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Murder in Chinatown (Gaslight Mystery, #9)
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Murder in Chinatown (Gaslight Mystery #9)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  3,027 Ratings  ·  168 Reviews
The ninth in the Edgar(r) Award-nominated series featuring midwife Sarah Brandt and Detective Sergeant Malloy in turn-of-the-century New York City.

Sarah Brandt has made her uneasy way to Chinatown to deliver a baby. There she meets a group of Irish women who, completely alone at Ellis Island, married Chinese men in the same predicament. But even as a new century dawns, N
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 5th 2007 by Berkley Hardcover (first published 2007)
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Patricia Ames No, she is introduced in an earlier book, when Sarah first gets involved with the Settlement House: Murder on Mulberry Bend. She is just a minor…moreNo, she is introduced in an earlier book, when Sarah first gets involved with the Settlement House: Murder on Mulberry Bend. She is just a minor character in that book - much bigger role in this one. (less)

Community Reviews

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I don't think Victoria Thompson intended to create reverse stereotypes, but I think that's almost what she did in this Gaslight Mystery. It's good to get away from the evil Chinese lurking in dark alleys, but the Chinese in this are all simple immigrants, with only one slightly tainted with criminality. The men are politely spoken, decent, hard-working, and kind. On the other side are the Irish women who are usually portrayed as hard working, religious young women grateful for every chance they' ...more
Sarah Brandt has made her uneasy way to Chinatown to deliver a baby. There she meets a group of Irish women who, completely alone at Ellis Island, married Chinese men in the same predicament. But even as a new century dawns, New Yorkers still cling to their own kind, scorning children of mixed races.

This was a big improvement over the last book in the series. I loved Murder in Chinatown but like most of the other books in this series I figured this one out early on. As I've said many times bef
Aug 17, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Another excellent story about the team of Sarah Brandt, midwife, and Frank Malloy, cop. This story is set in Chinatown in New York City. Many Irish immigrant women married Chinese men because most of the Chinese who came here were men, not women. The Irish women often preferred marrying the Chinese because it gave them a higher standard of living. All those Chinese laundries we see in movies were actually very lucrative businesses. Such marriages were win/win for both parties: the Chinese men te ...more
Mar 13, 2012 Talia rated it really liked it
The latest addition the Gaslight Mystery series, this book was enjoyable. I felt like the author balanced the murder plot and her character development quite well. It was nice to see more of Maeve and Catherine and follow how they have fared under Sarah's care. I think those two characters were an excellent addition to her world.

I would like to see more development between Sarah and Frank. I realize, though, that in the timeline of the stories, they've only known each other for little more than
Apr 07, 2014 Mary rated it really liked it
This is the 9th book in the Gaslight Mystery series, set in turn-of-the-century New York. Sarah, a midwife, left her upper class life for one is more meaningful teams up with detective sergeant Frank Malloy (much to his dismay) in solving murders. This murder victim was a very young new bride, who was 1/2 Irish and 1/2 Chinese, and married a poor Irish lad instead of the older (30), Chinese man her father had chosen. Sarah is midwife to the young girls aunt, calls in Malloy to solve the crime, e ...more
CJ - It's only a Paper Moon
Though Sarah has promised that she would stay out of detecting, she finds herself once again in a murder case, though I'd say she is more in the outer parameters versus smack dab in the middle.

This is the first book in which Sarah takes more of a backseat and Frank is shown a bit more doing his job. Catherine has a nice little surprise for us by the end and Sarah and Frank's relationship is gradually moving but it is slow as molasses so it's frustrating me to no end.
Jun 06, 2017 Carol rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads, mystery
I almost set this book aside. It was bumpy going for awhile, or it may just have been the mood I was in. I had trouble getting into the story. I guess that I like my mysteries to be about ordinary people in everyday locales, so when the author adds political intrigue, social justice or foreign customs to the story I find that I don't care so much.
I have read the books leading up to Murder in Chinatown and some after but I didn't feel the deep involvement of Brandt or Malloy in this one. As Mr
Jun 03, 2017 Frances rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-read
This is my least favourite of the 8 books I've read in this series. What I found most interesting wasn't the plot but the intermarriages between the Chinese and the Irish.
May 28, 2017 DeeAnn rated it liked it
Basically another filler book. Slightly advances the story of Tom's death but not the romance.
Jillian Getting
Dec 04, 2014 Jillian Getting rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
In the ninth installment of the Gaslight Mysteries, Sarah and Malloy bring us to yet another neighborhood in New York City at the end of the 19th century – Chinatown. Unexpectedly to me, Victoria Thompson presents a social situation at the time in which Chinese men married European immigrant women because Chinese women weren’t allowed in America at the time. The handful of families we meet in Murder in Chinatown are very comfortable. The husbands have multiple businesses that keep their families ...more
Jun 22, 2016 Nattie rated it liked it
Ignorant and crass, just like the one before it. I really wish the characters would stop being obsessed with describing female figures, even Sarah carries on about curves and ample bosoms and hips. Frank is very disrespectful in his observations in most of the books, in the last one he referred to a young girl as a nice little piece. Ick!

If the story hadn't been good, I would have given 2 stars as it was quite nauseating. The words Chinese and Chinaman were overused to the point of giving me a h
Jobiska (Cindy)
I have picked up many murder mystery series in the middle, so I recognize the balance an author has to tread between updating newbies on underlying threads and relationships and keeping the interest of longtime readers. Even though I hadn't read any of the several previous works in this series, I felt the author erred too much on continuing to remind readers of the motivations of the protagonists, etc. I really felt nothing for either the female or male protagonist, and felt their interactions w ...more
The Book Report
Jan 05, 2017 The Book Report rated it it was ok
Everything was wrong with this installment of Gaslight Mysteries. Glad to be in the midst of a binge, having enjoyed nine mysteries and with another ten ahead. Had I waited a year - or, worse, picked this up as a stand-alone - the flimsy story and questionable dialogue would have been enough to squelch my adoration for the series. The narrator change for the audio book was downright heartbreaking. Characters were given painful, stereotypical 'central casting' accents, and our two main characters ...more
May 13, 2016 Liz rated it it was amazing
The 9th book in the Gaslight Mysteries by Victoria Thompson is Murder in Chinatown. As with the previous books, I loved the description of the areas of NYC, of Chinatown, the tenements where many of the Irish lived, and the lower East side.

I found it interesting that United States had a Chinese Exclusion Act that did not allow any women in the US and the only men allowed in had to be sons of those living here, thus leading to the practice of Paper Sons. The adoption of men unrelated to the adop
Jane Night
Nov 12, 2016 Jane Night rated it liked it
Of all the books in the series I think this was my least favorite. Overall, I love this series but this book just didn’t work for me.

Sarah and Malloy were enjoyable as always and I enjoyed their blossoming romance. Since I am binge reading the series I don’t mind that the romance moves a bit slow but if I had to wait a year for the next installment.

The last book in this series looked at Italian’s and Irish. This book looks at the Chinese during the early 1900’s and all of the challenges they fac
Susie Marino
May 06, 2017 Susie Marino rated it it was amazing
I love this series, I like the interaction between Sarah and. Frank, they make me laugh. Looking forward to book #10.
This review refers to the audio version.

#9 "Gaslight" historical mystery featuring midwife Sarah Brandt and Det. Sgt. Frank Molloy in turn of the century New York. Sarah has a patient in Chinatown, an Irish woman who's married a Chinese man, and becomes involved with their family when the daughter of one of her relatives disappears, believed to have run away to avoid an arranged marriage to an older Chinese man. When Angel turns up dead some time later, Sarah helps the Lees navigate the police i
Sarah Lawrence
Jun 23, 2014 Sarah Lawrence rated it it was ok
Not totally sure how to feel about this one. There's a fair bit of racism, but I'm not 100% sure that it's all in the spirit of historical accuracy. It was a decent little mystery and I didn't have trouble following along despite the fact that it was the ninth in a series, but I can't say I'm eager to read the others.

I picked this up somewhere, for free, mostly because it's set in New York City at the turn of the nineteenth century. You get a taste of tenements, the "mixed salad" of American im
Oct 15, 2016 Kim rated it really liked it
I really like reading this series back to back. This installment takes us to Chinatown and emphasizes the discrimination put upon the Chinese residents by the government. I never knew that many Irish women and girls married Chinese men, nor about paper sons or how respectful Chinamen were to their wives.

You can feel the tension that a young man might feel with a Chinese father and Irish mother. The boy wants to feel "American" and dress and act and look like the typical caucasian New Yorker, ye
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Dec 03, 2012 Jeannie and Louis Rigod rated it it was amazing
Sarah Brandt, Mid-Wife, and Frank Molloy, Detective Sergeant of the NYC police, are brought together in this 9th novel as a new baby is born to an Irish American Wife and Chinese Man. The Mother's niece goes missing when her Father demands her marriage to a man in his 40's. The girl is fifteen. We learn in this insightful novel that the Chinese were not allowed to immigrate with their wives or any women. So, nature being nature, the Irish girls were attracted to the men, who were hard workers, e ...more
Apr 23, 2015 Linda rated it it was amazing
Sarah Brandt is a midwife who is attending a birth in Chinatown. She finds turmoil in the apartments of the Chinese family she is caring for. A 15 year old half Chinese girl is upset because her family is demanding that she marry a 40 year old Chinese man who will take care of her in a world where anyone who is even half Chinese will be mistreated. The young girl runs away to be with the young man she loves and is found dead shortly thereafter.

Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy begins to investigat
Jolisa Gilchrist
Mar 02, 2015 Jolisa Gilchrist rated it really liked it
Sarah Brandt can not stop getting herself caught up in murders no matter how hard she tries to do so. This time she delivers a baby in Chinatown. All is well until a family member goes missing. Angel is 15, not street smart and she has run away to avoid an arranged marriage. Still, it is none of Sarah's business and she has no intentions of changing that.

Until...Maeve suggests Angels' friends know more than they are saying and since Angel's mother and the new mother are both so upset over her ru
Nov 13, 2012 Ann rated it really liked it
Sarah is called to deliver the baby of an Irish woman who is married to a Chinese businessman. She finds that Angel Lee, the daughter of a Chinese/Irish family, has disappeared. Sarah finds the girl murdered and she and Frank Malloy are on the case. This story again shows the prejudice of immigrants in the New World. Chinese women were not allowed to immigrate so Chinese men would often find Irish women to marry. The women were taken out of the tenements that they hated and given a better life b ...more
Oct 16, 2013 Beckiezra rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
3.5, I liked it more than average but it wasn't such a great quality to warrant higher stars when I was at times a bit annoyed while reading. I liked the characters and the feel of the plot and setting, but I felt like it was a little too obvious at times plus she was inserting a bit of modern morals into the past regarding marriage and immigrants. The ninth book isn't the best way to be introduced to a series, the writing often declines over time, so I'd like to check out the first one to see i ...more
Aug 03, 2016 Linda rated it really liked it
These are definitely books that you can enjoy quickly. Once again the different immigrant groups are at odds but not the Irish vs. the Italians. The Chinese are a major immigrant group -- that is Chinese men as anti immigrant laws have kept Chinese women from moving to the U.S. (and Chinese men have to use the subterfuge of being the 'sons' of Chinese men already in the U.S. to get in as well). So some of the Chinese men (especially the prosperous ones) have found wives with Irish women who are ...more
Debbie Maskus
I seem to be alternating between the West coast of Shirley Tallman and the East coast of Victoria Thompson. Both writers portray the United States during the 1890's. I am amazed to learn tidbits of information from both women. In this novel, Thompson brings up the immigration quota for the Chinese. Supposedly, only Chinese men were allowed into New York, and then the restriction was that only men that had fathers already in the United States could immigrate. This caused many "paper sons" or men ...more
Sep 24, 2012 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Midwife, Sarah Brandt, is called all over the city to deliver babies, including areas where proper ladies would not travel un-escorted. When she is called to Chinatown to deliver the baby of an Irish woman married to a Chinese, she doesn't hesitate to go - it is, after all, what she does. When the niece of the new mother goes missing, Sarah finds it difficult to sit idly by and not offer some assistance to help find her. When the young girl is found murdered, Sarah knows the only way this murder ...more
Trish Lata Gooljarsingh
A young chinese-irish girl, Angel Lee is murdered. She had eloped with a young Irishman to avoid marrying an older, wealthy Chinese man, a friend of her fathers. She incurs the wrath of her family [mother, father and brother] and is disliked by her Irish in-laws. But who could dislike her so much they would want to get rid of her?

There is one witness and she swears that she saw a Chinese man murder Angel. Others feel that Angel's jilted fiance, Mr. Wong may have done it....but then there is her
Sep 05, 2015 Chris rated it liked it
I find this mystery series the ideal "in between" book from the book club books. They are engaging but not overly challenging. I love trying to solve the mysteries! The ongoing love story between Frank and Sarah is a delightful thread through the books.
I like how she writes about traits of the various cultures as they come to NY city and settle. In this story she informed the reader that due to immigration laws Chinese men were allowed to move here but the females were not. Because of this the C
Fredell Boston
Feb 25, 2016 Fredell Boston rated it really liked it
I have always enjoyed Thompson's "Gaslight Mysteries". This one did not disappoint.
Well written and easy to read with intriguing characters and some great plot twists and turns. The insight into Chinatown and Boston in that era was also an essential part of the enjoyment. I had not realized that many of the Irish immigrant women married Chinese men to escape the poverty that surely awaited them on their arrival in the 'New World". The shunning and dismissal of their children was equally sad and
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Victoria Thompson is the author of the Edgar® and Agatha nominated Gaslight Mystery series. She was nominated for an Edgar Allen Poe Award from Mystery Writers of America in 2001, and in 2012 she received a Career Achievement Award in Mystery Writing from RT Magazine. Her last five books were nominated for an Agatha Award. She also contributed to the award winning writing textbook MANY GENRES/ONE ...more
More about Victoria Thompson...

Other Books in the Series

Gaslight Mystery (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Murder on Astor Place (Gaslight Mystery, #1)
  • Murder on St. Mark's Place (Gaslight Mystery, #2)
  • Murder on Gramercy Park (Gaslight Mystery, #3)
  • Murder on Washington Square (Gaslight Mystery, #4)
  • Murder on Mulberry Bend (Gaslight Mystery, #5)
  • Murder on Marble Row (Gaslight Mystery, #6)
  • Murder on Lenox Hill (Gaslight Mystery, #7)
  • Murder in Little Italy (Gaslight Mystery, #8)
  • Murder on Bank Street (Gaslight Mystery, #10)
  • Murder on Waverly Place (Gaslight Mystery, #11)

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