Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Near Prospect Park” as Want to Read:
Near Prospect Park
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Near Prospect Park

(A Mary Handley Mystery #4)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  83 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Daring Brooklyn detective Mary Handley teams up with Teddy Roosevelt to solve her husband's murder, only to run afoul of nineteenth-century New York's elite when she uncovers a dangerous conspiracy.

It's December 1896, and after marrying a muckraking reporter, detective Mary Handley turns her focus from pursuing new cases to raising her newborn daughter. But when her husban
Paperback, 291 pages
Published January 14th 2020 by Ballantine 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 Near Prospect Park, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Near Prospect Park

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  83 ratings  ·  36 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Near Prospect Park
At 2 weeks prior to publication, I can now post my review.

Near Prospect Park by Lawrence H. Levy is the fourth book in the Mary Handley historical mystery series. It worked as a standalone novel with a strong female protagonist and is set in the late 1890’s in Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York.

Mary Handley works as a detective in a time when most women did not work outside of the home. Her character shows decent character depth during the course of the story. She is married to reporter Harper Llo
Bonnie DeMoss
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. Rounded up to 5.

Near Prospect Park is the 4th in a series about Mary Handley, a late 19th century private detective who rubs elbows with New York City's elite and famous while investigating crimes. It works well as a standalone novel.

Mary is hired to recover a stolen play for W.S. Gilbert of Gilbert and Sullivan fame. She sets up a meeting for the recovery of the play, but she is double-crossed and attacked. Her husband, a reporter, was there at the time as part of his own investiga
Kate Baxter
Wow! This fourth installment in the Mary Handley mystery series is a gut punch to the faithful series reader. The material, although still sadly poignant to this day, was darker than found in previous books in the series and quite shocking in its telling.

It's late 1896 in New York City. The wealthy top 400 families are in charge; the constabulary is afraid to cross them and there are some on the force who are as crooked as a country lane. A young woman, looking to better her life by pursuing an
A.L. Goulden
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love this era of storytelling so I was immediately drawn in and having recognizable historic figures like Roosevelt was a huge bonus of fascination. Mary Handley was a strong character although on the outset it was hard for me to believe she had an infant and maintained a career. I love the idea based on my own ideals and life but it is completely unrealistic for the time and place of this novel. So on that opening, I struggled to buy into the character's premise. However, it did become the cl ...more
Mar 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Mary Handley is a private investigator in this historical fiction set in Brooklyn during the Gilded Age. She is hired by the famous playwright GS Sullivan to recover his stolen play manuscript. But during the course of the exchange with the extortionist, things go horribly wrong. The criminal takes the money, keeps the manuscript and then murders her husband, a journalist who happens to follow her to the drop site in a vain effort to protect her. While trying to find her husband's killer, she fi ...more
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Historical fiction is my preferred way of gaining insight in to places and periods I am not well acquainted with. Levy's mystery takes us to the final years of the 19th Century in Manhattan and a "high-living" crowd of wealthy bachelors who amused themselves by drugging and taking advantage of women.

Levy's detective, Mary Handley, encounters these "gentlemen" and determines to take them down. The feminist angle to the book is repetitive and over-written, but the truth behind the novel was worth
Book Club Mom
Aug 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
In Near Prospect Park, Brooklyn detective Mary Handley takes on New York’s upper crust as she works with Lillian Russell, Diamond Jim Brady and Teddy Roosevelt to solve her husband’s murder.

It’s 1895 and Mary is happily married to Harper Lloyd, an investigative journalist. Despite also caring for their baby daughter, Mary still has her feet in detective work. For Mary is a modern woman, unwilling to sacrifice her ambition and independence to society’s (and her opinionated mother’s) expectations.
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Detective Mary Handley is a strong, spunky, independent woman living in the late 1800s. This spirited woman in the the three previous books i’ve had the pleasure to read helped solve many crimes in Brooklyn and Manhattan. My favorite Mary Handley novel thus far was the last of Levy’s Handley mysteries, The Last Stop In Brooklyn.” Near Prospect Park showed a different Mary. It was traumatically laced with what women have experienced for centuries when it comes to powerful men. I admire Lawrence H ...more
Suspense Magazine
May 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the fourth fantastic book in Levy’s historical mystery series, entitled the Mary Handley Mysteries. If you’re looking for a strong female protagonist and wish to go back in time and enjoy New York in the late 1890’s, this series was made just for you.

Mary Handley, as you probably guessed, is a detective during a time when most women are not employed. Married to Harper Lloyd, a reporter, they have a nine-month-old daughter named Josephine. Although Mary has recently turned away from solvi
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader.

Near Prospect Park is the 4th Mary Handley mystery by Lawrence H. Levy. Due out 14th Jan 2020 from Random House on their Ballantine imprint, it's 304 pages and will be available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats.

Set at the turn of the 19th century, New York private investigator Mary Handley is investigating a theft and ransom case for W. H. Gilbert (of Gilbert & Sullivan fame) when her life is turned upside down by the murder of her husban
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Somehow I have missed reading this series but I had no trouble enjoying it. Historical mysteries, especially ones involving famous historical people like Teddy Roosevelt, are on my list of favorites. Add a strong female protagonist - I found this a very good read and I will now add the previous three books of the series to my must read list.
Mary Handley is a detective in New York 1895, married to a newspaper reporter and raising their nine month old daughter. Tragedy strikes her world when her h
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really liked this historical mystery. I hadn't read the first any of the previous books in this series and I confess I was expecting something lighter...this is not a cozy! It's subject matter is dark and in tune with today's "me too" movement.
Mary Handley is a PI...a hard road when women were expected to just stay home and be wives and mothers. At the start of this book Mary's husband is murdered leaving her a widow with a baby daughter. She sets out to find her husband's killer. During her
Eileen Kennedy
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Gilded Age fascinates me; so too does reading a work sprinkled with recognizable historic figures. Near Prospect Park provides both. Mary Handley is a private detective, married and a mother, whose reputation brings her famous clients. This time around she mingles with W.S. Gilbert of Gilbert and Sullivan fame, the renowned architect Stanford White, Diamond Jim Brady and Lillian Russell, along with her friend Theodore Roosevelt. She enters a wealthy society tarnished with depravity and exces ...more
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you Random House and Netgalley for giving me the option to read this story in return for my honest review.
I am an avid historical romance reader and was not disappointed.
Mary teams up with Teddy Roosevelt to solve the murder of her husband. I like how other famous historical figures appear throughout the story, including Andrew Carnegie. I was totally immersed in the story and couldn't put it down. I had to know what happened next.
Finally, this story was very personal for me. Having grown
Oct 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Mary Handley is at it again. Working to bring crooks to justice in 1896 New York City. Only this time the case is personal -- someone has shot and killed her husband, near Prospect Park in Brooklyn, leaving her with an infant and some memories.

So we look at the seedy underground, and the rich men who like to see near-naked girls pop out of cakes and pies. We also get a good look at the beginnings of musical theater and William Gilbert, of Gilbert and Sullivan. We meet Diamond Jim Brady and Tedd
How could I not want to read this book? It has Brooklyn's Prospect Park and Teddy Roosevelt! It is also populated with the glitterati of the musical stage and the high fliers of New York society with sense of entitlement and their dirty secrets. Mary is a private investigator with a distasteful mother, a goodhearted brother, and some good friends both ordinary people and high profile ones. The murder she is investigating is that of her husband who was shot to death while she was on a case. Prett ...more
Kathleen Gray
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mary Handley's husband Harper is murdered, she's attacked while doing a job for WS Gilbert, and Susie Johnson has accused some of the most prominent men in 1896 New York of rape. Whew. This was the first of this series for me and it worked fine as a standalone. Mary's a detective- and she's got a few important connections, most notably to TR Roosevelt, who steps in to help her find out who killed Harper. Has Mary bitten off more than she should? She's darn intrepid. A variety of real people make ...more
Melissa Dee
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Mary Handley is (literally) a kick-ass private detective in a time when women were expected to stay at home, raise children, and support husbands. There were historical exceptions to that rule, and Mary meets Lillian Russell, a notable example. Mary, although of “humble origin” rubs elbows with the the highest of New York high society, and is hired by W. S. Gilbert (of Gilbert and Sullivan) to retrieve a stolen manuscript. The job goes badly, and as events spiral downwards for Mary, this book tu ...more
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book starts out with a few different stories and it really made me wonder if I could keep up.They all eventually intersect to make a wonderful mystery.
Mary Handley is a detective.She was in the middle of a case when her husband is murdered.Along with the commissioner Teddy Roosevelt’s help she tries to solve this case.The who’s who of New York’s high society cross paths with them along the way.
Loved the historical setting.A mystery you can really sink your teeth into.
Trick Wiley
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Received this through Net Galley and this is a drama,mystery about a woman who doesn't take no very often! I enjoyed this book because of the time period when woman were not to rock the boat,just be married,raise a family but she is her own detective and I do enjoyed Teddy Roosevelt in this story!! Very well written and you will enjoy the troubles and the outcome of the drama! It's a must read for sure!! ...more
Anna Fox
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very good book, but a dark subject especially since it still goes on in today's world. I enjoy the characters and will miss Harper. I enjoyed have Teddy Roosevelt in the book. I look forward to where the author will go with any forthcoming books.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Sercalunna Pautasso
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love historical mystery and I liked this one.
The historical background is interesting and well researched, the characters are fleshed out and the mystery kept me guessing.
It's the first I read in this series and won't surely be the last.
I recommend this entertaining and engrossing read.
I received this ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
This was a somewhat flat novel which I was very disappointed with. Mary's characters seems somewhat static since the last book I read. I found the characters were quite flat as well. The plot really didn't keep as interested as I had hoped. I really have lost interest in what happens to Mary in the future. ...more
Cathy Medell
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time getting into a this new series and Anne Perry usually writes in pre-WWI England time. This new series is about young woman in 1918. About 25 pages in I fell in love with the new character and it was really good, with heart pounding action and terror. I really highly recommend this new book series, I can't wait for the new book. ...more
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
While reading this book I felt like I had travel in time into a 1890 mystery novel. However, this book is not only a good mystery novel it has a powerful message concerning sexism and woman abuse and it is based on a real story which makes it more interesting. .
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tremendous Story and Great Writing.

This is a great read, and a wonderful story which I enjoyed very much. The previous novels on the same Lady Detective, Mary Handley led us to this chapter in her life. All we can hope for is more in the future

Apr 29, 2020 added it
I thoroughly enjoyed the entire series.
The stories take place in the era of my grandparents in the near vicinity of New York City.
The author incorporates many historical personalities, which gives the feeling of authenticity.
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good mystery! nice to see women of that time living a life that does not consist of petticoats and knitting.....Mary Handley is strong willed and independent even when faced with tragedy. Good writing and characters.
Oct 27, 2020 rated it liked it
What a bummer about the husband! I can't believe that in this time period anyone would take a woman detective seriously. The ending surprised me, but I can't see where I was given a real clue as to the culprit. ...more
Sep 29, 2019 rated it liked it
DRC from Edelweiss and Ballantine Books
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • One Fatal Flaw (Daniel Pitt #3)
  • Murder on Pleasant Avenue (Gaslight Mystery #23)
  • In the Shadow of Vesuvius (Lady Emily #14)
  • Death in Focus (Elena Standish #1)
  • The King's Justice (Maggie Hope #9)
  • The Last Mrs. Summers (Her Royal Spyness, #14)
  • The Mitford Scandal (Mitford Murders #3)
  • The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club, #1)
  • Riviera Gold (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, #16)
  • Dear Edward
  • A Question of Betrayal (Elena Standish, #2)
  • A Deception at Thornecrest (Amory Ames #7)
  • A Stroke of Malice (Lady Darby Mystery, #8)
  • Red Letter Days
  • The Last Passenger (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #0.3)
  • Spy
  • Trophy Life
  • Snack Attack!
See similar books…
LAWRENCE H. LEVY is a highly regarded film and TV writer who is a Writers Guild Award winner and a two-time Emmy nominee. He has written for various hit TV shows such as Family Ties, Saved by the Bell, Roseanne, and Seinfeld. Last Stop in Brooklyn is his third novel in the Mary Handley Mystery series.

Other books in the series

A Mary Handley Mystery (4 books)
  • Second Street Station (A Mary Handley Mystery, #1)
  • Brooklyn on Fire (A Mary Handley Mystery, #2)
  • Last Stop in Brooklyn (Mary Handley, #3)

Related Articles

Of Women and Salt, the debut novel by Gabriela Garcia, has the feel of a sweeping family saga that’s hard to reconcile with the fact that it’s...
0 likes · 0 comments