Murder on Amsterdam Avenue: A Gaslight Mystery

Victoria Thompson. Berkley Prime Crime, $25.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-425-26047-0

In Edgar-finalist Thompson’s solid 17th Gaslight mystery set in New York City in the late 1890s, Frank Malloy, who was fired from the NYPD in 2014’s Murder on Murray Hill after he inherited a fortune, transitions easily into work as a private eye. Frank’s bride-to-be, Sarah Brandt, lands him his first case after she pays a condolence call to the family of the late Charles Oakes, who was just appointed the superintendent of the Manhattan State Hospital, an insane asylum. Since Charles was in perfectly good health before his sudden death, his father suspects he was poisoned. Frank has a wide range of suspects to consider, both inside the family and out, and the pressure to solve the murder ratchets up when the killer strikes again. The plot is pretty formulaic, but Rhys Bowen and Anne Perry fans looking for another series featuring Victorian-era husband-wife sleuths will likely be satisfied. Agent: Nancy Yost, Nancy Yost Literary Agency. (May)