Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Death of a New American: A Mystery” as Want to Read:
Death of a New American: A Mystery
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Death of a New American: A Mystery

(Jane Prescott #2)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  70 ratings  ·  51 reviews

The atmospheric, compelling follow-up to the stunning debut A Death of No Importance, featuring series character, Jane Prescott.

In 1912, as New York reels from the news of the Titanic disaster, ladies’ maid Jane Prescott travels to Long Island with the Benchley family. Their daughter Louise is to marry William Tyler, at their uncle and aunt’s mansion; the Tylers are a g

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published April 9th 2019 by Minotaur Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Death of a New American, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Mariah I hereby state for the record: Jane is not immortal. But like Irving Berlin and George Burns, both born in the late 1800s, she has lived to see the…moreI hereby state for the record: Jane is not immortal. But like Irving Berlin and George Burns, both born in the late 1800s, she has lived to see the 1980s, which I think of as the beginning of our new Gilded Age. (If you read the ARC, I believe we changed former president to presidential candidate as Jane will probably not live to see the end of Reagan's presidency.)

Thanks for writing!(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  70 ratings  ·  51 reviews

Sort order
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
I have a new historical mystery series to love! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Death of a New American is second in the Jane Prescott historical mystery series. I have not read the first book, A Death of No Importance, but I was easily able to jump into this inviting and engaging story!

Jane Prescott is a ladies’ maid, living with the Benchley family and traveling with them to Long Island. The daughter in the family, Louise, is set to be married at her aunt and uncle’s mansion. The Tylers are high impact people, with a
Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
A socially-conscious, atmospheric, historical mystery exploring issues of ethnicity, class, and gender equality in the backdrop of early 1900s New York City. The novel is set right after news of the Titanic hits New York, and just before tens of thousands of women march the streets in support of women’s suffrage. With an explosive mystery and fascinating social commentary among the leading characters, I found Mariah Frederick’s book Death of a New American to be a fascinating addition to the his ...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
The year is 1912 and ladies maid Jane Prescott is preparing to travel to Long Island with the Benchley family for Louise's upcoming wedding. Louise is marrying William Tyler, whose uncle, Charles Tyler, is New York's Deputy Commissioner. Their wedding will take place at his grand home. Alas, everything goes haywire when the Tyler family's nanny is found murdered. Was it a kidnapping gone wrong, or a lovers' tiff? Charles Tyler has made enemies among the Italian mafia - could they have tried to k ...more
Karen Kay
I received this from in exchange for a review.

Jane Prescott travels to Long Island with the Benchley family. Their daughter Louise is to marry William Tyler, at their uncle and aunt’s mansion; the Tylers are a glamorous and well known couple.

I read the first book A Death of No Importance and liked it well enough. This book was a quarter step up from the first. The writing was a little smoother to read and the characters were interesting.

Nancy Bilyeau
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I also read the first book in this series, "A Death of No Importance," and while I really enjoyed it, I liked this novel even more. (And you don't have to have read the first book to follow 'A Death of a New American' perfectly well.) The main character, Jane Prescott, is an intelligent and resourceful maid working for a wealthy family in New York City in 1912, one whose money is "new." Once again she is thrown into the middle of a brutal murder, during a visit to another family in the country, ...more
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, history
Although I haven't read Mariah Fredericks first book in the Jane Prescott series, A Death of No Importance, I still wanted to read Death of a New American because I enjoy this time in American history. If you are like me and love historical mysteries, then this book is not to be missed even though it's book two! Best of all, Fredericks does a wonderful job giving new readers enough information about what happened in the first book that they aren't lost.

Jane Prescott, ladies' maid to Miss Louise
Alyssa Maxwell
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to read an ARC of this book. I found it to be an engrossing page turner with an engaging sleuth, an in-depth study of human nature across social lines, and a fearless exploration of Gilded Age New York with its underbelly of crime, poverty, and ruthless politics. Mariah Fredericks writes with stunning vividness and historical authenticity. I read the first book as well, and I'm loving this series!
The Lit Bitch
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you have been following me for just about any amount of time, it’s pretty clear that I love historical mysteries. Obviously this is a huge genre with mystery novels coming out of every period to fit just about every interest.

So when I am looking for a new historical mystery, I want to read something that is either ‘new’ or different, or has an outstanding main character that can relate to. When this series came up for review, I hadn’t heard a thing about it.

In fact I was actually kind of surp
Kay (aka) Miss Bates
Mariah Fredericks’s second Jane Prescott mystery, Death Of A New American, has a rich, layered, vivid backdrop: 1912 New York. Indeed, Fredericks’s vibrantly-rendered historical detail may be as immersive and compelling as her mystery and characters. Of the latter, her amateur sleuth, ladies maid Jane Prescott, is eminently sympathetic: intelligent, observant, and compassionate. Jane’s lowly social status allows her the freedom to fade into the background and take in the details of the wealthy, ...more
Addicted as I am to well researched historicals, this one really makes the grade!
It certainly seems appropriately researched (I'm geeky about checking such things) in areas related to the story line. The characters are all interesting and engaging even the brainless ones. The sleuthing is fascinating with the sort of plot twists and very red herrings. There are a couple of things that I wish I could address, but that would definitely be in spoiler territory.
Bottom line is that it held me capt
Maureen Timerman
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
A story that shows hate for a nationality, murder, wealth, and timestamped by the sinking of the Titanic.
As we journey for answers and they start be revealed, and boy I didn’t see most of it coming.
There are a great many twists and turns here, and be sure to read the epilogue, wow!

I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher St. Martin’s Press, and was not required to give a positive review.

Carolyn Mackler
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mariah Fredericks has written another wonderful historical mystery set in old New York! Great plotting, authentic language, and fab NYC details. Juicy, fascinating, and so so good. Mariah: please write MORE Jane Prescott. And what’s the deal with Michael? Will they ever hook up?!
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, historical, mystery
The second book in the Jane Prescott Historic series finds Jane working a ladies maid to Louise Blanchly. In 1912 Jane travels with Blanchlys to Long Island as Louise is married William Tyler. While there they will plan the wedding. Charles Tyler is known for putting down the Italian mafia of the Black Hand in New York City. Jane quickly becomes friends with nursery maid, Sofia who is later found dead in the nursery with the baby is crying in the floor. Jane is determined to find the answer to w ...more
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
1912 and rich Louise Benchley is preparing for her wedding to socially connected William Tyler. It is finally decided that the wedding will take place at the home of Charles Tyler, uncle to William, at Long Island. But unfortunately for the families concerned a body is discovered late one night. Does ths have anything to do with the activities of Charles Tyler and his clamp down on crime?
Jane Prescott, an intelligent and resourceful ladies maid is teamed up with reporter Michael Behan to discove
It is always a happy day when I get approved for an e-arc on Netgalley, particularly when it is a book I am really looking forward to. Needless to say, I was quite excited to be approved for Mariah Fredericks new book Death of a New American and immediately started reading when I received it.

The second in the series, we return to Jane Prescott’s world right after the sinking of The Titanic. She continues to work for the Benchley family and is now helping Louisa prepare for her upcoming society w
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was knocked out by Mariah Frederick’s first novel, A Death of No Importance, and wasn’t sure how her book about a maid in a wealthy American household slightly after the turn of the century could be translated into a series, but it seems it surely can be. Jane Prescott, a woman of her time in some ways, is grieving over the recent loss of the Titanic like everyone else, but unlike everyone else, she’s shepherding her charge, Miss Louise Benchley, through the trials and tribulations of a giant ...more
Mariah Fredericks brings back Jane Prescott, a ladies' maid in the early twentieth century in New York, in Death of a New American. The first in the series, A Death of No Importance, was one of Library Journal's top ten mysteries of 2018. While this historical mystery is slow-moving at times, the story it tells is topical. Jane Prescott is an astute amateur sleuth.

It's 1912. The headlines are about the sinking of the Titanic and the upcoming march for women's suffrage. But, Jane has little time
Death of a New American is the second entry on what is shaping up to be a really compelling historical mystery series. Our heroine is Jane Prescott, a lady's maid in New York City on 1912. Because most historical mystery protagonists are from the upper crust, it's refreshing to read about someone from another station. Jane and her employers are at a country house preparing for a wedding when a young Italian servant is murdered, and Jane works with a newspaper reporter to solve the case.

While thi
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read. Ladie's Maid Jane is back, assisting her charge in the run up to her wedding with William Turner. Turner's father Charles is notorious about locking up members of the Black Hand (Italian Maifia). Jane befriends the young Italian nanny, Sophia, when she joins the household in preperation for the wedding.

The family is vigiliant about security, including Turner's wife, Alva who mandates locked doors and shut windows at all times as a deterent to those that would harm her husband and chi
Melissa Dee
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading “Death of a New American” feels like being dropped into New York in the early part of the 20th century. The Titanic has just gone down, women are marching for suffrage, immigrants are pouring into the city, fortunes are being lost, and marriages are being made to protect and restore those fortunes.

Mariah Fredericks has written another puzzler of a mystery in her Jane Prescott series, and it is a light and breezy trip back in time.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this b
Cindy Ladensack
The second in an engaging series with an intelligent, resourceful heroine, this book weaves historical details with still-relevant social commentary and a nice twisty mystery. Of those elements, I think I enjoyed the history and social insights most in this book; I do like Jane but I often wonder if a ‘real’ woman of her background and position would be so outspoken and well-spoken.... and while well-plotted, some of the explanations and motives underpinning the central mystery seemed to me perh ...more
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

While this book was fine, I’m a little ambivalent about it. I almost felt that the murder mystery took backseat to social issues (women’s suffrage, immigrant racism, mental illness, etc.)...important issues but not what I anticipated focusing on. I found the writing a little choppy with abrupt changes in time/place at times. I also found it a bit unbelievable that the main character Jane (a lady’s maid) found herself in such close, personal relationships with her employers...not to mention
Trick Wiley
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't usually read mysteries but this one I really enjoyed! A lot of history with on who did it? Enjoyed the characters a different mixture of not only class but personalities. Had me on the edge of my seat and learned a lot of history that was going on at that time in history. If you enjoy history and adventure and who done it,this is your book!
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, mystery
This mystery was set in 1912 in New York. The story was rather sad as the person who was murdered was a likable character and the murder destroyed more than one life without benefiting anyone. There was a lot of historical detail about what was in the news at the time, from the sinking of the Titanic to a major women's suffrage march. While interesting, most of it was not directly related to the mystery. The characters were engaging, interesting, and acted realistically.

Jane was asked to discre
Sherry Chiger
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a delight! Mysteries are not my number-one genre, but you needn't be a mystery fan to love this book. The characters were beautifully fleshed out, of their time with all the prejudices that entails (the story is set in 1912) but relatable to nonetheless. The narrator, Jane, is no supersleuth or genius, not overly quirky in the way of many mystery protagonists; she's simply someone you enjoy spending time with, with a dry sense of humor. The plot zipped along. And six-year-old Mabel is somew ...more
In 'Death of a New American,' Mariah Fredericks takes on a complex tale of the Gilded Age. When murder intrudes upon the arrangements for a high-society wedding, it entangles lawmen and gangsters, politicians and society matrons. Only a trusted servant with the ability to maneuver both above and below stairs can sort the threads of truth from the fabric of lies, and even then she needs the assistance of a newspaper man she had previously spurned.

While touching on familiar Gilded-Age themes of we
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having read and enjoyed the first book in this series, A Death of No Importance, I knew I wanted to set aside a chunk of time to get lost in the world of Jane Prescott and 1912 New York. The time of the sinking of the Titanic and women's suffrage. Add to this the Black Hand Gang and anti immigrant, anti-Italian sentiment and there is a lot to deal with for Jane and the family who employs her. She is ladies maid to Charlotte Benchley, who was engaged in the previous book but those plans came to a ...more
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Gilded Age known for its opulence, the wealth of those in high-society and the lives they live. But this cannot be said about everyone. Underneath the glamour of the well-to-do, there are those whose lives are downtrodden, there are those whose lives are well below the poverty line and then, there are those who are criminals.
Jane Prescott, working for the Benchley family, is helping Louise prepare for her upcoming wedding to William Tyler. It is at Charles Tyler (William's uncle) mansion th
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in Fredericks’ Jane Prescott series. It is 1912, the Titanic has sunk killing 1500 people, suffragettes are marching in the streets of New York City, and there are four men running for President, including Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt.

Jane Prescott is a ladies’ maid to Louise Benchley, who has agreed to wed William Tyler. Miss Benchley and Mrs. Benchley travel to her husband-to-be uncle’s country estate where the wedding will be held so the mothers of the bride
Jane, the ladies' maid we met in A Death of No Importance, gets embroiled in another mystery in this second book in the series.

The mousy sister from the last book, Louise, is actually engaged to a wealthy and accomplished young man from a prestigious family. His uncle, whose house on Long Island is to be the setting for the wedding, is the current New York City police investigator who has been recently much lauded for his great success in starting up an Italian Squad to root out crime, especiall
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Mariah Fredericks is the author of several novels for teens. A Death of No Importance is her first mystery for adults. She lives with her husband and son in Jackson Heights, New York.

Other books in the series

Jane Prescott (2 books)
  • A Death of No Importance (Jane Prescott Mystery, #1)