Mystery Books for Sale

[ Home ]
[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]


by Mariah Fredericks
Minotaur, April 2020
288 pages
ISBN: 1250210887

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Jane Prescott, a lady's maid to Louise Tyler, is on a one-week vacation. She begins it by attending the rather scandalous 1913 art exhibit known as the Armory Show in New York City, where new works of Cubism are on exhibit.

She also plans to spend some time with her uncle, the Rev. Tewin Prescott, who runs a refuge home for former prostitutes. And even though on vacation, she is still helping Louise, who is playing the part of Abraham Lincoln in an amateur play being put on at Rutherford's department store. Jane is volunteering as a seamstress. The store is also holding a pageant—its contestants, the "American beauties," include Louise's sister Emily.

What Jane doesn't expect to be doing on her free week is investigating murders. But when one of the women at the refuge is murdered, and Jane's uncle is suspected of killing her, Jane has more questions than answers. Then a second woman, with ties to both the refuge and Rutherford's store, is killed, and Jane's involvement deepens.

Jane's personal life also has some twists and turns. Although attracted to reporter Michael Behan, it's a relationship that cannot go anywhere, as he is married. But she does meet the single Leo Hirschfeld, a music hall pianist who is very much the ladies' man. He might not be serious relationship potential, but he can help in her investigations.

The third in the series, DEATH OF AN AMERICAN BEAUTY is filled with rich historical details. It's a time when changes were coming for women and others who were marginalized, but not fast enough. Fredericks writes a smart story that looks at the inequities of an era long past, but also reminds the reader that not much has changed today.

§ Lourdes Venard is an independent editor who divides her time between New York and Maui.

Reviewed by Lourdes Venard, March 2020

[ Top ]



Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]
[ Home ]