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Death at Chinatown

(Emily Cabot Mysteries #5)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  34 ratings  ·  14 reviews
In the summer of 1896, amateur sleuth Emily Cabot meets two young Chinese women who have recently received medical degrees. She is inspired to make an important decision about her own life when she learns about the difficult choices they have made in order to pursue their careers. When one of the women is accused of poisoning a Chinese herbalist, Emily once again finds her ...more
Paperback, 228 pages
Published April 16th 2014 by Allium Press
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Where I got the book: review copy provided by publisher. This review first appeared on the Historical Novel Society website.

The fifth in the Emily Cabot mystery series sees Emily, now married and the mother of small children, coping with a seemingly uncaring husband and her anxieties about motherhood and the academic career she has abandoned. Her meeting with two young Chinese women who sacrificed their own marriageability in order to study medicine in Chicago disturbs her, but when one of them
Nicola Mansfield
Oct 31, 2014 rated it liked it
A good mystery which I'd normally call a cozy but it contains a serious degree of historical information not usual for the everyday cozy. One can tell the author is extremely researched in the time period and in all the details which the main character comes across in this story which mainly have to do with medicine and the state of the Chinese in Chicago during this time period. I enjoyed the characters, except Stephen the husband, and many real-life personages are included in the cast. I did f ...more
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
This is my first book by the author, and the fifth book in this series. I was able to read this book without needing to read its predecessors.

I had a problem with this book, though it was not evident right away. This book is supposed to be a mystery, but the mystery part itself was not handled well, and even as a historical novel it is somewhat clunky. The author fails to capture the feel of Chinatown, and her description came across to me as dry. I know this book is from a first person perspect
Meg - A Bookish Affair
"Death at Chinatown" is a historical mystery that takes place in Chicago in 1896. It is the fifth book in the Emily Cabot mystery series. At its center are three women. There is Emily Cabot, a sharp woman, who has had a lot of opportunities that many women during that time did not have (being educated, getting an advanced degree, etc.). And there are Mary and Ida, two young Chinese women who are also very well educated and become doctors. Both of them are actual historical figures, which made th ...more
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Not a superb exemplar of the genre.
Kathy Cunningham
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Frances McNamara’s DEATH AT CHINATOWN is a historical mystery set in 19th century Chicago. The narrator is Emily Cabot Chapman, a onetime professor and sometime sleuth who’s now raising two children with her husband, Dr. Stephen Chapman. As the story begins, Emily is introduced to two Chinese doctors, young women who recently graduated from the University of Michigan and are spending the summer of 1896 in Chicago. When one of the doctors, Mary Stone, is arrested for the murder of a Chinese herba ...more
Lis Carey
It's the summer of 1896 in Chicago, and Emily Cabot is now Emily Chapman. She is married to Stephen Chapman and the mother of two young children. Her sleuthing days and her days in academia alike are over. With the amazing and heavy responsibilities of two young lives, how can she neglect them for even a moment?

Then Stephen insists that she attend a demonstration of the new, still experimental, x-ray machine at the university. He introduces her to Mary Stone and Ida Kahn, two young Chinese women
Kathleen Kelly
Sep 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
Death at Chinatown takes place in Chicago and Chicago's Chinatown in 1896. The era is strife with conflicts, restrictions on immigrants, Eastern and Western culture and the rights of women. A Chinese herbalist is murdered in Chinatown and Emily Cabot is recruited by the police Inspector Whitbread. Emily has assisted in solving a few other crimes in the past, but is now a full time wife and mother. She reluctantly agrees to help. Two other characters pivotal to the story are Drs. Ida Kahn and Mar ...more
Lisa Kearns
Sep 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Frances McNamara's "Death at Chinatown" is the fifth book in the Emily Cabot mystery/historical fiction series. Set in the late 1800s, she and her husband and a detective friend solve a different mystery in each book.

In this book, the setting is 1896 Chicago, mainly in the Chinatown area. Two young Chinese women are newly graduated from medical school, and are planning to return to China to open a hospital. Rival Chinese gangs clash over the politics of their homeland, and one of the young docto
William Bentrim
Sep 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Death At Chinatown is the fifth Emily Cabot mysteries. This mystery is a good fit for National Domestic Violence month. It does not deal with domestic violence but it does feature the development of the liberation of women. Two Chinese female doctors are resented by the Chinese male community.

After reading about the previous mysteries, I was somewhat shocked at how Mrs. Chapman was so fixated on child care in the early part of the book. She seemed overwhelmed with her responsibilities and total
Oct 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Reviewed for

Death at Chinatown is the newest release in the Emily Cabot mystery series. Set in 1896 Chicago, the book provides a fascinating look into American-Chinese culture, as well as medical advances of the time.

Death at Chinatown is billed as a mystery, yet the historical fiction elements make the book entertaining and delightful. With a large cast of characters, McNamara manages to keep the story moving and includes rich detail and a wealth of historical knowl
 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri

I was amazed at how much I enjoyed this book! I expected to be mildly entertained, but from Page 1 I was engrossed and rapidly turning the pages. I think I only required a couple hours because I couldn't tear myself away. Ms. McNamara takes on a large cast of characters, their personal issues, plus many local, national, and even global geopolitical dilemmas of the late 19th century. Plus there's a plethora of mystery, and one of the most appealing female protagonists I've encountered. I'm thankf
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
It was pretty basic writing, but I was happy to see that many of the important events around the Chinese community in Chicago at that time were included. The book is short and an easy read so it was over fast and the recommended reading in the afterward worth picking up the book.
May 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Good mystery. I would recommend this book.
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Frances McNamara grew up in Boston, where her father served as Police Commissioner for ten years. She has degrees from Mount Holyoke and Simmons Colleges, and formerly worked as a librarian at the University of Chicago. When not working or writing she can be found sailing on the Charles River in Boston or beaching on Cape Cod.

Other books in the series

Emily Cabot Mysteries (7 books)
  • Death at the Fair
  • Death at Hull House
  • Death at Pullman
  • Death at Woods Hole
  • Death at the Paris Exposition
  • Death at the Selig Studios (Emily Cabot Mysteries Book 7)

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