Murder on Sisters' Row (Gaslight Mystery, #13)
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Murder on Sisters' Row (Gaslight Mystery #13)

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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  1,060 ratings  ·  118 reviews
It's no mystery why readers love Victoria Thompson's Edgar Award- nominated series.

With the help of a charitable lady of means, midwife Sarah Brandt rescues a young woman and her newborn from the brothel where the mother was forced to prostitute herself. But their success comes at a high price when their benefactor is found murdered.

Though the brothel's madam is immediat...more
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published June 7th 2011 by Berkley Hardcover
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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
435th out of 953 books — 2,290 voters
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Community Reviews

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Jennifer
These books...I'm so torn on them.

One the one hand, they're charming (though sometimes quite predictable) historical mysteries featuring a strong female lead character--a midwife who after her husband's murder chose not to return to her wealthy family to be taken care of, but instead to make her own way in the world--and as her counterpart, a good-hearted (if a bit gruff at times), uncorrupted NYC cop at a time when corruption was rampant in the police department.

On the other hand, while it was...more
Debbie
"Murder on Sisters' Row" is a historical mystery set in New York, New York in the late 1890's. This is the thirteenth book in the series, but you don't need to read the previous books to understand this one, and this one didn't spoil the previous mysteries.

There was a nice level of historical detail about the setting, social structure, etc., that brought the story alive in my imagination. I've read the first book in the series as well, and I've enjoyed learning more about NY at that time. I like...more
Tonya
Victoria Thompson is one of a select few mystery writers I will read today. In my opinion many mysteries today seem to be cotton candy, all fluff and no substance, with easily identifiable ‘bad guys.’ Not so with Ms. Thompson’s Gaslight Mystery series.

I find Sarah Brandt a wonderful blend of naiveté regarding human nature and expertise on social inequalities prevalent in her time period.

Frank Malloy is my favorite of the two main characters; his cynicism and world weary attitude are very believ...more
Shirley Schwartz
Same old, I'm afraid. I too used to enjoy this series, but nothing seems to change from book to book. I found the plot for this book tiresome and it was easy to figure out who the killer actually was. That tells me that this series is getting too predictable. The characters don't seem to grow and change much either. I love the idea of this series, late 1800's in New York City. You can't get much more potential for history than that, but I find that the era isn't ever expanded on. I would love to...more
Lynn Demsky
“Midwife Sarah Brandt braves the dangers of the tenements in nineteenth-century New York to help the impoverished and, with Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy, bring the guilty that prey on them to justice. Now, the latest novel in the Edgar®-nominated series finds Sarah compelled to save an expectant mother from a fate worse than death…
Summoned to an elegant house to deliver a baby, Sarah finds her patient is actually in a brothel. The young woman in labor reveals she is being held against her...more
Coleen
Saw this series of books recommended by Lane Library employees on the Lane Libraries (Oxford/Hamilton, Ohio) website a couple of years ago. Since then, Victoria Thompson has been my "go-to" author if I need a comfortable evening escape from the stress in my life. Is there nothing sweeter than going to bed with a paperback mystery?

This series of books, which is really a historical mystery series, has just the right touch of romance/sexual tension between Sarah Brandt, the mid-wife and Frank Mollo...more
Tad Richards
This is part of a series - fairly deep into the series, at #13 - about a midwife who doubles as a detective. In the beginning of the book she goes to deliver a baby in what it takes her a long chapter, laden with the broadest hints imaginable, to figure out is a brothel. The unraveling of the mystery couldn't be more telegraphed if a gorilla and a stripper had delivered it.
But in between, nicely readable, good period stuff -- including the interesting perception that it was particularly hard t...more
Elisabeth
I really like Victoria Thompson's Gaslight series, and I really like the characters. And, as usual, I was excited for the latest installment in the series. I also really liked the plot of this book. However, with this latest installment, Ms. Thompson is beginning to seriously test my willing suspension of disbelief. There were just too many scenes and conversations where you just had to wonder why no one was asking/stating the obvious. (or catching on to the obvious--Sarah, this means you)

I'd li...more
X5-494
*SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS*

This is book 13 of Victoria Thompson’s “Gaslight Mysteries” and it’s still not boring. On the contrary. I’m still not able to put the book away once I’ve started.

Okay, I really think that Frank should seriously stop wondering how Sarah becomes involved in his cases in pretty much every single chapter and just accept that that’s the way it’s gonna be, b...more
Babs
Oh, I am enjoying this series so much. Sarah Brandt, a midwife in the late 1800s in New York City, is a daughter of one of the wealthy, original Knickerbocker families (early Dutch settlers). She married outside her class and was estranged from her family for many years; just recently re-approaching and reconciling with them - especially her mother.

When her husband, a doctor, was killed a few years ago, she did not turn to her family for support or to rejoin them until she married, again. Inste...more
Cheryl A
This latest installment continues Victoria Thompson's predictible series, sending midwife Sarah Brandt stumbling into situations where no decent former society lady would even find herself - involved with murder and in this case, brothels and prostitutes.

Called upon to deliver a child, Sarah quickly discovers that the richly furnished home is not a boarding home for unwed mother, but a brothel. When begged by the new mother to help her escape, Sarah contacts a charity organization who rescues p...more
Susan
I've read every one of the books in this sometimes uneven series set in nineteenth-century New York City, but this latest one is a winner. Thompson gives us a good mystery and keeps up an exciting pace - in some past entries it felt as if midwife Sarah Brandt and Detective Frank Malloy spent half the book drinking coffee around Sarah's kitchen table trying to stretch the story out to meet a page quota! In this case Sarah has been called out to assist at a birth and realizes the neUw mother is a...more
Ed
This may be the best entry in the already strong series of period mysteries featuring midwife Sarah Brandt and her family and friends (including the ever vacillating but always helpful Detective Molloy). The series is set in late 19th century New York City--the Elevated has just been built, Teddy Roosevelt is police commissioner, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting children--this keeps Brandt busy but not too busy to solve a murder or two.

Thompson is able to avoid almost all th...more
Elizabeth
Called out for what she thinks will be a routine birth Sarah Brandt finds much more than she bargains for in the new mother, Amy. Amy has been living in a brothel, and she wants to be rescued. Sarah helps orchestrate her removal, much to Malloy's annoyance. Yet when the leader of the rescue party, Vivian Van Orner, is murdered days later he reluctantly involves Sarah in the case to help him track down the killer.

I read this series more for the characters than for the mystery, and although there...more
Patti Ashley
Another winner

Prostitutes in NYC in the early 1900's are not very different from those of today. Sarah finds herself delivering a baby in a brothel and becomes embroiled in the underbelly of prostitution in NYC.Of course Malloy is horrified but finds he needs Sarah as wealthy charitable women are involved. Definitely worth the read.
Judi
I am interested in the social mores of the Victorian upper classes. This book indulged my interest. I find Edward Gorey captivating as well for the same reason. This is the first book by Victoria Thompson that I have "read". Victoria, very appropriate first name. I found the mystery formulistic, everything spelled out so the reader can't miss the clues. The ending offers a group chat among characters that summarizes the entire story to further clarify the story line if needed. This book is tasty...more
Betty
Sarah is called to attend a birth. The houses she enters by door. It is richly furnished and very quiet. The client refuses her help at first. Later she learns that house is a brothel and the Mother a whore. She promises take the baby and to deliver a message to woman that saves prostitutes. After mission over the Society. The matron is found died in her carriage. Frank is assign to find the killer. As usual he tells Sarah to stay out of it.
Shannon
Perhaps the storyline is just getting old or perhaps I'm just looking for a bit more substance but this book in the series is light on story. That makes is a quick read which is fine and it seemed that Thompson has lightened up on her decriptions on how Sarah and Catherine and Sarah and Frank interact (they were a bit mushy with little to no substance behind the references). The story itself should probably be more about Frank and Sarah and moving their relationship along than putting Sarah in a...more
Sarah Nokleby
When will I learn? This is number THIRTEEN in this series, by now I should know this author's formula! The trouble is, she sucked me in early in the series with the relationship between the two main characters. For awhile it looked like she was going somewhere with it, and then in the last several books decided to drop it completely, or just allude to it. At the risk of sounding like a frustrated romantic, I'm tired of being jerked along!
I am also able to figure out the "who" in the "whodunit" f...more
Sally
Sarah Brandt, midwife, is picked up by a carriage and driver and taken to a home where a woman is due to give birth. After helping with the delivery, the woman pleads with Sarah to help her escape from the home with her baby. What Sarah thought was a boarding house is actually a brothel. She agrees to help the woman and seeks out Mrs. Van Orner, who operates a rescue for women wishing to leave prostitution. But the woman Sarah helps to escape isn't just any prostitute, she happens to be the mist...more
Debbie Maskus
Victoria Thompson settles on the plight of women during the late 1890's in New York. A workingwoman needed to be single and needed to be living with her parents and giving her wages to her parents. An honest job might consist of working in a sweatshop for extremely low wages. But life as a prostitute in an established house allowed better wages and a better lifestyle. The story also comments on the plight of the married woman, especially the wealthy woman. The story revolves around a young "mist...more
Talia
I like this series, but I'm getting a little bored with it. This wasn't one of the most exciting installments, although Thompson did an admirable job of throwing you off the killer's trail until the very end. I think part of my frustration lies with Sarah Brandt's and Frank Malloy's relationship or lack thereof. Thompson had it going pretty quickly at the beginning of the series all those years ago, but over the last four or so books there's been virtually nothing. Not even a hint of it. It's fr...more
Rinnerl
Victoria Thompson is definitely one of my favourite writers and I love her „Gaslight Mystery“ series.

In „Murder on Sisters’ Row“ Midwife Sarah Brand is called to deliver a baby. Secretly, the new mother tells her the house she’s staying at is a brothel, where she will be forced to work as a prostitute as soon as she recovered from birth. She begs Sarah to help her and her baby to escape and of course Sarah is (again) in the middle of trouble.

The two main characters Sarah Brandt and Detective Fr...more
Karen
With the help of a charitable lady of means, midwife Sarah Brandt rescues a young woman and her newborn from the brothel where the mother was forced to prostitute herself. But their success comes at a high price when their benefactor is found murdered.
One reviewer said that this is the 13th book in the series - I believe I have read all of them.
Another mystery series I enjoy reading. Mrs. Brandt grew up in a society home, but rejected her society life by marrying a physician and becoming a midw...more
Christine
2.5 Stars. This is why I do not like the quintessential 'mystery'. This story could have been so much more without the continuing addition of the 'questioning, dialog 'he asks this, she answers that,, etc, etc etc... then go into thought bubbles and dialog. There must be a manual for writing mysteries out there hat should be burned.
Despite lovely characters and evil madames and pouty whores this very good concept was mulled with may too much of those old mystery telling setbacks.
If you Like thi...more
Argum63
Sisters Row is a bank of brothels and this look into mistresses and prostitutes at the turn of the century was as interesting as the previous books look at Chinese and Italians. Saw the killer and resisted it for most of the book. Good show
Deb
The best part of Victoria Thompson's Gaslight Mysteries is the meticulous atmosphere and the wonderful evocation of 1890s New York. This one involves a dead high society woman who runs a charity which "rescues" prostitutes, a philandering husband, four good suspects, midwife Sarah Brandt and, as usual, a disapproving Detective Malloy. Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt has been promoted to Undersecretary of the Navy and is no longer around to open doors for Sarah, but her intrepid society ma...more
Cynthia
I enjoyed the book overall. The pace slowed and dragged quite a bit after the initial opening until the second half of the book, or I may have given it 4 stars. I liked the period setting and would have enjoyed more use of this in the story. I was grateful that the interactions between friends and love interests were present but did not become the cutesy bantering that many contemporary mysteries seem to feature prominently. This is the first of Victoria Thompson's books I have read and I will r...more
Melissa
I've been away from this series for awhile, but glad to return. Am hoping to see some resolve to Sarah and Frank Malloy's "relationship" soon!

"With the help of a charitable lady of means, midwife Sarah Brandt rescues a young woman and her newborn from the brothel where the mother was forced to prostitute herself. But their success comes at a high price when their benefactor is found murdered. Though the brothel's madam is immediately considered a suspect, Sarah and Sergeant Frank Malloy investig...more
Judy Goodnight
In this book in the Gaslight Mystery series, Sarah is called to deliver a baby in what turns out to be a brothel. At the new mother's request, Sarah makes contact with a charity that rescues prostitutes and helps them start anew. But then murder strikes the head of the charity and their latest rescuee is not a typical case.

An okay venture in the series - few of the current mystery characters were especially sympathetic or people I cared about. Plus Sarah had several TSTL scenes (Too stupid to li...more
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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 pop...more
More about Victoria Thompson...
Murder on Astor Place (Gaslight Mystery, #1) Murder on St. Mark's Place (Gaslight Mystery, #2) Murder on Gramercy Park (Gaslight Mystery, #3) Murder in Chinatown (Gaslight Mystery, #9) Murder on Washington Square (Gaslight Mystery, #4)

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