The Mysterious Bookshop

Thompson, Victoria, Murder on Fifth Avenue

At the outset of Thompson’s fine 14th mystery set in late 19th-century New York City (after 2011’s Murder on Sisters Row), NYPD Det. Sgt. Frank Malloy receives a summons to Manhattan’s exclusive Knickerbocker Club, where member Chilton Devries has been found stabbed to death in a chair. Most of the victim’s surviving family members treat the news of his demise with indifference, save Devries’s daughter-in-law, who laughs exultantly. While Felix Decker, a high-ranking officer of the Knickerbocker, wants the truth, if the guilty party is a fellow club member, he’ll handle things discreetly, permitting an arrest only if the murderer is not from the upper class. As always, the detective is aided by Thompson’s most impressive creation, Decker’s fiercely independent and capable daughter, Sarah Brandt, who supports herself as a midwife. Newcomers as well as old fans will find this an intelligent and engrossing look at society and its hypocrisy.