Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Murder on Astor Place (Gaslight Mystery, #1)” as Want to Read:
Murder on Astor Place (Gaslight Mystery, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Murder on Astor Place (Gaslight Mystery #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  7,476 Ratings  ·  718 Reviews
As a midwife in the turn-of-the-century tenements of New York City, Sarah Brandt has seen birth and death, suffering and joy. Now she is about to take part in something more unusual in the crime-ridden streets of the teeming city - a search for justice...

Early in the first book of this series, Sarah meets Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy of the New York City Police. Frank i
ebook, 288 pages
Published May 1st 1999 by Berkley 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 Murder on Astor Place, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Gretchen Smith Definitely Historical Mystery. The ending and actual crime are a little too dark for a cozy mystery. It is, however, a great read for rainy evenings…moreDefinitely Historical Mystery. The ending and actual crime are a little too dark for a cozy mystery. It is, however, a great read for rainy evenings with a cozy blanket and some tea!(less)
Kendall Kelly They can be read as stand alone, but there is a developing relationship and therefore, it is best to read them in order.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a big fan of Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series, about a female private investigator/psychologist in post WWI London, having read all of the books. Chelsea Clinton is also a fan, posting on Facebook about her memories of reading the books with her grandmother. Chelsea asked if anyone had recommendations for books like Maisie, and someone posted about Victoria Thompson's Gaslight Mystery series, about Sarah Brandt, a midwife living in New York City around the turn of the 20th century. ...more
Sarah Brandt, a widow, ex-socialite and midwife, was drawn into a murder-mystery when she glimpsed a young lady she thought she knew in the wrong place at the wrong time. She went head-to-head with the commoner Sergeant Detective Frank Mallory when he arrived at the scene of the crime. Over a period of weeks these two morph into a most unusual 'friendship' if I can use that word loosely. He doesn't appreciate her interference and she does not care for his bossiness; yet they help each other.

I en
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Setting: intriguing.
Writing: pedestrian.
Word Choices: occasionally extremely ahistorical.

For a further review: .
Mary Beth
Apr 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it! It is a historical mystery and its a page turner. The story is really good straight from the beginning to the end. I loved the characters. Its an excellent story.
Jul 29, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book had a number of things I usually like, but I just couldn't get into it and did not finish this one.

I usually like 1800's New York, I like strong female characters and I like people who fight against social structures that are stupid or unfair. This book had all of these, so I'm not entirely sure why it didn't grab me.

I did find the way Sarah just barged right back into the social strata that she had previously rejected somewhat implausible. I also felt like the way she went about tryin
ⓐⓥⓡⓔⓔ ☞ The Bookish Blonde
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ⓐⓥⓡⓔⓔ ☞ The Bookish Blonde by: Melisa
Shelves: audio-available

Admittedly, I don’t dabble in much fiction as I’m the kind of reader who typically reads for erudition and prefers non-fiction and textbooks. But if a fictional story can also teach me interesting facts and history then sign me up! I also like how I’ve been learning a lot about turn-of-the-century NY and the Gilded Age and this story put into practice some of the surroundings, customs, and history of the time that I’ve learned about and weaves it into context. I en
I've been needing another historical mystery series to add to my bag, and I believe I've found one in the Gaslight Mysteries. Murder on Astor Place is a solid start to a series set in early 20th Century New York. As usual with this type of mystery, getting to know - and liking - the sleuth and their world is the most important part. Here, the amateur sleuth is a midwife, but we discover that Sarah's social background is not cut-and-dry, and the reasons why she became a midwife add a lot of depth ...more
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aside from one of the main characters having the same name as an ex-boyfriend (eep!) which became a slight annoyance after reading it on over 200 pages, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I love reading about the Victorian times to learn more about the period, and this was a very well-researched book. The reveal was kind of disturbing but I have to admit I didn't see it coming. I'm looking forward to reading the other books in this series to see where it takes the main characters, both of which I b
Gary Sundell
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sarah Brandt, a New York City midwife gets pulled into a murder case being investigated by Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy of the NYC police department. The book is set in the late 1890s. A reformer named Teddy Roosevelt is the new Police Commissioner attempting to clean up the corruption in the department and the vice in the city. Teddy is frequently referred to during the story. The dead girl is the youngest daughter of a rich NYC family. What was she doing staying in a boarding house? Who kil ...more
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting protagonist, Sarah Brandt, born into a powerful, rich New York family in the 1900s. She defied her family and married out of her class. Now, a widow, who is a midwife become involved with the murder of the daughter of another rich family. Sarah is a strong character who holds her own as she tries to find the truth of this case. She also must battle NY detective, Frank Malloy, who is working the murder. Their clash and ultimate cooperation makes for interesting plot. I give this 3. ...more
Dec 14, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fairly competent little gas-light thriller set in Victorian era New York.
While not exactly a memorable entry in the genre in wasn't so bad that I couldn't finish it...I guess that's a recommendation of sorts;-)
While it was relatively inoffensive it wasn't good enough that I feel I *have* to read the rest of the series. Part of it may be that I've read some really excellent books lately and compared to them it just doesn't quite measure up.
Murder on Astor Place
4 Stars

As a midwife, Sarah Brandt is no stranger to the struggles of life and death. However, after attending a routine birth at a boarding house, Sarah is shocked to learn not only that one of the other guests has been murdered, but that the young woman is someone she knows. When the girl’s prominent family refuses to permit an investigation and the police appear to be just as disinclined, Sarah takes it upon herself to discover the truth.

A good mystery, but it is the dynam
Sep 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved the fact that this series takes place in New York, instead of in London like in most of these kinds of books. I loved the two main characters, I loved the dialogues, I loved the atmosphere, I loved the plot... Seriously, it couldn't get any better than that.

I read the first four books of this series in German as well as in English and I can only recommend that everybody, who's even a little bit capable of the English language, is better going to read these books in English.

IF th
Jun 21, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A bit of a disappointment, although I should have realized from the beginning that there was no way this book could compare to the likes of Caleb Carr. Sort of a cheap imitation.
It was a good "vacation read," easy to digest and not very deep at all. There was a serious lack of detail which I had been looking forward to. Instead of explaining the vast differences in the classes, the author just keeps repeating the fact that there WERE differences. Of course there were differences! Tell me more ab
Ann Rufo
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this series because it had all of my weaknesses - a cozyish mystery story, a confident and competent female lead character, and a Victorian-era setting. I have since been blowing through this series, from this, the first book, all the way, some 15 books later, to the end. They are wonderfully devoured like particularly good cake with atypically complicated taste combinations like cayenne and chocolate cake or carrot ginger scones. Set at the turn of the century in New York, a midwife f ...more
Four stars worth of love for the idea - a born-wealthy-but-disowned widow works as a midwife and comes across a girl who looks like an old school acquaintance. The girl is murdered and our heroine Sarah is drawn into the investigation by our police-detective hero Frank. Characterization is a little flat but the history is very interesting, especially because we're firmly in Victorian...New York City. Some overdone coincidences and a definitely predictable creepyfactor ending but overall I can't ...more
Mark Baker
Jun 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2016
Midwife Sarah Brandt is returning to visit a mother and newborn when she learns there has been a death at the home. A boarder was strangled during the night, and it turns out this is the younger sister of someone she knew years ago. Determined to see justice done, Sarah teams up with the very reluctant Frank Malloy, the detective assigned to the case, to find the killer.

This book really does feature two detectives as both Sarah and Frank are active contributers to seeing justice done. The hoppin
I'm trying to branch into mysteries. This is not the direction to go in.

A midwife gets caught up in a murder -- of good breeding, she's now a working woman, and the discovery that the victim too was of a well-to-do family, but that the crime will be hushed up to preserve their reputation draws her in.

Lots of family sordidness (although dealt with in a non-sordid manner, if that makes sense; some authors revel in that sort of thing but here Thompson makes it clear that the people who were involve
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! Looks like a new series for me to read. Thank you to everyone who recommended it. Set in the 1890s in New York City. The wonderful descriptions entranced me immediately and it wasn't long until I was fond of the two main characters. Local color and gentle humor in addition to great plot.
I understand the bad reviews for this one amongst many who enjoy cozy mysteries. The author pulls somewhat of a bait and switch on the reader. It starts out with the trappings of a cozy: likable female amateur crime solver aided by a man; little or no onscreen violence, the hint of romance and promise of a relationship, and neighborhood based. Most of all, the voice of the author is light and breezy despite the grim happenings. The tone is very discordant, and encourages the reader to persevere ...more
Sarah Brandt, widow and midwife is called out one night to a routine birth at a boarding house in Astor Place. She's surprised to catch a brief glimpse of a girl who looks remarkably like someone she once knew. Detective Sargent Frank Malloy is called out to the very safe boarding house the next day to investigate a murder. He has little hope of finding out who killed the girl but if he solves the case, he could get a promotion without having to bribe someone. Despite reforms by Police Commissio ...more
Nick (SFFWorld)
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full review forthcoming
After a routine delivery, midwife Sarah Brandt visits her patient in a rooming house and discovers that another boarder, a young girl, has been killed.

Murder on Astor Place is the first book in the Gaslight Series. It was a bit predictable, but I still enjoyed it. I found the main character very likable and I liked the dynamic between her and the police detective Malloy. This reminiscent of Anne Perry's books, only set in New York and not nearly as detailed. I think it’s a promising start to t
This is my kind of book! Murder; horror, mystery, and a little romance! I wonder when Sarah and Mr. Malloy will fall in love.
Though this book is extremely well-written and thoroughly engrossing, the killer was easy to pick out, and it wasn't the cozy historical mystery I expected it to be (certain topics in this book made it NOT cozy). However, the two main characters interested me enough for me to read the second book.
In Victoria Thompson's Murder on Astor Place, the first installment in the Gaslight Historical Mystery Series, this tale would captivate you and grip you with riveting storytelling. Set in the late 1890s, Sarah Brandt is a widow and a midwife in New York City, when Theodore Roosevelt was police commissioner. When she arrived for a birthing of a baby, she recognized someone from her past. Before she knew it, it was too late, when she found her... dead by strangulation. That's when NYC Police Dete ...more
Felicia J.
I initially wrote a more positive review for this first book in the
Gaslight Mysteries, set in turn-of-the-century New York City. My first impression was of a solidly plotted & readable tale that kept my interest, although I wasn't breathlessly turning pages to get to the end. The writing was too simplistic & matter-of-fact, stifling suspense & excitement, and it was easy to figure out major plot twists just before the characters did.

The more I thought about the mystery's resolution,
CJ - It's only a Paper Moon
This book is actually a 3.7.

New York City is the real main character here, which is a bonus to me as I'm a New Yorker, but this isn't the NYC that tourists know. This is the NYC of old. Crime, corruption, dirt, whores, rape, murder - this is the NYC that is trying to turn seedy into livable.

It's 1895, Teddy Roosevelt is President of the NYC Police Commissioners. He is cleaning up the city by trying to make the police department less corrupt. Sgt. Det. Frank Malloy is a widowed cop with a few tr
The first in the Gaslight Mystery series.

This book takes place in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. Our heroine is Sarah Brandt a midwife and widow who was brought up in upper society but married a doctor - and eschewed the life she lived for that with the man she loved. As a result she walks rather freely in all circles of society - which helps when she ends up involved in a mystery.

While helping to deliver a baby at a rooming house Sarah see's a girl that looks very like an old
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really great start to the Gaslight Mysteries! Id been wanting to start this series for over a year and finally sat down to take it on. I wish I hadn't waited so long.

Though I have a long way to go to catch up with the newer released books in this series, its a great thing. I can just binge read, back to back, knowing the stories will keep on rolling.

I thought the author did wonderfully in describing the people and times during the Victorian period. I felt like I could see, smell, hear it all
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Historical Myster...: Gaslight Mysteries by Victoria Thompson 18 46 May 31, 2016 09:40AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Murder on Astor Place 1 4 Nov 04, 2012 07:21PM  
  • Death on Beacon Hill (Nell Sweeney Mysteries, #3)
  • Death at Bishop's Keep (Kathryn Ardleigh, #1)
  • Murder on Nob Hill (Sarah Woolson Mystery, #1)
  • The Ninth Daughter (Abigail Adams #1)
  • Murphy's Law (Molly Murphy Mysteries, #1)
  • When Maidens Mourn (Sebastian St. Cyr, #7)
  • The Gilded Shroud (A Lady Fan Mystery #1)
  • Fire and Fog (Fremont Jones, #2)
  • Death at Wentwater Court (Daisy Dalrymple, #1)
  • Cut to the Quick (Julian Kestrel Mysteries, #1)
  • Some Danger Involved (Barker & Llewelyn, #1)
Victoria Thompson is the author of the Edgar® and Agatha nominated Gaslight Mystery series. She was nominated for an Edgar Allen Poe Award from Mystery Writers of America in 2001, and in 2012 she received a Career Achievement Award in Mystery Writing from RT Magazine. Her last five books were nominated for an Agatha Award. She also contributed to the award winning writing textbook MANY GENRES/ONE ...more
More about Victoria Thompson...

Other Books in the Series

Gaslight Mystery (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • 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 Waverly Place (Gaslight Mystery, #11)
“One woman couldn’t change the world. She could just make small parts of it better.” 8 likes
More quotes…