Victoria Thompson is an Edgar nominated author who writes both historical mysteries and historical romances. She has also won the Romantic Time Career Achievement award and was an Agatha Award nominee five years in a row. Before she started writing mysteries, Victoria Thompson had written twenty historical romances. I was introduced to this author through her Gaslight Mysteries series which is set in turn-of-the-century New York City and features midwife Sarah Brandt who does a bit of detecting on the side. The Gaslight Mystery series was Edgar and Agatha Award nominated. Thompson also writes the Counterfeit Lady series, which features con artist Elizabeth Miles and attorney Gideon Bates. That series has been nominated for the Sue Grafton Memorial Award.
Thompson currently lives in a suburb of Chicago with her family and teaches at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. She is a member of Mystery Writers of American and Sisters in Crime, as well as serving on boards and being a founding member of many other organizations: Novelists, Inc, PENNWRITERS, Romance Writers of America, and New Jersey Romance Writers to name a few.
Murder on Astor Place is the first book in the Gaslight Mysteries series. This series came highly recommended to me by other library staff. This series can be seen as both cozy and as historical, so I leave that distinction up to you readers. I have only read the first book so far, but I understand the appeal!
Murder on Astor Place introduces readers to midwife Sarah Brandt. She lives in turn-of-the-century tenements in Manhattan. Sarah was born into a prominent wealthy family, but is now estranged from them. When Sarah is called to help a woman in labor, she recognizes one of the young women boarding in the house. After the baby is safely delivered, Sarah returns to visit the patient and young baby a few days later. Upon that visit, Sarah learns that the young woman she previously recognized had been killed. Sergeant Frank Malloy is on scene and requests that Sarah help him search the girl’s room. In the midst of the search, they discover that the victim is also from one of the most prominent New York families, like Sarah. In fact, she is the sister of one of Sarah’s oldest friends. Knowing what she knows about these wealthy families, she has doubts that the family will want to investigate and she is sadly proven correct. They are feaful of scandal. Having doubts that Malloy is putting his full effort into solving the case and wanting to get justice for the victim, Sarah starts searching for information about what really happened. Malloy reluctantly helps her, but her investigations quickly turn dangerous for all involved.
Complete series list can be found at the end of this blog post. Certain titles are also available in other formats: for example, CD audiobook, large print, and OverDrive eAudiobook.
- Murder on Astor Place (1999)
- Murder on St. Mark’s Place (2000)
- Murder on Gramercy Park (2001)
- Murder on Washington Square (2002)
- Murder on Mulberry Bend (2003)
- Murder on Marble Row (2004)
- Murder on Lenox Hill (2005)
- Murder in Little Italy (2006)
- Murder in Chinatown (2007)
- Murder on Bank Street (2008)
- Murder on Waverly Place (2009)
- Murder on Lexington Avenue (2010)
- Murder on Sisters’ Row (2011)
- Murder on Fifth Avenue (2012)
- Murder in Chelsea (2013)
- Murder in Murray Hill (2014)
- Murder on Amsterdam Avenue (2015)
- Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue (2015)
- Murder in Morningside Heights (2016)
- Murder in the Bowery (2017)
- Murder on Union Square (2018)
- Murder on Trinity Place (2019)
- Murder on Pleasant Avenue (2020)
- Murder on Wall Street (2021)
- Murder on Madison Square (2022)