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31 Bond Street

3.4  ·  Rating Details ·  1,328 Ratings  ·  333 Reviews
31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan. US release March 30, 2010; UK release May 27, 2010. Based on a true story, mystery and intrigue in pre-Civil War New York The sensational murder of Dr. Harvey Burdell in his lower Manhattan home made front-page news across the United States in 1857. "Who killed Dr. Burdell?" was a question that gripped the nation. 31 Bond Street, a debut nove ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by Harper
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Jan 03, 2014 Arah-Lynda rated it it was ok
Shelves: lod, i-said
This is a novel wove around one of the most sensationalized crimes of the 19th century. One morning in 1857, the body of Dr. Harvey Burdell, a dentist, living in high style at 31 Bond Street, New York City is found brutally murdered in his office by an errand boy. Emma Cunningham, a widow with two daughters also lives in the upper floors of Dr. Burdell’s home. She is the housekeeper/ lover/ fiancée of the victim and immediately becomes the primary suspect of the coroner who sets up an inquest in ...more
Tara Chevrestt
I am writing this even tho I have 50 pages left in order to be sure I don't reveal anything I shouldn't. This is by far one of the best books of 2010 and I can honestly state that just a mere two months into the year. I have not been able to put the book down. It's like an episode of Law and Order in 1857.

The book goes back and forth between the trial in 1857 following the lawyer, Mr. Clinton and the the summer and fall of 1856 following the suspect, Emma and her dealings with the murder victim
Feb 26, 2015 Whitney rated it really liked it
With a great mid 19th century New York as the backdrop of the story the reader truly feels as if they're there experiencing the daily life of each character. Horan's writing style let's the reader dive into the scenery of the time and helps you feel the feelings of the characters. There are a few times within the book that the writing lags a bit yet it picks up quickly if it did. The surprise ending keeps you guessing. Beautifully written and a thirller to boot makes this book a good read.
Sophie Narey (Bookreview- aholic)
Feb 05, 2015 Sophie Narey (Bookreview- aholic) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of crime and murder fiction
Published: 01/02/2011
Author: Ellen Horan

This was an absoulutely amazing book! It was very hard to put it down, it is definately a 'page turner' in this book we follow the investigation to find out who killed the dentist (Dr Harvey Burdell) we see it from the view of Emma Cunningham and Samuel. It is set in New York before the Civil War, we see what it was like for people living there and they way that they believed that things should be. We also see the prejudice that was against Samuel and othe
Mar 17, 2010 Natalie rated it liked it
I really liked the premise and the plot behind the book. The way the author leaned on a actual event gave the story this great feel and, I felt, increased the drama. All and all, it was a rather quick read because the plot moved very fast. And although I enjoyed the book as a whole, I felt that the ending was rather a bit too neat and some of the characters a bit too one-dimensional. I was surprised and saddened by the way that her ordeal ultimately affected the main character - but it was an in ...more
Feb 22, 2010 Misfit rated it liked it
The story begins in 1857 as police are called to 31 Bond Street upon the horrific murder of Dr. Harvey Burdell. Poised for a run at the mayor's office, ambitious D.A. Abraham Oakey Hall sets his sights on Widow Emma Cunningham as his #1 suspect. Supposedly living in Burdell's house as a tenant and *housekeeper* of sorts, Emma produces a marriage certificate (but can she prove its real?) and further complicates the matter - did she murder the not-so-good doctor for his money and prestigious home? ...more
First Sentence: For a boy who watched boats, his room was the perfect perch.

The brutal murder of well-to-do dentist, Dr. Burdell, immediately places his housekeeper, Emma Cunningham as the prime suspect. Attorney Henry Clinton parts ways with his respected law partner and, with the support of his wife and the help of others, sets out to prove Emma’s innocence.

From a very good opening which establishes the sense of time place the impact of the weather and the demeanor of the characters, this com
Ellen Horan's 31 BOND STREET is a well researched work of historical fiction that takes the reader back in time to an era when a man's character and status were determined by the height of his hat. In the case of suspicious death grand juries were convened in the home of the victim and autopsies were performed on the premises while witnesses and potential suspects were sequestered in the home awaiting questioning without benefit of counsel. Additionally, the press were invited into the victims' ...more
Doug Beatty
Apr 07, 2010 Doug Beatty rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I know I do give out five stars quite freely, so let me preface this book by saying if I could give out six stars, this would be a six star book.

I read a great many mysteries, and this one had me early on, and I have to say I quickly reached a point that I was frantically turning pages because the story had me enthralled.

The setting is 1856 in New York, and Doctor Harvey Burdell, a dentist, is found dead in his room, having been murdered in a spactacularly grisly fashion. Emma Cunningham is a
Jun 11, 2010 Linda rated it liked it
The 1850's. Manhattan's elite are only just setting out to make 5th Avenue their enclave. The rest of the population is simply trying to earn a living. Displaced Native Americans, runaway or freed slaves, and unmarried women are particularly vulnerable to the twists and turns of fortune. Emma Cunningham, mother of two adolescent daughters, is desperately searching for a man to replace their now deceased father. Emma believes she has found him in prosperous dentist Harvey Burdell, who wines and d ...more
Jan 29, 2010 Marie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, favorites

The first chapter of this murder novel is absolutely fantastic, smacking of an old fashioned novel steeped in intrigue and nostalgia. It was pure genius and had me hooked, as I plowed through the rest of the story which was steeping with mystery, drama and multiple intrigues. This is a novel that is based on the true story of a horrific murder in 1857, amidst Dick Tracy style policemen and the thriving city of New York. Bond Street, to be exact, was the fashionable focal point of houses for the
Zohar -
Mar 17, 2011 Zohar - rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
“31 Bond Street” by Ellen Horan is a historical fiction novel taking place in 1857 New York City. The book follows the notorious trial of Emma Cunningham for the murder of her landlord Dr. Harvey Burdell, a famous dentist.

Emma Cunningham is a widow with two daughters who is lodging in 31 Bond Street, NYC – the residence of Dr. Harvey Burdell. One fine morning the household wakes up to the horrific news that the doctor has been murdered in his room – with no signs of forced entry.

The immediate su
Mar 11, 2010 Michelle rated it really liked it
With 31 Bond Street, Ms. Horan presents the reader with historical fiction at its finest. It is a story that is quite literally "ripped from the headlines", with those headlines first printed in the 1850s. A real-life murder mystery, Ms. Horan does an excellent job of filling in the blanks, imagining the story behind the headlines and fleshing out characters that have long since been forgotten. Through her skill, the reader gets the pleasure of enjoying a well-written of literary fiction with en ...more
Alayne Bushey
Mar 06, 2010 Alayne Bushey rated it really liked it
In 1857 a man named Harvey Burdell, a seemingly upstanding New York dentist, was brutally murdered in the middle of the night. His throat was sliced, nearly severing his head, and he was fiercely stabbed several times through his back and chest. The crime scene was bloody, but no evidence of the murder weapon or culprit was ever found. Living on the upper floors of Burdell’s wealthy 31 Bond Street townhouse are the widow Emma Cunningham and her children. As the only household member with motive ...more
Jun 02, 2010 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Find the enhanced version of this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

The murder of Dr. Harvey Burdell and the subsequent trial of Emma Cunningham captured the public imagination when it first appeared in the papers. New Yorkers eagerly anticipated each and every tidbit of information regarding the deceased dentist, the assumed mistress claiming to be his wife and the court room drama surrounding the question of her guilt. Ellen Horan's 31 Bond Street brilliantly recapt
May 19, 2010 Desire rated it really liked it
The humble origins of iconographic places often get lost beneath the layers of time and change. In the late 1800s, the streets of New York City still used cobblestone paving. The Jersey shore still had lots for sale. Shanty towns peppered the city and wooded areas still bordered the city. However the life changing opportunities and unforgiving competition for position and power which personify New York were well on their way to being fully formed. New York society teamed with economic and cultur ...more
Jul 23, 2010 Gaby rated it it was amazing
31 Bond Street succeeds as a mystery and as unique glimpse into Old New York. Ellen Horan has carefully researched the period, the trial, and the characters that make up this book and this comes across from the very start. She weaves in details about daily life in the 1850s and makes it come alive.

Henry Clinton who defends Emma Cunningham is a talented defense lawyer who goes on to become the highest paid attorney of his time -- and it is this case that changed his career. Clinton goes up agains
Ryan G
Feb 20, 2011 Ryan G rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm always a little leery, but can never resist, an actual unsolved murder case and the story an author is willing to create around it. Sadly, a lot of authors who take an actual case out of history and try to recreate it, fail miserably. They can't seem to get a good sense of character or the time period the slaying took place in. The tale they craft, while maybe good fiction, doesn't have the ring of truth about it. The solution they created just isn't believable. Thankfully, that was not the ...more
Jul 30, 2010 Wendy rated it really liked it
When Dr. Harvey Burdell, a New York dentist, is found brutally murdered in his own home, behind locked doors, suspicion immediately falls on those in the household, particularly Emma Cunningham whose sudden production of a secret marriage certificate between her and the doctor two weeks before the murder raises eyebrows and puts her innocence in doubt. Emma is a woman who is desperate to hang onto the last vestige of her social status, both for her daughters' sake as well as her own. She is near ...more
Mar 08, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
Actual Rating: 3.5 stars!

I picked up this book at a library book sale for a dollar a few months ago. I'll admit that it was mostly a cover buy for me, but the synopsis was intriguing. A wealthy dentist is violently murdered late at night and his body is discovered by a young servant boy bringing up his breakfast the next morning. An immediate inquiry is launched by the coroner, and his prime suspect is Emma Cunningham, a young widow with two teenage daughters, who boarded at the house. In late 1
May 27, 2010 Rose rated it it was amazing
31 Bond Street is a historical novel based on the events surrounding the murder of Dr. Harvey Burdell, a wealthy New York dentist found butchered in his New York townhouse in February 1857. After a flimsy investigation, the district attorney decided that Burdell’s attractive housekeeper and mistress, Emma Cunningham, had killed him to seize control of his sizable estate. The evidence was not compelling, but no better suspect could be found. Her murder trial was a media circus that held New Yorke ...more
Greta Nettleton
Jan 19, 2014 Greta Nettleton rated it really liked it
After a leisurely Victorian start, this story really picked up speed and turned into a gripping courtroom drama and murder mystery; I could not stop reading until I eventually discovered "Who killed Dr. Burdell?". And boy, did he deserve his grisly fate! A great read for anyone who is an urban history hound, fans of Caleb Carr books, etc. I liked the realistic feel of the descriptions of old New York City, where marshlands still ringed the island in many place, the cobblestoned streets were lit ...more
Sep 29, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it
Author Ellen Horan has written a very readable historical fiction novel about the murder of Dr. Harvey Burdell in New York City in 1857. Horan's main character is Burdell's "housemistress" Ellen Cunningham, who is very quickly charged with Burdell's murder.

This book is so fast paced and readable that had it not been for work the next day I probably would have read the entire book in one night, perhaps two. Horan's characters come alive as she details what at the time was the "trial of the centur
Gail Cooke
Apr 03, 2010 Gail Cooke rated it really liked it
A totally absorbing blend of fact and fiction is found in Ellen Horan's stellar debut 31 BOND STREET. Basing her story on what the 19th century called the crime of the century Horan competently moves between past and present to draw deft pictures of the individuals involved in a trial that held not only New York City but the entire world in thrall.

It was February of 1857 that brought "the worst, the very worst, wintry gale ever experienced in the city..." It was also when a young hired boy found
Sep 12, 2010 Nancy rated it really liked it
Historical mysteries are always hit and miss with me. Sometimes the author assumes that the reader knows more about the period then they do or are overly descriptive of the environment and fainting couches.

31 Bond Street falls more into the middle of the road. Ellen Horan explains enough, but at the same time, leaves a bit up to your imagination as to what really did go on behind the doors of 31 Bond Street.

When Emma Cunningham’s resources start to run a bit thin she sets her sights on Dr. Burde
May 02, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it
When Dr. Harvey Burdell is found violently murdered in his fine New York home at 31 Bond Street in 1857, the lady of the house, Emma Cunningham, becomes the main suspect. Recently widowed, nearly broke, and desperate to secure her financial future, Emma cunningly caught Burdell's attention several months ago and accepted the best deal he was inclined to offer. For her services as housemistress (and with the potential for marriage at a later date), Emma received free room and board and a respecta ...more
Molly (Cafinated Reads)
Mar 11, 2011 Molly (Cafinated Reads) rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Molly (Cafinated Reads) by: TLC
I love getting and reading a book and ending up surprised (pleasantly, of course!) with the content. This author is fantastic. She took a true crime and wove it's details into a magnificent work of fiction. From beginning to end, she filled the pages with words and characters that become the reader. The reader is taken on twists and turns through out, following the author's clue like words to the very end.

The setting is set just before the civil war in New York. There's carriages and fancy dres
Feb 26, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it
*This review is based on a copy of the book I won through Goodreads FirstReads Giveaways.*

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

It's a fantastic historical fiction based on the real life murder of Dr. Harvey Burdell and the subsequent trial of Emma Cunningham, a widow who lived on the upper floor of his home along with her two daughters.

I must give Ms. Horan a hand. The story gripped me from the first pages and kept me engrossed until the end. I spent the entire day finishing the book; I simply could n
Jul 22, 2010 Carey rated it really liked it
Amidst a horrendous winter storm in February, 1857, prominent New York dentist Harvey Burdell is violently murdered in his room at his home. The doors and windows were all locked and suspicion immediately falls on Emma Cunningham, a pretty widow with two teen aged daughters who had recently become Dr. Burdell's housekeeper. When she produces a marriage certificate dated two weeks prior to the murder which shows that she secretly became Dr. Burdell's wife, the suspicion is only heightened.

As the
Lydia Presley
There's just something about an unsolved mystery. I mean, we know the outcome (or you will by reading this book or researching online), but still - the possibilities are endless.

That's how this book felt to me - like the possibilities were endless. Even knowing how everything turned out beforehand I wanted to see Ellen Horan's spin on it, to see how she could possibly manipulate the story to make it seem new and fresh (I remember reading about the murder of Dr. Burdell years ago and it fascinate
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REVIEWS--Here's what they are saying!
It’s not easy to breathe life into real-life characters, especially when quoting their words extensively from reported sources, but Cunningham and Clinton live on the page as freshly as if they had stepped, newly minted, from Horan’s vivid imagination.” —Washington Post

“This is a gripping, elegantly written, and brilliantly researched legal thriller, but it is
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