Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Review: Murder on Millionaire's Row by Erin Lindsey

What do you get when you mix a historical mystery with paranormal fantasy and a whiff of potential romance? You get this first in a new series, Murder on Millionaire's Row by Erin Lindsey.

Set in 1886, in Gilded Age Manhattan, the novel tells the story of Rose Gallagher, an Irish girl from Five Points who works as a housemaid in the Fifth Avenue home of the wealthy, single, British Thomas Wiltshire. Rose wants more from her life but is happy enough, a conscientious hard worker who has a fierce crush on her handsome, somewhat mysterious employer. When he goes missing and the police seems unlikely to take his disappearance seriously, Rose decides to search for him herself, inadvertently getting herself mixed up in something far bigger than she could ever have imagined.

There is murder, kidnapping, theft, Irish gangs, Pinkerton agents, Freemasons, magic, ghosts, witches and more here. The novel is told in the first person from Rose's perspective so the reader gets to know her very well indeed. She is smart, perceptive, intuitive, and observant. She is also delightfully spunky and stubborn, determined to find Mr. Wiltshire and to solve the larger case he's wrapped up in too. Her sheer joy and excitement at investigating is charming although there has to be more to her wanting to find her employer than simply her longstanding crush. The interactions between upper and servant class are perhaps too modern for the time the novel is set in and the interactions between different races also reads a bit unbelievably. Lindsey has drawn a wonderful, atmospheric, historic New York though, capturing the grimy underbelly of places like Five Points and an abandoned gas works. The characters were appealing to spend time with and although this is not a mystery the reader could solve, it did feel as if we were learning information right along with Rose so were close to the action in an interesting way. This novel does stand alone fine but it also makes for an intriguing introduction to a new series too. A fun read for historical mystery fans who want a pretty big dollop of paranormal in their mysteries.

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