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Murder on Washington Square (Gaslight Mystery, #4)
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Murder on Washington Square (Gaslight Mystery #4)

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,532 Ratings  ·  156 Reviews
Turn-of-the-century New York City midwife Sarah Brandt and Detective Sergeant Frank Molloy are thrust into a twisted case of murder—when a seductress falls victim to her own charades.
Paperback, 308 pages
Published April 2nd 2002 by Berkley (first published April 1st 2002)
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The Name of the Rose by Umberto EcoThe Alienist by Caleb CarrThe Historian by Elizabeth KostovaThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónMistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Best Historical Mystery
120th out of 1,278 books — 3,259 voters
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Favorite Historical Mystery Series
198th out of 765 books — 856 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Cathy DuPont
Jan 31, 2014 Cathy DuPont rated it really liked it
Ahhhh. Some progress on the Mrs. Brant and the Detective Malloy romantic front.

And I'm not sure how Malloy could solve these murders without mid-wife Brant's keen eye and ability to encourage people to open up with critical information.

This cozy mystery series is better than good with a strong storyline and it's relaxing to me by my not having to constantly think about every little tidbit of information.

Also, I do enjoy reading about NYC around 1895 when President Theodore Roosevelt was the p
This time around Sarah Brandt needed to help her neighbor, Mrs. Ellsworth, when her son got himself innocently involved with a devious woman and blackmail.

And we finally start to see some odd development with the Irish-Catholic widower and father, Detective Sergeant Francis Malloy and Mrs. Brandt, a widow and midwife. Malloy, with his crusty attitude, and Sarah with, most of the times, the patience of a saint, searched for some clues to resolve Nelson Ellsworth's innocence. The camaraderie, che
Jul 15, 2015 Tammie rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult
Another enjoyable installment in the series; one thing I have noticed is that the mysteries in these books are pretty easy to figure out. I do wish Sarah and Malloy weren't so slow sometimes. At times, they just aren't very good at putting all the pieces together. Maybe it's just that I've read so much Anne Perry. I really think her books are a step above most mysteries in their cleverness.

The most enjoyable aspects of this series are the developing relationship between Sarah and Malloy, and Ma
Jan 02, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it
The 4th in the Gaslight Mystery series.

Sarah's midwife skills are called on once again when her neighbour's son, Nelson Ellsworth, fears his mistress may be carrying his child. Sarah goes to talk to the woman but finds her attitudes strange and confusing. The meeting turns into the mistress (Anna) accusing Sarah of being an abortionist and Sarah can't seem to convince her otherwise. The next day Anna is brutaly murdered and the police are convinced Nelson is to blame. Sarah once again teams up
Jun 08, 2015 Mo rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 0-dl-tb, series, 2015
I read several of the Gaslight books years ago, and unfortunately, I read them out of sequence. This time I am going to read them all in order.

This one was new one to me. I'm enjoying the deepening relationship between the two main characters.
Apr 14, 2016 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Things are -finally- starting to get interesting between the two lead characters. And Malloy finally has a lead on her husband's death........and the library doesn't have anymore of this series.
Sep 17, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
Schon lange wollte ich mal wieder einen Band der Reihe um Sarah Brandt und Frank Malloy lesen. Im vierten Band der Krimiserie um die Hebamme und den Polizisten, die in New York einmal mehr, einmal weniger zusammenarbeiten, um Mordfälle zu lösen, geht es um eine junge bürgerliche Frau, die ermordet wurde. Annas Mörder ist auch schnell gefunden – Nelson Ellsworth, Sarahs Nachbar, hatte Kontakt zu der jungen Frau und sollte ihr Geld beschaffen, das er selbst nicht hatte.

Doch ist Nelson wirklich ei
Aug 03, 2015 Elaine rated it it was amazing
A quote from my last Gaslight Series review:
“Three down and only fifteen Gaslight Mystery novels to go! I’m just going to say that my feelings for the first two books have definitely carried over to book three. I just love everything about them. If Victoria Thompson’s writing style remains the same throughout her next fifteen novels, I’m sure I will love those as well.”

I’m going to make this review very short by just saying four down and only fourteen more to go! And yes, I loved Murder on Washi
Jan 19, 2016 Olivermagnus rated it really liked it
The Gaslight Mystery series by Victoria Thompson is a highly addictive historical mystery set in turn of the Century Victorian New York. The primary characters are Sarah Brandt, daughter of a wealthy Knickerbocker family turned midwife, and Detective Frank Malloy, a detective in the mostly corrupt New York Police Department.

The story begins when the son of Sarah's neighbor, Mrs Ellison, is arrested for the murder of his mistress, Anna. Mild-mannered Nelson proclaims his innocence and had recentl
Richard Stueber
Aug 16, 2015 Richard Stueber rated it really liked it
Midwife Sarah Brandt's neighbor Nelson Ellsworth is in trouble with a woman named Anna Blake. Anna claims she is pregnant and needs money. Sarah and Nelson visit Anna who lives in a rooming house run by Mrs. Walcott. Sarah doesn't see what she can do about it and washes her hands of the whole affair.
Unfortunately the next day Anna is found murdered, and Nelson is accused of the crime. Sarah believes he is innocent and goes to Detective Sgt. Frank Malloy once again. This is not Malloy's case, but
Mar 22, 2014 Mary rated it really liked it
Sarah, midwife in turn-of-the century New York, finds her elderly neighbor in tears, her son has been in jail accused of killing a woman in Washington Square. Sarah, manages to calm her down by promising to get her friend, Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy on the case. Sarah, whose father is a rich and powerful man, is ahead of her time, choosing to go her own way and make a difference in the world as her Physician husband had done before he was murdered. She makes a living in a time when it was r ...more
Judy Goodnight
Aug 31, 2012 Judy Goodnight rated it liked it
I'd give this one 3.5 stars if I could. Interesting premise for the story and a chance for some minor characters to get developed more. But I knew who the killer was half way through the book & was getting irritated that it was taking Sarah & Malloy so long to figure it out.

On the positive side, the relationship between Malloy and Sarah is progressing.
Dec 16, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Loved this one! I'm really enjoying this mystery series and of course, my favorite part is seeing Frank and Sarah grow closer. Their relationship took a big step forward in this one and I was so pleased because I don't want to ever grow bored waiting for one of them to make a move. Make no mistake though, things are nowhere near perfect or settled between them. We still have a long way to go and thats fine by me because its also very consistent with the times and how I presume a friendship like ...more
Aug 12, 2014 Laura rated it liked it
This was my first Gaslight mystery. I would give it 3 1/2 stars if I could. The mystery itself wasn't too dark or complex, but I didn't figure out all of it until the end. I felt as if Ms. Thompson could spend a little more time introducing (or since this was book 4 in the series) reintroducing her two main characters to the reader and making them more "real" and giving a little more background on the if the reader is new to the series. I usually rate a book in a series though by whether or not ...more
Apr 09, 2013 D rated it liked it
Fits nicely into my current obsession with historical mysteries that contain more charm than harm. But I'll be back to baseball books soon.
2.5 stars.

I really don't care for the conversational tone of Thompson's writing. She overuses certain phrases ("lethal-looking hat pin" and "third degree") to an eye-rolling amount. She also takes a very passive voice when telling the story: the style textbook example of telling, not showing.

I get the feeling that the author does a lot of research for her books and wants to show that off. I'm really glad her books are well researched, but its at the expense of a well developed plot or consiste
Dail Sams
Jan 20, 2016 Dail Sams rated it really liked it
Sarah Brandt has to call on Detective Frank Malloy when her neighbor's son is accused of murdering a young woman. Nelson couldn't hurt a fly, and Sarah knew it, but she needed help proving it. Malloy reluctantly takes on the investigation even though it's not his case. Sarah and the Elsworths must avoid members of the press who have camped outside their homes since the case has become sensationalist fodder for unscrupulous reporters. Sarah and Malloy interview the landlady and fellow inhabitants ...more
Marjory Alexa
Jul 17, 2015 Marjory Alexa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice Work, Ms. Thompson

I love this series, but, as Mr. L. Perdue reviewed, I felt too many obvious clues when out the window to neatly. It is still a good mystery plot don't misunderstand. Sarah's relationship with her parents still mystifies me considering the circumstances of her sister's death, but Ms. Thompson brings me around by pointing out the era it is set in and the mindset of the time. I love Sarah and Frank so I will grab the next mystery and delve back in. Especially since there is
Terry Southard
Sep 05, 2014 Terry Southard rated it really liked it
This time midwife Sarah Brandt and policeman Frank Malloy are on the hunt for the person who killed Anna Blake. Was it Nelson Ellsworth, the son of Sarah's next door neighbor? Or someone else? Was the victim and innocent badly taken advantage of? Or something else?

The press is also on the trail - assuming and printing stories that make Nelson seem guilty.

Still enjoying the series. I did figure out one part right away - the neighbor and the basement helped me do that. But I didn't *quite* figure
Sep 15, 2015 Jodi rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, 2015-read
This is the first book in the series that I have read and I enjoyed it. It takes place during the period of time that Teddy Roosevelt was in charge of cleaning up the police department. Sarah Brandt is a widow from a good family who is also a midwife. She has had the ill-luck to find herself in several prior adventures with murder and this book is no different. Her next door neighbor's son is duped by a young woman who convinces him she's pregnant. He wants to do the honorable thing and marry he ...more
Jul 01, 2014 Betty rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-books
Sarah receives a note from Nelson Elsworth asking her to meet him on Washington Square. Nelson takes her to meet his girlfriend who says Nelson was the father of her baby. Nelson wants to married her but she refuses. Later the girl is found murder on Washington Square and Nelson is arrested for the murder.
Mrs Elsworth is upset and Sarah promises to asked Frank Mallory to investigate. He agrees and Sarah works with him to clear Nelson and save his job. The romance between Frank and Sarah starts t
Oct 30, 2015 Steven rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Victoria Thompson has once again written a solid mystery novel set in the 1890s. This book is the fourth in the “Gaslight Mystery” series, and it follows on the tradition of those books. The charmingly sweet romance that has been slowly forming between Detective Malloy and Sarah Brandt moves ahead ever so slowly, in painstaking increments that are extremely enjoyable to read. Meanwhile Sarah again becomes involved in a murder case, and continues to assist Malloy as he investigates the death of a ...more
Debbie Winkler
Jul 17, 2013 Debbie Winkler rated it really liked it
Murder on Washington Square gives Mrs. Ellsworth, Sarah’s nosy neighbor, a much bigger role. I always thought of Mrs. Ellsworth as an intrusive busybody, but she really is just a lonely older woman who lives with her adult son and keeps an eye on the neighborhood in her spare time. Nelson is a banker and the apple of Mrs. Ellsworth’s eye. She can’t wait for him to get married and have children, but Nelson doesn’t seem to be that interested in the ladies so how on earth could he find himself in t ...more
Murder on Washington Square is the 4th book of the Gaslight Mystery series by Victoria Thompson, set in New York City in the late 1890s.

Sarah Brandt is a widow, midwife by trade, who gave up her high-society life to follow her heart when she married her late husband, and has decided to live independently and continue caring for the underprivileged who cannot afford expensive medical care.

Detective Frank Malloy is a rare honest policeman in New York City's corruption-riddled police force. Frank
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Sep 05, 2012 Jeannie and Louis Rigod rated it it was amazing
Ms. Thompson has the amazing ability to put the reader smack into the actual time period of her excellent series, this book is truly an example of this.

Nurse, Midwife, and amateur sleuth, Sarah Brandt is summoned by her next door neighbor to aid him in a personal emergency. Although the man has offered his hand in marriage to a girl he has dishonored, she refused him and only wants money. This seems off and the neighbor, Mr. Ellsworth decides to get confirmation of the girl's 'condition.'

After a
May 14, 2010 Cindy rated it liked it
Sarah Brandt's next door neighbor comes to her for help. He is entangled with a young woman, and now she is pregnant, but he doesn't want his mother to find out. Sarah is a midwife and he wants her to check on the girl, find out if she really is pregnant, and convince her to marry him. She agrees to help, but finds that the girl is not the innocent Nelson thinks her to be, and can't help.

Then the girl turns up dead, and Nelson is arrested. He is young and idealistic, but he isn't a murderer. Sar
Jan 12, 2013 Rebeka rated it really liked it
Wonderful book from an equally wonderful series! Sometimes I can't help but be a little irritated because I think Ms. Thompson deliberately makes her characters a bit dense... several aspects of the book, I had guessed almost instantly... One particular theory of mine was developed within the first fifty pages and wasn't proved correct until the end of the book! However, there were still just enough twists to keep me guessing, and one particularly salient plot point did shock me at first before ...more
Barbara M
I'm really enjoying this series. The characters are so naïve; but it is rings true of the age in New York. I really love the characters of Sarah Brandt and Frank Malloy. They are developing from book to book and I’m looking forward to the next one. These are not deep mysteries and I don’t have much trouble figuring out the “who dunnit” and sometimes want to shout at Sarah and Frank about how they are heading down the wrong road and missing clues – mostly because of their naiveté!
Nov 19, 2015 Michelle rated it liked it
(3.5 stars) This is the 4th book in the Gaslight Mystery series. Sarah is asked by the son of her neighbor, Nelson Ellsworth, to help him in a delicate situation. A woman he has been supporting and who he has become involved with, is pregnant. Oddly, although he has offered to marry him, she only wants him to give her money so she can move away and start a new life. She refuses to let Sarah examine her, becoming hysterical and accusing Sarah of being involved with Nelson. When the woman ends up ...more
Feb 15, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
My favorite of the series so far! The plot line had lots of twists and turns and complications, but it wasn't hard to keep up with and I like a little surprise to my mysteries. I don't want to give spoilers, but the relationships between main characters were satisfying in this novel. I liked that Sarah and Malloy are real with each other. I also enjoyed Sarah easing back into a life with a place for her parents.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Murder on Washington Square 1 2 Nov 29, 2012 04:32PM  
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Edgar Nominated author Victoria Thompson writes the Gaslight Mystery Series, set in turn-of-the-century New York City and featuring midwife Sarah Brandt. Her last book, MURDER ON FIFTH AVENUE, has been nominated for an Agatha Award. Her latest, MURDER IN CHELSEA, is a May 2013 release from Berkley Prime Crime. She also contributed to the award winning writing textbook MANY GENRES/ONE CRAFT. A popu ...more
More about Victoria Thompson...

Other Books in the Series

Gaslight Mystery (1 - 10 of 19 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 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 in Chinatown (Gaslight Mystery, #9)
  • Murder on Bank Street (Gaslight Mystery, #10)
  • Murder on Waverly Place (Gaslight Mystery, #11)

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“And I still want to know why you hit that man in front of me. You wanted me to see it, didn’t you?”
“Why would I want you to see it?”
Sarah was getting very annoyed with him. He usually wasn’t this dense. “Because you wanted me to think badly of you, and I demand to know why!”
“You do, do you?” he said in a very odd tone.
“Yes, I do, and I’m not getting out of this cab until you tell me!”
“I don’t want to tell you.”
“Then what do you want?”
She knew he was looking at her, although she doubted he could see very much in the darkness. “I want to show you,” he said.”
“I want to know why you don’t like me, Malloy. I like you, even if you do hit people.”
He sighed. “I never said I didn’t like you, Mrs. Brandt.”
Reasonable again. She wanted to smack him. “And why don’t you ever call me Sarah? You think I’m beautiful, but you never call me Sarah.”
He muttered something she didn’t understand.
“You do think I’m beautiful,” she insisted. “You said so!”
“Yes, I do,” he said grudgingly. “And I do like you, Sarah. Now let’s talk about something else, because you’re going to be very embarrassed if you remember any of this conversation tomorrow.”
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