdered that night. Thus starts the investigation by Mrs.Brant and her gentleman friend Detective Frank Malloy t The local midwife, Mrs. Brandt is called to deliver a baby to an Irish girl married into an Italian family. Upon delivery, the family realizes that the baby could not possibly be their sons as it is a full term baby and the couple had only known each other 7 months. They feel cheated and tell the girl that she and her bastard must leave the next day. Unfortunately for Nainsi, she is murdered that night. Thus starts the investigation by Mrs.Brant and her gentleman friend Detective Frank Malloy to find the killer among a whole family of suspects. What started as a fast moving story ended up getting bogged down by repeated conversations between Brandt and Malloy as they kept rehashing what they already knew. There were no surprises to this reader as the murderer and the motive were evident from the beginning. I did enjoy the historical background--New York city in the late 1800's, Tamany Hall, Teddy Roosevelt as police commissioner and the animosity between the Irish and Italians at the time. So I will read some more Gaslight Mysteries to see if they are more intriquing.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Emily Smiley

    While I love the Sarah Brandt and Frank Malloy, the actual mystery in this one was WAY too predictable. I knew "who-done-it" before the crime was even committed! So for the rest of the book, it annoyed me that Frank and Sarah couldn't see it. (Yes, I know I'm a nerd) While I love the Sarah Brandt and Frank Malloy, the actual mystery in this one was WAY too predictable. I knew "who-done-it" before the crime was even committed! So for the rest of the book, it annoyed me that Frank and Sarah couldn't see it. (Yes, I know I'm a nerd)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mo

    This was an enjoyable book, but it was almost a stand-alone. None of the subplots received more than cursory attention. It feels like the series has stalled a bit.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    Midwife Sarah Brandt is called to Little Italy to help Nainsi Ruocco who is in labor in her seventh month of pregnancy. Worried that the baby will not survive, Sarah is surprised when Nainsi gives birth to a chubby baby boy. When Nainsi's mother-in-law sees the baby, she knows that this baby was conceived long before Nainsi met Anthonio Ruocco. Mama Ruocco orders Nainsi and the baby leave in the morning. When Sarah makes a quick visit in the morning to check on the baby, she finds Nainsi dead in Midwife Sarah Brandt is called to Little Italy to help Nainsi Ruocco who is in labor in her seventh month of pregnancy. Worried that the baby will not survive, Sarah is surprised when Nainsi gives birth to a chubby baby boy. When Nainsi's mother-in-law sees the baby, she knows that this baby was conceived long before Nainsi met Anthonio Ruocco. Mama Ruocco orders Nainsi and the baby leave in the morning. When Sarah makes a quick visit in the morning to check on the baby, she finds Nainsi dead in her bed. The Ruocco family believe that the death was due to complications from childbirth; but Sarah calls Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy because she believes that Nainsi was murdered. The close-knit Italian family did not like the fact that Anthonio had married Nainsi who was Irish. They also don't like that an Irish detective in investigating the case. When the newspapers print a story saying that Nainsi was murdered by someone in the family, tensions between Italian and Irish immigrants grow hostile. Malloy wants to keep Sarah out of this potentially explosive situation, but Sarah isn't about to stop asking questions. This is another interesting story in the Gaslight Mysteries series. I figured out the identity of the killer early in the book, but didn't guess the father of the baby. Once again the historical setting and the characters make this series a winner. My rating: 4 Stars.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Gonzalez

    As you can guess from the title, this story takes Sarah Brandt into Little Italy. She is called there to deliver a baby from a young married couple - the man is Italian, the wife is Irish. Since they've only known each other and been married less than 7 months, everyone is surprised when the baby is delivered looking full term. That immediately sends the family into a tailspin wondering who the father of the baby really is. The day after the birth, the young Irish mother is found dead. Due to th As you can guess from the title, this story takes Sarah Brandt into Little Italy. She is called there to deliver a baby from a young married couple - the man is Italian, the wife is Irish. Since they've only known each other and been married less than 7 months, everyone is surprised when the baby is delivered looking full term. That immediately sends the family into a tailspin wondering who the father of the baby really is. The day after the birth, the young Irish mother is found dead. Due to the era this series takes place, it's high tension between the Italian community and the Irish community and leads to several riots. The Irish believe the Italians murdered her to steal her baby. Detective Frank Malloy is dispatched to find the killer, and Sarah and Frank team up again. The Italian community is distrusting of Frank with his Irish background. He teams up with an Italian police officer to bridge the trust. I liked the new police officer, and hope to see them teaming again.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Kallenberger Marzola

    Another great book in this series. I love this series and everything that I learn about this time in the not to distant past. Frank is becoming more involved with Sarah and the upper crust of the time. Teddy Roosevelt calls Frank to help prevent a major incident between the Irish and Italian residents of the city. It is fun working through the clues with Frank and Sarah using the old gumshoe methods before DNA or even fingerprints. I enjoy reading about an event or custom that sends me on my own Another great book in this series. I love this series and everything that I learn about this time in the not to distant past. Frank is becoming more involved with Sarah and the upper crust of the time. Teddy Roosevelt calls Frank to help prevent a major incident between the Irish and Italian residents of the city. It is fun working through the clues with Frank and Sarah using the old gumshoe methods before DNA or even fingerprints. I enjoy reading about an event or custom that sends me on my own research to learn more about the era. The ancillary characters are an essential part of the series. Mrs. Ellsworth, Catherine, Maeve, the Deckers, and the recurring policemen. They all add to the enjoyment of the story. I hope we are seeing a new recurring character in Officer Donatelli. His crush on Sarah is cute and a little irritating for Frank. He is a wonderful addition to the series. Now back for more.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Barbara M

    This was the audio edition. I've read a number of the Victoria Thompson's books staring the mid-wife Sarah Brandt and Inspector Malloy. This is the eighth in the Gaslight Series. As usual, most of the time, the mystery starts with the midwife Ms. Brandt is called out for a delivery. This time she's off to Little Italy where a possible premature baby is about to be born. Turns out the baby is not premature and that baffles the family since this quite young mother and her very young husband had adm This was the audio edition. I've read a number of the Victoria Thompson's books staring the mid-wife Sarah Brandt and Inspector Malloy. This is the eighth in the Gaslight Series. As usual, most of the time, the mystery starts with the midwife Ms. Brandt is called out for a delivery. This time she's off to Little Italy where a possible premature baby is about to be born. Turns out the baby is not premature and that baffles the family since this quite young mother and her very young husband had admitted they eloped because she was expecting, the baby is way more mature than it should have been. That's not the real mystery. Sarah leaves the home to return the next day as she usually does and finds that the mother is dead of mysterious causes. Call Inspector Malloy and the story takes off. It was a good mystery but not a good audio and this lost points because of it. I was quite disappointed in the reader. It seemed to me that she read this as if it was an old hard-boiled detective novel. She really didn't have much inflection or emotion in the reading and, although she made an attempt at the Italian and the Irish accents it wasn't good and she couldn't carry it throughout a conversation. Very disappointing reading of a series I've very much enjoyed in print.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    I loved the mystery of this one. An Irish gal marries an Italian, has a baby and ends up dead. The girl's mother starts spreading the news that her daughter was murdered by the Italians and the volatile communities take to the street for justice. Sarah and Frank have to work together to keep the family safe and solve the murder in time to prevent violence. I loved the interplay of characters in this mystery. It was a lot of fun. The author is brilliant at setting the historical scene and she rea I loved the mystery of this one. An Irish gal marries an Italian, has a baby and ends up dead. The girl's mother starts spreading the news that her daughter was murdered by the Italians and the volatile communities take to the street for justice. Sarah and Frank have to work together to keep the family safe and solve the murder in time to prevent violence. I loved the interplay of characters in this mystery. It was a lot of fun. The author is brilliant at setting the historical scene and she really brings it to life.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lynne Tull

    Again, good mystery. in the back of your mind you think you know who did it. Then, you are thrown a curve. The setting in turn-of-the-century New York City gives a good view of the times without overpowering the story. The H/H are still testing their chemistry and how they could ever be a couple in these times with their different backgrounds. Still recommending.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    A good mystery that kept me guessing. This is a vivid look into the Italian immigrant community in New York and the potent rivalry between the Italians and the Irish, who'd arrived first and staked out positions of power. A good mystery that kept me guessing. This is a vivid look into the Italian immigrant community in New York and the potent rivalry between the Italians and the Irish, who'd arrived first and staked out positions of power.

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