Today I have a review of Death of a New American by Mariah Fredericks available on April 9, 2019 from Minotaur Books/St. Martin’s Press.
Death of a New American is second in the Jane Prescott series. I have not read the first book, A Death of No Importance, but I was easily able to jump into this inviting and engaging story!
Jane Prescott is a ladies’ maid, living with the Benchley family and traveling with them to Long Island. The daughter in the family, Louise, is set to be married at her aunt and uncle’s mansion. The Tylers are high impact people, with adventurous lives.
Everyone is adjusting to life at the Tylers’ house when Jane becomes friendly with Sofia, the nanny of the Tylers’ children. One hot spring night, Jane wakes to find Sofia murdered.
While the Tylers think the murder is an attempted kidnapping of their children, Jane is asked to gather facts from inside the household to share with her journalist friend. The questions are if the Tylers are right and this was an attempted kidnapping of their baby, or was this a murder by someone inside the household?
Wow, Jane! What a masterfully drawn main character. She pushes the envelope of what she can do in her particular role, and she does so with gusto. The social concerns of the time (immigration, racism) are gently placed in the background of the story adding to the sense of time and place.
Overall, Death of a New American has strong elements of history grounding the mystery, a page-turning pacing, and an engaging plot that kept me hooked. I’ll definitely be back for more of Jane’s mysteries.
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
The atmospheric, compelling follow-up to the stunning debut A Death of No Importance, featuring series character, Jane Prescott.
In 1912, as New York reels from the news of the Titanic disaster, ladies’ maid Jane Prescott travels to Long Island with the Benchley family. Their daughter Louise is to marry William Tyler, at their uncle and aunt’s mansion; the Tylers are a glamorous, storied couple, their past filled with travel and adventure. Now, Charles Tyler is known for putting down New York’s notorious Italian mafia, the Black Hand, and his wife Alva has settled into domestic life.
As the city visitors adjust to the rhythms of the household and plan Louise’s upcoming wedding, Jane quickly befriends the Tyler children’s nanny, Sofia—a young Italian-American woman. However, one unusually sultry spring night, Jane is woken by a scream from the nursery—and rushes in to find Sofia murdered, and the carefully locked window flung open.
The Tylers believe that this is an attempted kidnapping of their baby gone wrong—a warning from the criminal underworld to Charles Tyler. But Jane is asked to help with the investigation by her friend journalist Michael Behan, who knows that she is uniquely placed to see what other tensions may simmer just below the surface in this wealthy, secretive household. Was Sofia’s murder fall-out from the social tensions rife in New York, or could it be a much more personal crime?
Have you read Death of a New American, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR