Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy is busy investigating a warehouse theft, when he is summoned by no other than Mr. Felix Decker, one of the richest and most powerful men in New York. Of course, disobeying the summons is not an option, so Frank meets the man, like requested, at the noble Knickerbocker Club. A member of the exclusive gentlemen’s club, Mr. Chilton Devries, was found dead in the library and Mr. Decker want’s the situation handled efficiently and of course discreetly. The fact, that Frank has absolutely no idea if Decker really wants the case solved or not is not exactly helping matters.
Midwife Sarah Brandt is more than just a little bit surprised when her father shows up at her home to ask her, if she is willing to accompany her mother to the family of the recently deceased for a condolence call and to see if she can learn something useful. There are a lot of things, especially in high society circles, that a policeman, even a competent one like Malloy, will never be able to find out.
Once in her life, Sarah is actually happy to obey her fathers wishes.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Decker is very pleased to hear, that her husband has arranged for Detective Frank Malloy to investigate the case. Even more so, because with Malloy in charge and her daughter as company, she herself gets another shot at sleuthing. Also, Elisabeth Decker is positive that her husband has more reasons than the obvious ones to put Detective Malloy to the test, so to speak.
Between them, it doesn’t take long to determine, that the dead man will be neither missed nor mourned. At all. Not even his family seems overly upset about his untimely death, rather the contrary. Some of them seem to be glad, if not to say pleased, to be rid of Chilton Devries for good. Question is, who had the strongest motive, means and the balls to go through with killing him.
And even if they can single out the culprit, what are Felix Deckers plans with that information?
“Murder on Fifth Avenue” is the fourteenth book in Victoria Thompsons “Gaslight Mystery Series” and it’s just as brilliant as the 13 books before. This is the only series I’ve ever read where I happily give five+ stars for every single book without a moments hesitation.
The cases are interesting, exiting and fit right into the late-ish eighteen hundreds with all the problems and obstacles an irish-catholic copper and a widowed midwife are likely to encounter.
Victoria Thompson allows all of her characters to develop over time to build their personalities in a realistic and believable manner and to form relationships in exact the right pace.
I had a problem with Sarah’s father in the first few books. His snobbish and small minded opinions and his attitude towards his daughter really had my hackles up, but he has come a really long way and I must say, as of now, I’m quite fond of him.
The next novel, “Murder in Chelsea” is already on my bookshelf :)