Berkley, April 2002, 6.99, 336 pp.
Sarah Brandt can trace her bloodlines to the original Dutch but she doesn't believe that just because her parents are wealthy, she is better than the immigrants she serves as a mid-wife are. Rather then live with her parents in their posh 57th St. house she lives in Greenwich Village and is friends with many of the people in the neighborhood.
One of her closest friends is her next door neighbor Mrs. Ellsworth. When Mrs. Ellsworth's son is accused of murdering his mistress because she told him she was pregnant with his child, Sarah knows that the mild mannered man is innocent. Sarah decides to prove Nelson did not commit homicide. She persuades her friend police detective Frank Malloy to help her. Frank wants Sarah to stay out of the case because he doesn't want her to put her life in danger, but she is as stubborn as he and goes her own way paying little heed to her well being.
MURDER ON WASHINGTON SQUARE takes place in the turn of the last century in New York City and colorfully demonstrates the distinct class differences in the so-called “melting pot”. The heroine is an admirable and likable person because she not only ignores her elite pedigree, but also works hard to better the immigrant's lot. Victoria Thompson's “Gaslight mysteries” are always a gas as they are exciting treats to read.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner