Murder on Astor Place Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Murder on Astor Place

Sarah Brandt, a mid-wife in late 1800s New York, finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation when she visits a woman whose baby she recently delivered. Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy is investigating a young woman's strangulation at the same boardinghouse. Malloy and Sarah instantly mistrust one another, especially when Malloy insists she go with him to search the girl's room. Reluctantly, Sarah begins looking through the dead girl's clothing. There she finds a label identifying the victim as Alicia Van Damm, the younger sister of Sarah's friend Mina. Sarah begins to investigate the crime on her own, much to Malloy's dismay. He tells her to keep out of the situation. Malloy wants no part of Sarah; mostly because he is attracted to her and believes she is out of his league because her family is old money and Malloy is an Irish immigrant.
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When Malloy delivers the news of Alicia's death, the Van Damm family is strangly unemotional. Many possible suspects appear; Ham Fischer, also a roomer at the boardinghouse who disappeared the night Alicia was murdered, and Sylvester Mattingly, an older man the Van Damms are said to be forcing Alicia to marry.
The review of this Book prepared by Jan Lamers

Chapter Analysis of Murder on Astor Place

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 70%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   very upbeat How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1900-1920's What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Special suspect?    -   relative Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   "All in the family" murder Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings of fear/loss/inadequacy Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   doctor Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Victoria Thompson Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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