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Murder on Astor Place (Gaslight Mystery #1)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  6,273 Ratings  ·  580 Reviews
After a routine delivery, midwife Sarah Brandt visits her patient in a rooming house and finds that another boarder, a young girl, has been killed. At the request of sergeant Frank Malloy, she searches the girl's room and discovers that the victim is from one of the most prominent families in New York - and the sister of an old friend. The powerful family, fearful of scand ...more
Kindle Edition, 278 pages
Published (first published May 1st 1999)
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Gretchen Smith Definitely Historical Mystery. The ending and actual crime are a little too dark for a cozy mystery. It is, however, a great read for rainy evenings…moreDefinitely Historical Mystery. The ending and actual crime are a little too dark for a cozy mystery. It is, however, a great read for rainy evenings with a cozy blanket and some tea!(less)
Kendall They can be read as stand alone, but there is a developing relationship and therefore, it is best to read them in order.
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mary Beth
Apr 21, 2016 Mary Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it! It is a historical mystery and its a page turner. The story is really good straight from the beginning to the end. I loved the characters. Its an excellent story.
Jun 19, 2012 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a big fan of Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series, about a female private investigator/psychologist in post WWI London, having read all of the books. Chelsea Clinton is also a fan, posting on Facebook about her memories of reading the books with her grandmother. Chelsea asked if anyone had recommendations for books like Maisie, and someone posted about Victoria Thompson's Gaslight Mystery series, about Sarah Brandt, a midwife living in New York City around the turn of the 20th century. ...more
Jul 22, 2016 Melisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aside from one of the main characters having the same name as an ex-boyfriend (eep!) which became a slight annoyance after reading it on over 200 pages, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I love reading about the Victorian times to learn more about the period, and this was a very well-researched book. The reveal was kind of disturbing but I have to admit I didn't see it coming. I'm looking forward to reading the other books in this series to see where it takes the main characters, both of which I b
Sarah Brandt, a widow, ex-socialite and midwife, was drawn into a murder-mystery when she glimpsed a young lady she thought she knew in the wrong place at the wrong time. She went head-to-head with the commoner Sergeant Detective Frank Mallory when he arrived at the scene of the crime. Over a period of weeks these two morph into a most unusual 'friendship' if I can use that word loosely. He doesn't appreciate her interference and she does not care for his bossiness; yet they help each other.

I en
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Setting: intriguing.
Writing: pedestrian.
Word Choices: occasionally extremely ahistorical.

For a further review: .
I've been needing another historical mystery series to add to my bag, and I believe I've found one in the Gaslight Mysteries. Murder on Astor Place is a solid start to a series set in early 20th Century New York. As usual with this type of mystery, getting to know - and liking - the sleuth and their world is the most important part. Here, the amateur sleuth is a midwife, but we discover that Sarah's social background is not cut-and-dry, and the reasons why she became a midwife add a lot of depth ...more
Dec 14, 2008 Jamie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fairly competent little gas-light thriller set in Victorian era New York.
While not exactly a memorable entry in the genre in wasn't so bad that I couldn't finish it...I guess that's a recommendation of sorts;-)
While it was relatively inoffensive it wasn't good enough that I feel I *have* to read the rest of the series. Part of it may be that I've read some really excellent books lately and compared to them it just doesn't quite measure up.
Murder on Astor Place
4 Stars

As a midwife, Sarah Brandt is no stranger to the struggles of life and death. However, after attending a routine birth at a boarding house, Sarah is shocked to learn not only that one of the other guests has been murdered, but that the young woman is someone she knows. When the girl’s prominent family refuses to permit an investigation and the police appear to be just as disinclined, Sarah takes it upon herself to discover the truth.

A good mystery, but it is the dynam
Sep 05, 2009 X5-494 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved the fact that this series takes place in New York, instead of in London like in most of these kinds of books. I loved the two main characters, I loved the dialogues, I loved the atmosphere, I loved the plot... Seriously, it couldn't get any better than that.

I read the first four books of this series in German as well as in English and I can only recommend that everybody, who's even a little bit capable of the English language, is better going to read these books in English.

IF th
Ann Rufo
Jun 24, 2013 Ann Rufo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this series because it had all of my weaknesses - a cozyish mystery story, a confident and competent female lead character, and a Victorian-era setting. I have since been blowing through this series, from this, the first book, all the way, some 15 books later, to the end. They are wonderfully devoured like particularly good cake with atypically complicated taste combinations like cayenne and chocolate cake or carrot ginger scones. Set at the turn of the century in New York, a midwife f ...more
Mark Baker
Jun 24, 2016 Mark Baker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2016
Midwife Sarah Brandt is returning to visit a mother and newborn when she learns there has been a death at the home. A boarder was strangled during the night, and it turns out this is the younger sister of someone she knew years ago. Determined to see justice done, Sarah teams up with the very reluctant Frank Malloy, the detective assigned to the case, to find the killer.

This book really does feature two detectives as both Sarah and Frank are active contributers to seeing justice done. The hoppin
Jul 18, 2009 AM rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A bit of a disappointment, although I should have realized from the beginning that there was no way this book could compare to the likes of Caleb Carr. Sort of a cheap imitation.
It was a good "vacation read," easy to digest and not very deep at all. There was a serious lack of detail which I had been looking forward to. Instead of explaining the vast differences in the classes, the author just keeps repeating the fact that there WERE differences. Of course there were differences! Tell me more ab
Kimberly Yates
Apr 14, 2016 Kimberly Yates rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really great start to the Gaslight Mysteries! Id been wanting to start this series for over a year and finally sat down to take it on. I wish I hadn't waited so long.

Though I have a long way to go to catch up with the newer released books in this series, its a great thing. I can just binge read, back to back, knowing the stories will keep on rolling.

I thought the author did wonderfully in describing the people and times during the Victorian period. I felt like I could see, smell, hear it all
I'm trying to branch into mysteries. This is not the direction to go in.

A midwife gets caught up in a murder -- of good breeding, she's now a working woman, and the discovery that the victim too was of a well-to-do family, but that the crime will be hushed up to preserve their reputation draws her in.

Lots of family sordidness (although dealt with in a non-sordid manner, if that makes sense; some authors revel in that sort of thing but here Thompson makes it clear that the people who were involve
Jul 04, 2016 Dagny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
Loved this book! Looks like a new series for me to read. Thank you to everyone who recommended it. Set in the 1890s in New York City. The wonderful descriptions entranced me immediately and it wasn't long until I was fond of the two main characters. Local color and gentle humor in addition to great plot.
Jul 04, 2011 Kate rated it liked it
Four stars worth of love for the idea - a born-wealthy-but-disowned widow works as a midwife and comes across a girl who looks like an old school acquaintance. The girl is murdered and our heroine Sarah is drawn into the investigation by our police-detective hero Frank. Characterization is a little flat but the history is very interesting, especially because we're firmly in Victorian...New York City. Some overdone coincidences and a definitely predictable creepyfactor ending but overall I can't ...more
This is my kind of book! Murder; horror, mystery, and a little romance! I wonder when Sarah and Mr. Malloy will fall in love.
Wow. Just, wow. Great mystery, superb characters, and tightly paced to boot. It was all I ever wanted out of a historical mystery! There were plentiful red herrings that served to narrow down the pool of suspects as the case progressed, and it only added to the fun of determining the real killer. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, Thompson still had one last trick up her sleeve. I love this genre so much, and I'm so excited that I found it through Goodreads. I'd never heard of this se ...more
Felicia J.
I initially wrote a more positive review for this first book in the
Gaslight Mysteries, set in turn-of-the-century New York City. My first impression was of a solidly plotted & readable tale that kept my interest, although I wasn't breathlessly turning pages to get to the end. The writing was too simplistic & matter-of-fact, stifling suspense & excitement, and it was easy to figure out major plot twists just before the characters did.

The more I thought about the mystery's resolution,
The first in the Gaslight Mystery series.

This book takes place in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. Our heroine is Sarah Brandt a midwife and widow who was brought up in upper society but married a doctor - and eschewed the life she lived for that with the man she loved. As a result she walks rather freely in all circles of society - which helps when she ends up involved in a mystery.

While helping to deliver a baby at a rooming house Sarah see's a girl that looks very like an old
CJ - It's only a Paper Moon
This book is actually a 3.7.

New York City is the real main character here, which is a bonus to me as I'm a New Yorker, but this isn't the NYC that tourists know. This is the NYC of old. Crime, corruption, dirt, whores, rape, murder - this is the NYC that is trying to turn seedy into livable.

It's 1895, Teddy Roosevelt is President of the NYC Police Commissioners. He is cleaning up the city by trying to make the police department less corrupt. Sgt. Det. Frank Malloy is a widowed cop with a few tr
Jane Night
Aug 09, 2016 Jane Night rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want to start by saying that I was floored by this book and already ordered next one. This book was very nearly a 5/5 for me though there were a few issues, which I will explain below, that made me -1.

Let me start out with what I loved.

I have tried a few other historical mysteries but this one really captured the era well and the issues with the police department in those times. Sarah is worried that the death will not be explored because police rarely solve crimes without bribes and the murde
Kathy Martin
Jun 29, 2015 Kathy Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set firmly in New York City 1895, this mystery tells the story of the murder of a young socialite who has run away from home. Sarah Brandt, a socialite herself who left her family after her husband's death, is working as a midwife. While attending to the routine birth of a boarding house owner's sixth child, she sees a young woman who reminds her of one of her childhood acquaintances. When she visits the mother and baby the next day, she learns that the young girl was murdered. And she meets Pol ...more
Sarah Brandt, widow and midwife is called out one night to a routine birth at a boarding house in Astor Place. She's surprised to catch a brief glimpse of a girl who looks remarkably like someone she once knew. Detective Sargent Frank Malloy is called out to the very safe boarding house the next day to investigate a murder. He has little hope of finding out who killed the girl but if he solves the case, he could get a promotion without having to bribe someone. Despite reforms by Police Commissio ...more
Tony Hisgett
There are hundreds of historical mysteries out there, so to stand out from the crowd Sarah needs to be different in some way. Initially it would appear that Sarah might just be interesting enough to make her special, she is not a standard sleuth, in fact her normal occupation is as midwife. She also has an interesting back-story that includes estranged wealthy but selfish parents and the loss of her husband.

Right from the beginning it is clear she is principled and not easily intimidated so I l
Warren-Newport Public Library
If you enjoy the popular Molly Murphy mystery series by Rhys Bowen, then you will also like the Gaslight mystery series by award-winning author Victoria Thompson. The similarities of these series are uncanny: both are set in New York, both are set in the late 1800s or early 1900s, both have strong female characters, and both women accidentally get involved solving crime (much to the chagrin of their policemen friends).

The Gaslight mystery series has 19 books and counting so you’ll have plenty to
A cozy mystery this certainly is not. It's more of a slow-burning whodunit, with a whole slew of dark undertones. However, I'm not feeling compelled to continue with the series.
Jul 14, 2016 Margaret rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Pretty good mystery. The beginning fit the typical formula: spunky, smart amateur female sleuth (in this case a midwife) bests the dumb blustery cop with her detection skills. But soon it got better - the spunky female occasionally acknowledged the cop's superior detective skills. The denouement is extremely sordid and disturbing; this one is only for adults or mature teens. But it doesn't seem like it'd be very interesting to teens.

I would read more of this series. I'm guessing (view spoiler)
Sep 23, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it
I enjoyed how the author vividly recreated turn of the century New York, complete with socio-economic and gender barriers. And I loved Sarah Brandt, she's just a wonderful character. The only downside is that I saw the big reveal coming a mile away and due to the "innocence" of the times, the characters took FOREVER to figure it all out. However, you can simply consider this as another example of just how well the author submerges one in that day and age. Wonderful book. I'm so glad one of my pa ...more
Mar 01, 2015 Kristen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book had a number of things I usually like, but I just couldn't get into it and did not finish this one.

I usually like 1800's London, I like strong female characters and I like people who fight against social structures that are stupid or unfair. This book had all of these, so I'm not entirely sure why it didn't grab me.

I did find the way Sarah just barged right back into the social strata that she had previously rejected somewhat implausible. I also felt like the way she went about trying
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Historical Myster...: Gaslight Mysteries by Victoria Thompson 18 39 May 31, 2016 09:40AM  
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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 four books were nominated for an Agatha Award. She also contributed to the award winning writing textbook MANY GENRES/ONE C ...more
More about Victoria Thompson...

Other Books in the Series

Gaslight Mystery (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • 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 in Chinatown (Gaslight Mystery, #9)
  • Murder on Bank Street (Gaslight Mystery, #10)
  • Murder on Waverly Place (Gaslight Mystery, #11)

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