Murder on Mulberry Bend Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Murder on Mulberry Bend

Berkley, Mar 2003, 6.99, 352 pp.
ISBN: 0425189104

Around 1900, midwife Sarah Brandt escorts Richard Dennis through the lower Manhattan slums to the Prodigal Son Mission where his deceased wife voluntarily worked before dying because he needs to understand why Hazel found solace at this safe place for girls. The wealthy Richard is overwhelmed with what he sees, but at the mission, Mrs. Wells provides kindness to the guilt laden Richard. Sarah gifts clothing for the misfortunate.
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Not long afterward, Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy is stunned when he recognizes the ugly hat of a murder victim. He thinks Sarah, who he cares deeply for, is dead. However, the corpse is someone else who later Sarah identifies as Emilia, a person she met at the Prodigal Son Mission. Over Frank's objections, Sarah begins her own inquiries that will place her in danger from a serial killer whose previous homicides have been ignored because the victims were humanity's forgotten.

The fifth Brand gaslight mystery is an engaging amateur sleuth tale though the killer seems somewhat obvious early on even with clever twists and turns to obscure the culprit's identity. The story line is loaded with action and strong characters, but what makes the tale is the vivid description of Manhattan at the turn of the century. Readers feel the awe and fear of Dennis making his first sojourn on the train and into the slums; the audience senses the miracle of the successful surgery performed on the foot of Frank's son (commonplace today). Victoria Thompson writes another delectable historical mystery that will provide plenty of pleasure for her fans and send newcomers seeking the previous “Murder on...” novels.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Murder on Mulberry Bend

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   minority/women/gay rights Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

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


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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