akiko busch, vctoria thompson, and a happy holiday to all
this will be a short blog as i know many readers are too busy with holiday plans to spend much time on it, though the blog stays up; it can be read at any time.
i should have talked about patience by akiko busch earlier, as it would make a great stocking stuffer. too late for that? how about a valentine? it is a slight book of 105 pages, but it contains more than slight ideas about contemporary life. it is sub-titled 'taking time in an age of acceleration.' here is a woman who describes swimming laps as 'an enterprise that is at once fluid and exact, imprecise and measured.' she calls swimming laps a form of meditation. i agree although it can also be a time to reflect on and straighten out some problems in literature and life.
patience is published by sterling and aarp.
the mystery i will discuss briefly today is the sixth in the gaslight mystery series by victoria thompson. it is murder on marble row. marble row is where wealthy people live in late 19th c. new york and it is the murder of a wealthy entrepreneur that our heroine sarah brandt and our hero frank malloy solve. as anyone who has read parts of the series knows, sarah is a mid-wife who comes from a wealthy family. malloy is a detective sergeant on the n.y. police force. thompson is one of several authors who pairs a woman of good family with a not quite socially accepted (but in this case, well-educated) policeman.
sarah's mother elizabeth decker takes an active part in looking for a solution to this crime. i think it a little out of character for someone of her generation to be interviewing anarchists in the slums of new york. i suggest skimming her role.
as usual thompson does a good job of weaving in a few actual people of the time to add verisimilitude. in this case, she refers often to teddy roosevelt and to emma goldman.
the book also serves to set the stage for future novels in which sarah semi adopts aggie and frank solves the mystery of who killed her husband.
murder on marble row in not a challenging mystery; it is a good read. for those who like historical murder mysteries, it is a must read. the novel is 310 pages and was published by berkley prime crime.