After being let go by the New York Metropolitan Police Department when she successfully solved the Goodrich murder (first book in the series), Mary Handley decides to become a detective. With the help of her friend and employer, Lazlo, she sets up shop in a back room of Lazlo's book store where she works. Both she and Lazlo are pleased and surprised when a young woman comes into the store and hires Mary to find out what happened to her uncle who she believes was murdered many years ago. Mary eagerly accepts the challenge, and it leads her to investigate some of the prominent families in New York.
The case increases in scope when the young woman is murdered. Even though she no longer has a client, Mary vows to find the killer. Then in a surprising development, Mary acquires an assistant, George Vanderbilt. George gives Mary entre into the upper levels of society populated by the Carnegies and Rockafellers as well and the Vanderbilts. Although it crosses societal lines, George becomes infatuated with Mary and wants to marry her.
The case is full of twists and turns showing off Mary's detective skills at every new development. She's a good character, spunky and intelligent, a quality that wasn't encouraged in the Victorian Era. George Vanderbilt is also a good character, but it's hard to believe in his romance with Mary in that environment. The historical setting is well developed with many details about the New York takeover of Brooklyn.
I enjoyed the book. It's an easy read and the pace is good. If you enjoy historical mysteries, this is a good one.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.