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Murder on Washington Square

de Victoria Thompson

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: A Gaslight Mystery (4)

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4392242,201 (3.88)18
Sarah Brandt is surprised when the son of her superstitious next-door neighbor asks for her professional advice. She is even more surprised to learn that mild-mannered Nelson Ellsworth has a mistress and has gotten her with child. When the young woman later turns up dead under the infamous hanging tree in Washington Square, Nelson is the prime suspect. Sarah knows that he must be innocent and she enlists the help of detective Frank Malloy to help her find the real killer. When the crime becomes public knowledge, Sarah and Frank must battle a legion of scandal mongering newspaper reporters who are intent on trying and convicting Nelson before he has even been charged with the crime. With the help of Nelson's mother and an ambitious reporter, Sarah must prove that, in this case at least, the victim may have been the victimizer.… (més)
Afegit fa poc perbiblioteca privada, dimajazz, ktkeith, MelMcK5, koconnell92, 4leschats, pamwurtzler

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The death of a young girl, Anna Blake, in Washington Square opens a case that pulls in her neighbors the Ellsworths. Nelson is a suspect in the girl's murder and possible embezzelment based on his involvement with the young woman. However, Sarah stands by her neighbors and pulls in Frank Malloy to investigate. The case reveals other affairs and blackmail that led to Anna's death. ( )
  4leschats | Jul 15, 2020 |
Things are -finally- starting to get interesting between the two lead characters. And Malloy finally has a lead on her husband's death........and the library doesn't have anymore of this series. ( )
  stephanie_M | Apr 30, 2020 |
Murder on Washington Square is the fourth book in Victoria Thompson's Gaslight Mystery series. Midwife/nurse Sarah Brandt's next-door neighbor, widowed Mrs. [Edna] Ellsworth, has been a member of the supporting cast since book one, Murder on Astor Place. Her usual function is nosy questions, concern for Sarah, hoping Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy will be a new Mr. Right for the young widow, and telling Sarah about whatever happened to her that involves a superstition. (Sarah doesn't believe in those superstitions, but they do seem to come true more often than not.)

Mrs. Ellsworth's adult son, Nelson, still lives with her. Nelson has a woman problem and he seeks Sarah's advice. He's terribly ashamed of himself for getting Anna Blake in trouble (an old euphemism for a unmarried woman getting pregnant). Nelson wants to do the honorable thing and marry Anna, but she wants a thousand dollars to start a new life elsewhere. She claims she doesn't want to ruin Nelson's life with scandal. Sarah is pretty skeptical about Miss Blake already. After all, at a time when an unmarried pregnant woman would gladly marry ANY man willing to give her baby his [last] name, Anna's explanation doesn't ring true.

Sarah's 'balderdash alarm' goes off even more loudly after she accompanies Nelson to Mr. & Mrs. Walcott's boarding house, where she meets Anna. Anna makes hysterical accusations that unnerve poor Nelson and try Sarah's patience. Still, neither of them expect Anna's corpse to be later found in Washington Square, let alone Nelson to be accused of her murder. It's time for Sarah to visit police headquarters and enlist the aid of Frank Malloy.

Sarah was right to be suspicious about Anna Blake. She wasn't what Nelson believed her to be. Since Nelson didn't murder her, who did? Can Sarah and Frank find out without Sarah putting her life in danger again?

This book takes place weeks after book three, Murder in Gramercy Park. A subplot in that book was Sarah knowing a surgeon who might be able to operate on Brian Malloy's club foot so Frank's three-year-old son could walk. The operation happened long enough ago to give Sarah an excuse to visit the Malloy apartment. She really does want to see how Brian is doing, and it's a reason Alma Malloy, Frank's widowed mother, can't be too nasty about. Well, Mrs. Malloy will be nasty anyway. Frank has needed his mother since his wife Kathleen died in childbirth, and Alma worries that she'll no longer be needed if her son remarries.

Another subplot is the matter of Dr. Tom Brandt's murder. It's been three years and the case was never investigated. Frank thinks that solving it is the least he can do for Sarah after she made him realize that Brian is merely deaf, not simple-minded, and after introducing him to Dr. Newton. This subplot has several books to run through yet, so don't expect a lot of progress.

NOTES:

Chapter 1: Antimacassars are those squares of cloth or doilies that used to be put on the backs and arms of chairs and sofas. (Chairs and sofas may come with their own arm protectors these days, but we don't have to worry about men's macassar hair oil staining the furniture anymore.)

Chapter 2:

a. I knew about rabbit feet and new pennies for luck, but Mrs. Ellsworth tells Sarah about nutmegs.

b. The Malloys' second floor flat is in the Seventeenth Ward, where one might hear the roar of the Second Avenue Elevated Railway.

c. Brian's eyes are described as [sky] blue again. Sarah is correct -- Brian gets his looks (including his red-gold hair), from his late mother. Given that Frank has dark eyes, I'm guessing he's a hybrid brown, as I am. Perhaps he, too, had a blue-eyed father.

d. Sarah was locked in an interrogation room in Murder on Astor Place.

e. See the author's note for more about the Maria Barberi [Barbella] case.

f. Mrs. Ellsworth saved Sarah's life in book two, Murder on St. Mark's Place..

Chapter 3: Despite Sarah frying a pork chop better than his mother does (see chapter one, Murder on St. Mark's Place.), here Frank thinks that Sarah isn't as good a cook as his mother.

Chapter 5: The scandal has upset Mr. Holsinger, who lives across the street from Sarah and the Ellsworths.

Chapter 6:

a. Mrs. Ellsworth has a superstition about hearing knocking.

b. Frank learns about a use women have for sponges. (I'm sure he'd be even more horrified by contraceptive fudge.)

Chapter 7:

a. The Decker home is near the Plaza Hotel and Marble Row on Fifth Avenue.

b. For why Mrs. Schyler isn't speaking to Mrs. Decker, see Murder on St. Mark's Place.). See the same book for the murder of Charity Girls.

c. Frank talks with Nelson about his time with Anna Blake.

Chapter 9: That Settlement House that Richard Dennis' late wife Hazel used to visit will not only be a major place of interest in the next book, Murder on Mulberry Bend, it will appear in many other books in this series.

Chapter 13: Mrs. Ellsworth explains what it means if one's left eye itches. ( )
  JalenV | Sep 12, 2019 |
Midwife Sarah Brandt receives a note from her next door neighbor Nelson Ellsworth that he would like to meet her away from their street (away from his mother), to consult her in her professional capacity.

Sarah meets with Nelson and learns he has seduced a young lady who is now with child. She won’t marry him, she only wants $1000 to disappear and raise their child. Nelson wants Sarah to go with him to Anna’s boarding house to advise him if she is really with child and to help him persuade Anna to marry him.

So begins the next murder case that Sarah Brandt with investigate with Detective Sargent Frank Malloy.

A great read combining the police, the medical, and the newspaper journalists and the privileged elites with lots of suspects! Highly recommended.

I think Ms. Thompson said it best in her afterward, “our legal system has surely not changed very much” in the past 120 years. Sex, blackmail and murder with the poor and middle class at risk of prosecution while the rich and powerful use their influence or buy their way out. ( )
  Bettesbooks | Jun 16, 2019 |
Loving this series so much! ( )
  cfulton20 | Dec 5, 2018 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Victoria Thompsonautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Chandler, KarenAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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Sarah Brandt is surprised when the son of her superstitious next-door neighbor asks for her professional advice. She is even more surprised to learn that mild-mannered Nelson Ellsworth has a mistress and has gotten her with child. When the young woman later turns up dead under the infamous hanging tree in Washington Square, Nelson is the prime suspect. Sarah knows that he must be innocent and she enlists the help of detective Frank Malloy to help her find the real killer. When the crime becomes public knowledge, Sarah and Frank must battle a legion of scandal mongering newspaper reporters who are intent on trying and convicting Nelson before he has even been charged with the crime. With the help of Nelson's mother and an ambitious reporter, Sarah must prove that, in this case at least, the victim may have been the victimizer.

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