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.
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.
This report prepared by Jan Lamers