Berkley, June 2004, 21.95, 320 pp
New York City Police Commissioner Teddy Roosevelt is trying to clean up the corruption on the force. When an explosion kills Mr. Gregory Van Dyke, a wealthy and powerful businessman, the commissioner asks Detective Frank Malone to lead the investigation because he won't be bought by the influential citizens who have policemen on their payroll. At the Van Dyke mansion, the trophy widow blames the eldest son for her husband's death because Creighton has joined a group of anarchists and “everyone” knows they make bombs to kill the leaders of high society.
Sarah Brandt, a family friend of the Van Dykes, pays a condolence call. She forces Malone to take her to his interview with Creighton. She comes away from the interview convinced that he isn't the killer. Sarah and Malone, separately and together discover that every member of Gregory's family as well as his business partner have a reason to want him dead. Finding out who the perpetrator is proves quite difficult since nobody wants to cooperate with the police.
Each novel in the “Gaslight Mystery” series just keeps getting better as the audience learns more about the era. Malone won't admit his love for Sarah because he is an Irish cop and she is a descendant of the Knickerbockers. Even though her parents are wealthy, Sarah works as a midwife and nurse while living on her own income. She loves her parents but doesn't look to them for approval. The duo makes a good team professionally and if they allow themselves personally. The mystery is well executed and the ending will come as a complete surprise to the audience.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner