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July 3, 2022

Murder on Madison Square by Victoria Thompson ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

I'm always on the lookout for a new cozy mystery series, and I don't care much if I start at the beginning or somewhere in the middle. That's how I came to pick up Murder on Madison Square by Victoria Thompson. It's book 25 in her Gaslight Mystery series. It's the first book I've read in the series.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of historical mystery Murder on Madison Square by Victoria Thompson
May 2022; Berkley; 978-0593337066
audio, ebook, print (352 pages); historical mystery

Though no date is given for the series it is the early 1900s. Cars are becoming more popular but there are still horse-drawn carriages. It's set in New York City and cars play an important role in the plot.

Frank Malloy is a former police officer turned Private Investigator. He recently turned down a case where a wife was hoping to find dirt on her husband in order to secure a divorce. However, while he and his wife Sarah are attending the first-ever auto show in New York City, they come across the woman's husband who is an automobile investor. When the husband turns up dead, Frank and Sarah take on the case.

A quick Google search reveals that the first auto show in NYC occurred in November 1900 and it was indeed at Madison Square Garden. The date wasn't the only thing this book had me Googling. There is a lot about electric cars and the details sounded just like the ones we are hearing today - you can plug it in at your house, there are problems with making a long-lasting battery, etc. I didn't know we had electric cars from the beginning so I couldn't help but do a little searching to make sure it was historically accurate. it's true. In the early days of automobiles, electric cars were the most popular models (there were also steam-powered cars in addition to gas-powered). Thompson discusses the historical details a little more in her author's note at the end.

Frank and Sarah are enjoyable characters and the mystery is interesting. I don't read a lot of books set at the turn of the century so I found the historical details fascinating. Thompson really paid attention to little details that gave the story depth and made it feel realistic. I will be checking out more in this series.

Since this book came out in May, I also checked out the audiobook from the digital library so that I could "read" it a little faster. I listen to a lot of audiobooks and Suzanne Toren who reads this book also narrates Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swenson series. The voices she uses in this book are the same as the ones she uses for that series so it took a bit each time I picked up the audiobook to remember that I was listening to Murder on Madison Square. Otherwise, the audiobook is well done. 

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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