Last Stop in Brooklyn by Lawrence H. Levy

Last Stop in Brooklyn

Lawrence H. Levy

Mary Handley, beloved and daring detective from 19th-century Brooklyn, returns to solve another dangerous set of cases, this time in Coney Island.

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It's the summer of 1894, and an infidelity case has brought PI Mary Handley to a far corner of Brooklyn: Coney Island. In the midst of her investigation, Mary is contacted by a convicted man's brother to reopen a murder case. A prostitute was killed by a Jack the Ripper copycat years ago in her New York hotel room, but her true killer was never found. Once again it's up to Mary to make right the city's wrongs.      
New York City's untouchable head of detectives, Thomas Byrnes, swears he put the right man behond bars, but as Mary digs deeper, she finds corruption at the heart of New York's justice system, involving not only the police, but the most powerful of stock titans. Disturbing evidence of other murders begins to surface, each one mimicking Jack the Ripper's style, each one covered up by Thomas Byrnes.    
As Mary pieces together the extent of the damage, she crosses paths with Harper Lloyd, an investigative reporter. Their relationship grows into a partnership, and perhaps more, and together they must catch a killer who's still out there, and reverse the ruthless workings of New York's elite. It'll be Mary's most dangerous, most personal case yet.


Advance Galley Reviews

What is eerie about Last Stop in Brooklyn by Lawrence H. Levy is how current it sounds. An investigation of adultery leads to a case about a string of murders to a story of corruption. The setting is Brooklyn in the 1890s, but so many of the conversations could be and are taking place today. Political corruption. Prejudice. Women's equality. The names and the faces have changed, but sadly, many of the conversations remain. Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/02/last-stop-in-brooklyn.html Reviewed for Penguin First to Read program.

There was something just a little bit off about this book; the characters felt one-dimensional, the dialogue stiff. I can usually tell right away whether I'll like a book (I rarely feel glad that I pushed myself to finish a book that didn't grab me after the first 50 pages or so), so a handful of chapters in, I gave up and moved on to the next book.

I love the idea of a female PI in the late 1800s. I wish I had read the other books in the series. I may go back and read them someday in the future. I liked this one so much, the others can't be bad, right?

I didn't love this one as much as I'd hoped to. Mary's anachronistic awareness of social issues is covered in too heavyhanded a manner, and a lot of the writing itself doesn't flow well, almost as if I'm reading a screenplay rather than a novel.

Mary Handley has her hands full trying to prove that her client’s brother Ameer Ben Ali is innocent in the murder of Carrie Brown. In the search for the truth Mary runs into real trouble all the while dealing with “Masculine Patronization” in an era where women were trying to get men to understand that they were stronger than men gave them credit for. Author, Lawrence H Levy’s writing of a strong, brave woman is refreshing. Mary is a spitfire and humorous to boot! Some might find her annoyingly blunt, however I didn’t. I thought she was tough when she needed to be tough and sensitive and soft when she needed to be. I loved seeing both sides of her character. Her investigative prowess is straight on, her steps always ahead of the police. There is a relationship that builds from a step in her first investigation in the book that might be not what it appears to be, only you can decide by reading the book. This book is the 3rd and final episode in the trilogy of The Mary Handley Mysteries. I didn’t read the first 2 books and I thought It held its own when it came to not having to know the back stories. I enjoyed the depth of the characters, her father, his boss Leo, Mary’s landlord, book proprietor Lazlo and the others encountered along the way. I appreciated the real people characterized in the book too, Andrew Carnegie, Russell Sage and other tycoon moguls and the realism that their voices came out as dealing with the fictional characters. Mary Handley never once cringes when she is dealing with the harsh realities of murder and takes the task in hand aptly. I felt as if she could have been a real person in modern day fighting for women’s rights and the rights of the lowest of the low as she does in the story. The only thing that I didn’t like about this book is that it ended too soon. The location of Brooklyn is part of my heritage it drew me in wanting to experience the ugly corners, like Coney Island was back in the Victorian Age and compare it to it’s modern day atmosphere. I hope that everyone wants to take that last stop in Brooklynn as I do now. Mr. Levy even has a map of Brooklyn during Mary's time that you can find Here. I think I need to go back and read the first two books and also, follow along on the map for Last Stop in Brooklyn. Please go and buy this book and the 2 proceeding books at your favorite Indie Store. For convenience you can buy at Amazon and B&N. I prefer the Indie route. I give this book a 4 out of 5 for a not so obvious mystery, the swell writing and the historical aspect of the book.

I struggled so much with this book and I wanted to love it. I went into this with the mindset that I was going to love it, but the writing just... It had a strong female protagonist and the prose would get so heavy handed with describing who she was. For example, when it came to racism, there were cues dropped both in the prose and the dialogue that she was against it, but it was in that very lackluster false protest way. It's understandable to want to distance your character from the specter of society accepted racism, but it felt clumsy and as if they were desperately trying to convince us of that. And that's the way the entire novel is. I couldn't get past the prose and I couldn't begin to like the characters for their own merits because they felt stiff and unreal as if they were paper dolls.

I did not like this. I tried to finish this but after starting and stopping over and over, it just didn't work. I made it finally 3/4's of the way through but no matter how hard I tried, I had no desire to finish. I didn't find any of the characters even remotely like able. Sorry but no more than 2 stars for me.

Another book I wanted to like more than I did. The plot was rather decent but I didn't find myself enjoying the writing style or being interested much in the characters and what they were getting up to.

While the storyline is decent, the writing is lacklustre. Too much telling and not enough showing. I felt like I wash wading through day-old porridge most of the time.

Thank you to First To Read for the ARC of Last Stop in Brooklyn by Lawrence H Levy. I love historical fiction. You open a book and submerge yourself into a long ago time period. This book missed this very important piece. I never felt I was in the 1890’s with Mary Handley a lady detective in New York City. It felt very present day with an occasional history insert of what was going on in the history of Brooklyn. Murder, falsely convicted client and police corruption should have put me on the edge of my seat but ........The story was disjointed and really wasn’t very intriguing. It had way too many stabs at trying to be funny but came across as just plain corny instead. I’m sorry to say this book was a big disappointment.

This was an excellent book! The lead character, Mary Handley, a 19th century female detective in New York City, makes a compelling protagonist. A great blend of history with mystery. I hadn't read the other books in the series, but it was no problem getting up to speed with the characters and plot. It works as a stand alone. I look forward to reading the earlier Mary Handley mysteries, and also to her future adventures! Thanks to First to Read for giving me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Last Stop in Brooklyn, an excellent treat for lovers of historical fiction, shows us the return of the celebrated Mary Handley, the first woman detective in Brooklyn. Handley brought us along to a journey within Coney Island where the death of a prostitute brings forth a copycat of the infamous and notorious British killer, Jack The Ripper. It was an exciting journey back-in-time where the you will encounter capital corruption, anarchism, inequality of both races and genders while learning your history of America so as not to repeat the mistakes twice.

I was a little annoyed that this is #3 in a series because I hate to read series out of order, but just a couple pages in, I forgot my annoyance since the story captured my interest so thoroughly. Mary Handley is a female private detective around 30 years old in the setting of 1891 New York. I love her character and her friends/family were great. This book is historical fiction because it includes some real figures and events that happened, but the main focus of the novel is a copycat Jack the Ripper style murderer. Mary is a likeable character and so daring for 1891. I hadn't realized phones were so common already then. I would definitely read more in this series.

I have to start by saying that when I requested this advanced copy, I didn't realize it was the third in a series. I just thought the summary sounded intriguing and like something I would want to read! Having said that, I appreciated that I did not HAVE to read the first two books to actually understand what was going on. This was also my VERY first galley so I wasn't sure what to expect. I know I received an uncorrected version, but I don't know how far along it was in the process. Was there still more editing to be done, or was it mostly in its final form? Given the level of writing, I had to assume there was still work to be done. I really liked the title of the novel, to start. I thought it was a clever reference to both the main setting of the novel, as well as the actual stop that Mary Handley got off at so many times. The novel was fun and enjoyable. I appreciated all of the historical references and the way the author brought in real people and turned them into characters of her own. However, I did feel that the characters were at times a bit TOO clever. They all knew exactly what to say next, and the plot unfolded a bit too perfectly. The plot did keep me guessing though. I did not guess who the murderer was and didn't see it coming. I always appreciate that from a novel.

New York in the 1890’s. Mary Handley has made a career for herself as a private investigator and she has no interest in her mother’s wish for her to get married and settle down. Harper Lloyd is an investigative reporter. These two cross paths when Mary is asked to investigate the murder of a prostitute that occurred three years earlier. The police have tried and convicted their man but his brother wants Mary to prove his innocence. Mary is convinced after she reads the trial transcript and realizes that the immigrant from Algeria, with poor English skills, was railroaded and embarks on a search for the real killer. This book is the 3rd in the series but the first that I have read. I really enjoyed how the author brought Victorian New York to life with his descriptions of the city. The book also addresses some compelling social issues which are still relevant in our current culture. The story had quite a few twists and some gripping moments which kept it lively and engaging. Mary Handley is the star of this show and I found her delightful. She’s not willing to follow “the plan” that society dictates for young women, unless she wants to. of course. I found her to be an intelligent investigator and very resourceful. Her relationship with Harper is quite entertaining and not your typical romance. This story is based on actual events of the time and features several real persons throughout. I think lovers of historical fiction and mysteries will enjoy this one.

Historical mysteries are one of my favorite kind of mystery novels and for me Last Stop In Brooklyn was a veey satisfying read. I love the character of Mary Handley and the historical details were very interesting and thought provoking. It was neat how she portrayed certain historical figures and the life of a young woman in that era and how she defied convention to pursue a profession she loved. I have never read any of the series before but I am going to rrad more and enjoy more of Mary' s adventures. Thank you First To Read for the opportunity to discover this entertaining series!

I was very much looking forward to reading this but either a corrupted file or broken link meant I was unable to download or read this book. It has been ordered online but unfortunately I won't be able to review it as per FirstToRead's guidelines. Apologies !

Mary Handley has been building her private detective business for a few years now. She agrees to take on a case for a man who fears his wife is cheating on him. It is not something she normally would pursue, but the man's mother is a friend of Mary's mother. Along with the marital fidelity case, she is also asked to look into a murder case from 3 years before. The accused man's brother is sure of his innocence and wants Mary to find proof. It seems that his brother was charged with a Jack-the-Ripper style murder, mostly on circumstantial evidence and the fact that he was Algerian. As usual, her investigation causes conflict with political powers in New York and Brooklyn. Police don't look kindly on those who say they arrested the wrong man, and the crooked cops don't want anyone looking too closely at their affairs. For those who have read Mary's other adventures, the return of Brooklyn's first female detective will be a welcome reunion of reader and character. Those who are encountering Mary for the first time, will be amazed at the painstaking recreation of 1894 New York. Many notable figures of the day have a place in the story, including - Andrew Carnegie, Jacob Riis, Russell Sage, and Theodore Roosevelt. It is incredible how many real events and people are worked into the plot. Even the booths of Coney Island, the prevailing prejudice against immigrants, and the attitudes toward women are present. Mary is a complex character with intelligence, courage, stubbornness, loyalty, and a determination to succeed despite society's restrictions and the disapproval of her own mother. Readers will be eagerly awaiting her next appearance when they reach the last page.

It was such a pleasure to read this book! Mary Handley is one hell of a private detective… and in the 19th century, no less! The book starts with an explosion, but ends with fireworks! In a time when Andrew Carnegie, Russell Sage, Jay Gould, and John Rockefeller, people were angry and frustrated and anarchy was on the rise. So was corruption in the New York Police force. Inspector Thomas Byrne joins the force and proclaims he will have Jack the Ripper apprehended in 36 hours. Well, Inspector Byrnes did apprehend someone… but was it indeed Jack the Ripper? Mary’s first case came from a family friend who suspects his wife of cheating. Little did she know it would lead to a much bigger case that speaks to what’s going on in the country. Did I mention Jack the Ripper?! This leads to Mary’s next case. Yes, she’s working two cases. While the characters are intertwined in the two cases, the cases aren’t related, but they are intriguing. Brian Murphy thinks his wife is having an affair. He hires Mary to find out if that is true. What she stumbles upon is much bigger! A key witness to the assassination attempt of Russell Sage. The witness, Brian’s wife. This leads her to meet Harper Lloyd, who becomes extremely helpful in her second case, Ameer Ben Ali. She’s hired by his brother, Basem Ben Ali to prove he is innocent of killing prostitute, Carrie Brown. Ameer is Algerian and occasionally live across the hall from Carrie. When she is murdered, Ameer is arrested, tried, and found guilty by a “jury of his peers”. Mary’s investigation takes her to Coney Island, a huge tourist attraction in a country of immigrants. While there you will meet characters who are not that intricate to the case but help you understand the time period. The opinions of immigrants were not very high, but not just for African-Americans, but for the Irish, Eastern Europeans… anyone who was different. Mary holds a different world view and was not afraid to voice those opinions. Her retorts to some of the comments will having you in stitches. Can she save Ameer from certain death or will he fall victim to a severely corrupt judicial system? The pacing was a bit slow at times, but it was full of information that helped you understand what it was like to live in Brooklyn during the 1890’s. It also gave you, as the reader, an idea of what you would have experienced during this time period. Mary’s reasoning and deduction skills are modern and amazing. So is the constant banter she has with Harper. They have really great scenes together. What really fascinated me about this book is the research that went into telling this story, as most of the characters are actual people. Some of the chapters do fly by. The writing keeps you engaged. You find yourself wanting to know what will happen to the characters in this chapter and what will happen next. This was a great book and I’m so glad I was picked to read it.

Written by Lawrence H.Levy, The Last Stop in Brooklyn is a third book in the series called A Mary Handley Mystery. The main character - Mary Handley is a female detective in a story that takes place in late 1800's. Reaction of people to a female with that type of profession in late 1800's is presented by Mary's mother who is judging her on the chosen field of work and the fact that Mary is not married in her early 30's. Beautifully weaving together mystery, history, a a dash of humor the story transports the readers to Brooklyn. Alongside with historical characters, The Last Stop in Brooklyn's fictional characters are just as interesting and well developed. The author takes the readers on the journey of a female detective as she pieces together and solves new cases.

I absolutely loved this book! Mary Handley as a private investigator is the perfect character. She doesn't care that society, as well as her mother, dictates by now she should be married. She is very independent and doesn't rely on anyone much less a man for help of any kind. When she takes what she thinks is just a typical case of an unfaithful spouse it quickly tangles her in a web of mysteries. She butts heads with Harper Lloyd who is a reporter and together they make the perfect pair to go stop a ruthless killer. Just when you think you figure out who did it another twist comes along with each turn of the page. Mary comes to realize that accepting help from someone , especially someone that you have come to care about, isn't so bad after all. Although I think this is the second book about Mary Hensley I don't think I missed anything relevant to this story. Definitely recommend this to anyone who loves a good who done it mystery!

Mary is a private detective who has been doing quite well in her business. This annoys her mother who thinks she should get married and have babies, but Mary doesn't care. When one of her friends asks her to follow his wife because he thinks she's having an affair, it dismays her but she does it. First to Read shared this book with me for a review (thank you). It will be published January 9th and you can grab a copy then. As she tails the wife, she notices someone is tailing her. When she braces him, he ask her to help him prove his brother did not kill the woman who died. She says she will think about it and get back to him. She does agree to help him. The next time she follows the wife, she finds her meeting up with a lawyer, who is her best friend's husband. She can't believe it but they go up to a room together. She can't tell anyone about it until she has some proof, so she buys a camera and film and goes back. What she finds is not an affair; it's a plan to win a case against a big money man. With multi-millionaires, devious money plans, and prejudice against foreigners there's a lot going on in this story. Mary evens finds a man she likes even though she's not very nice to him. There's death, attempted murder, pay offs and more so the trail is crooked and has lots of potholes but Mary carries on. When she figures out who the killer was, it's almost too late and it doesn't turn out like she wanted. But she keeps plugging. Mary has family squabbles, friendship problems and loses one of her clients but she doesn't give up. Mary makes her mark.

When I started reading the book, I had no idea it was Part 3 of a series. However, there were small recaps in between that meant I could read this book comfortably. Mary Handley reminds me of Nancy Drew for some reason and I loved her spunk and wit. The book reads very well and the characters are well thought of. Twists and turns were good in the beginning. However, the ending felt anti-climactic. I will not spoil it. There are bits of romance as well which I found amusing. The book is still a must-read, and I will wait for the next Mary Handley book eagerly.

Last Stop In Brooklyn is the third book in the series featuring Mary Handley, a private investigator. Set in 1894, Mary is contacted by the brother of a man who was accused of killing a prostitute years ago in. As she investigates the convicted man’s case, she discovers that there’s a Jack the Ripper copycat who is still out there. An enjoyable historical mystery. While the book can be read as a stand alone, I was curious as to how Mary knew the people she was able to access for information and help.

I was provided an ARC from Penguin Books and First to Read for my honest review. I tried to get into this book, but just couldn't. Possibly a combination of the fact it's a historical fiction book and slow to get going. I did not really care about the characters or the plot. I did not finish this book.

I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. It was a very nice, very thorough cozy mystery and i highly enjoyed reading it! It had a few twists that i did not expect and the shocking conclusion is definitely unexpected!

Scheduled to post 1/6/18. I adored LAST STOP IN BROOKLYN and Mary Handley. It's funny because I'd just finished reading a book set about 50 years prior but written about ten years ago that handled the societal norms regarding things like race horribly in a bid to be "authentic." Meanwhile I pick up this book next and it's handled wonderfully, with a self-aware character, multiple characters, who are aware of the ills of society and those with such extreme opinions on people different from them are painted in a poor light regardless of what was "normal" at the time. I loved it. Mary is a spitfire who stands on her own two feet and won't let anyone else support her. She doesn't take crap from anyone, her mother included, and is determined to find the truth, but not at the cost of the people to whom she's closest. When someone who's helping her draws the short end of the stick she puts an immediate halt to whatever it is they were doing, not willing to sacrifice everything they have along with what she's already putting up. She's a commendable person, if not stubborn and pig-headed, at times to a fault, and every once in a while she doesn't quite know when to pick her battles. Harper Lloyd is a great complement to Mary who works with her instead of against her and steps back so she can be the protagonist of her own story. They work well together and their sniping and sarcasm with each other is hilarious. The first time they meet is just the best. I liked how things were solved at the end of the book. There were pieces to the puzzle that worked out, some that eventually worked out but took a while, and some that didn't. It didn't wrap itself up in a neat little bow, which I really liked. I think it worked well with the overall tone of the book. Despite how much I liked how the pervasive racism of the time was handled, it is ultimately an idealized version of characters. That's not to say people like Mary didn't exist at the time, but racism was far more prevalent and those who fought against it were fewer. So I think the less than perfect ending worked well against the tone of the book for that reason. I just love following around smart women who don't take any crap from anyone, especially women who buck norms of their time. And that's Mary. I just bought the first book in the series because I want to start from the beginning and revel in her awesomeness from the start. I do wish, though, that Coney Island was a little more of a character in the book. I love old New York and Coney Island especially. It's not that I didn't feel it, but it didn't come off as rich as I would have liked to have seen it. Other than that it's an excellent read. 4.5 I received a copy of this book from the publisher through First to Read in exchange for an honest review.

This was my first Mary Handley novel and I'm so glad to say that this one can be read as a standalone even though it is part of a series. Mary is a woman private investigator who has had many cases in the past and has now taken on one that deals with an Algerian man being charged with a Jack the Ripper style murder that happened in New York. With crooked policemen, missing evidence, and an immigrant that doesn't have any money Mary has her work cut out for her. We get to see many different characters and a lot of real history as well incorporated into this story. At times it did feel like a few too many characters and I really didn't see the point in a few of them. Emily, for instance, was unneeded and as well as the person that was suing Sage wasn't really needed either in my opinion. Obviously, it was important in the part that it got us to meet Harper who is very important in the story and helps Mary out a lot as the story goes on. Also who the killer really was kind of disappointed me, because there was no real indication that it was that person and it came out of nowhere in my opinion. Overall I enjoyed this book for the most part, but certain parts that I mentioned above just really didn't do anything for me personally. I loved seeing a female PI during this time period and how her family was supportive for the most part. Also, the amount of support she had from certain police people and powerful men was hard to believe but also was nice to see as well. The friendship between Harper and Mary was so funny at times with the banter they had going back and forth and how they truly cared for each other, but also were able to separate themselves and still keep their work going and it didn't just become all about that person. (more of this in books please.) I'm interested to see what happens with Mary next and I kind of want to go back and read the first two books in this series.

This was my first time reading a Mary Handley mystery and I enjoyed it for the most part. Mary Handley is a strong, independent, and intelligent woman who held her own. I liked the witty banter between her and Harper Lloyd, and it was fun seeing their relationship blossom throughout the story. The one thing that I didn't like was the story felt a bit disjoined at times due to the introduction of so many characters. It was hard to keep up with at times. This is worth reading if you enjoy historical mysteries and feisty female protagonists.

Overall I enjoyed this book for a quick, fun read. I love a mystery with a twist. There were some aspects of the book that didn't work for me. The main character's thinking was more 'now' thinking, so didn't fit into the story. Also the end of the book had too many loose ends that seemed dragged out to tie them up. There was also a lot of characters to track so I found it easiest to write them down. I liked the historical parts that were added and the summary at the end of how it all tied in.

Last Stop in Brooklyn by Lawrence H. Levy is a Mary Handley Mystery set in Brooklyn in 1894, and features Jack the Ripper-like murders in Coney Island that Mary must solve in order to keep an innocent man out of jail. The third book in the Mary Handley Mystery series, this book can stand alone. Mary is a private investigator and a woman ahead of her time. She is independent, smart, insightful and perceptive, determined and funny. She is a strong lead character, and her supporting characters are entertaining and interesting. The story is fast-paced, suspenseful and has a twist that I didn't see coming. Some of the people and places really existed, lending the story a historical fiction vibe. The historical elements were well researched, as is shown in the description of the Coney Island locations, and in the notes at the end. I read this in a couple of days, I enjoyed it so much. This is a good one for fans of historical fiction, historical mysteries, and strong female protagonists.

I received my ARC and rushed to get it read during this busy holiday season. Imagine my surprise when I couldn't wait to get back to reading because I genuinely like the story. I read it as fiction and was very pleased to read that much of it included people and events that actually took place. The plot was good and took many twists and turns. Occasionally, I was a little confused about the characters but I really enjoyed following them through the story as they were extremely likeable. I appreciate the opportunity to read books that are not my usual genre'.

My fiction of choice are mysteries and that includes those where you have to figure out who done it as well as those that you know but don’t know how they are going to be caught. I will not mention which this book is as that may be a spoiler; however, I will say that it performs well. I am also prefer books about places that I am familiar with as that places me in the action. In addition, I often wonder what various locales were like in times past. Last Stop in Brooklyn meets both of these factors taking place in New York City (primarily Brooklyn) in the late 1800s, including many factual places, events and people to add to the authenticity. This book has a plot that keeps you interested, characters that are likable and believable, sub-plots that don’t get in the way of each other, and enough humor to keep you entertained. A few twists, even after the mystery is solved, make you want to read subsequent episodes. I recommend this book for anyone looking for a mystery with a little history lesson thrown in, but even if history is not your thing you should find it a good read.

While I have not read any of the other Mary Handley mysteries, this book stood well on its own. I found the writing to be somewhat irritating at times, however: for example, the book is set in the late 19th century, and our narrator is 100% appalled by every act of injustice and inequity in a way that doesn't ring true for the times - more like Levy is trying to create the most sympathetic narrator he can.The ending of the book feels a little forced, like Levy wasn't quite sure what to do or how to wrap it up, and several of the events don't ring true. The mystery itself is suspenseful, even when characters let you down, and I love historical fiction that allows you to see history genuinely being played out, like with the police and the robber barons. In short, the plot was engaging but the characters fell flat.

This was an excellent historical fiction which revolves around actual events in the mid-1890's. I am fortunate to have received an ARC of 'Last Stop in Brooklyn' by Lawrence H. Levy from First to Read for an honest review. While I have not read any of the other books in this series, I was delighted to find that it did not matter. This book easily stands alone. I found the characters to be enjoyable, not just Mary Handley and Harper Lloyd but there was a realism in even the 'bad' cops Thomas Byrnes and Alexander 'Clubber' Williams. There are some areas where a reader might want 'a suspension of belief' but only in a rather minor way. overall this was an excellent read with a very enjoyable female protagonist.

I received an early copy of the book for an honest review. I enjoyed the book. The plot had several twist and turns to keep your interest and the characters were well developed. Although there were a few things that probably would not of happened in the time period the story was set in, I still enjoyed it. So if you can overlook it not being exactly true to the time period you will probably enjoy the book.

I like the main character, lady detective Mary Handley, but the pacing is slow and somewhat disjointed. Add to it that a lot of things happen and are said that are just way too anachronistic and a likeable leading lady is no longer enough. I'm used to suspending a bit of logic for fiction, but I also like my period pieces to stay in the time they're intended and Levy kept putting words and things into the story that kept taking me out of the story completely. Totally willing to believe that a working female in the last decade of the 19th century would be afforded the kind of respect Mary gets, but then an escaping villain buys a branded hat and t-shirt at a souvenir stand a good 10 years before the later were even mildly accepted as outerwear. It's jarring. And only one of many instances where the language used and the things described derailed my reading. In the end, this read like Levy wrote a modern mystery and then just changed a couple of details after hearing that historical thrillers were all the rage. It's good writing, but the details ran away with the story.

I received an ARC of this novel from FirstToRead via Penguin Random House LLC in exchange for an honest review. Brooklyn 1894- Private Investigator Mary Handley is investigating an infidelity case when she catches a man following her. The man, Basem Ben Ali, tells Mary that his brother Ameer has been wrongly convicted of murdering a prostitute because of his race. Mary begins her investigation and soon discovers several linked cases where all of the victims appear to have been killed by the same Jack the Ripper copycat, the actual killer has not been found. The files are sealed which appears to be a cover-up to protect NY head of detectives, Thomas Byrnes. When another woman is murdered Mary teams up with Investigative reporter Harper Lloyd to find the real killer before he strikes again and free an innocent man. There are actually several parallel story lines going on at once in this novel that are all connected. This novel is fiction however the author's use of real people, places, and events added to its historical appeal. This novel address bigotry, hatred and the separation of class and sex in a highly diverse city of immigrant citizens to address the plot of the story however, it feel a little overdone at some points and a bit distracting from the plot. Mary and Harpers amorous banter was enjoyable and charming. Some of the expletive language felt a bit forced as well and not really appropriate, and although it didn't offend me, I felt it was unnecessary. Overall, this was a really enjoyable novel which I would recommend to anyone who loves cheeky female protagonists and historical mysteries.

 


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