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Murder on Sisters' Row (Gaslight Mystery #13)

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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  1,426 ratings  ·  136 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
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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
372nd out of 1,084 books — 2,921 voters
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth PetersThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan BradleyThe Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. KingMaisie Dobbs by Jacqueline WinspearMistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Favorite Historical Mystery Series
334th out of 717 books — 734 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,171)
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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
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Tammie
The mystery aspect of this was ok, but this series has kind of fallen into a rut at this point. There are still no new developments in the relationship between Sarah and Malloy, no new character development for any of the supporting characters. It has become rather repetitive. How many times can we read the scenario of Malloy visiting Sarah, being greeted by her with a smile and by Catherine with excitement as Malloy picks her up and says a few words to her before he is invited to eat with them ...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
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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
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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 w
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Lisa C
It would be disingenuous of me to only give this book two stars, since I did stay up until almost two in the morning to listen to the final reveal, but I really can't recommend it. Thompson seems to think that her readers are as naive and frankly rather stupid as her characters. I suppose it is intended to come off as sheltered, protected ladies accidentally finding out about the real world, but at least in listening to the book, it's extremely trying. It seemed to take almost half an hour to ge ...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
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Inez
I love this series. It's a nice cozy, that intertwines the central mystery with events in the everyday lives of its two protagonists, so that you can't help but want to read more. There's mystery and romance set against a Victorian background. What more could you want?
Diana
Sarah is a midwife during the late 1800’s in New York City. She is called to assist in a birth, not realizing the house is actually a brothel. Mrs. Van Orner, a wealthy woman, strives to save women from prostitution. Sarah indirectly helps rescue the new mother and baby from the brothel. Then, Mrs. Van Orner dies under mysterious circumstances. When the police discover it was murder, Sarah and her mother indirectly try to discover why Mrs. Van Orner was murdered and by whom. Sarah’s friend, Dete ...more
Library-KAT
Another delightful Gaslight Mystery featuring: Mrs Sarah Brandt, midwife & daughter of wealthy parents; Officer Frank Malloy, NYPD; Mrs Ellsworth, nosy neighbor & friend of Sarah Brandt; and Catherine & Maeve, adopted daughters of Sarah.

Sarah is called upon to deliver a baby in a dubious "boarding house" for girls, which turns out to be a brothel. She is convinced by the young woman to call upon a known rescue group to save her from the brothel.

Unfortunately the young girl was once a
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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
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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
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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
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Barbara
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
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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
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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
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Jolisa Sampey
When Sarah Brandt is summoned to deliver a baby, she thinks she is going to a boarding house for unmarried mothers, not a brothel. Still, she finds herself in one, delivering a baby to a woman who insists she needs help because she is being held against her will. Sarah agrees to help her and finds herself once again immersed in trouble and requiring the help of Frank Malloy. When there is another murder, Frank turns to Sarah for help.
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
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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
Judy Tate
Only Sarah could end up midwifing a tart in a bordelo and promising the mother that she will help her get out and get her baby out and be safe from the very savage madam that runs the house. Malloy gets there just in time to keep Sarah from getting killed.
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
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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 18 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 in Chinatown (Gaslight Mystery, #9)
  • Murder on Bank Street (Gaslight Mystery, #10)
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 Marble Row (Gaslight Mystery, #6) Murder on Washington Square (Gaslight Mystery, #4)

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