Death of an American Beauty

Mariah Fredericks. Minotaur, $26.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-21088-3
Set in 1913 Manhattan, Fredericks’s engrossing third mystery featuring lady’s maid Jane Prescott (after 2019’s Death of a New American) focuses on the plight of prostitutes. The Rev. Tewin Prescott, Jane’s socially progressive uncle, runs a refuge for former prostitutes on the Lower East Side. When a young woman who lives at the refuge is found murdered in an alley with one of her stockings missing, the protestors who continually harass the residents are quick to accuse Tewin of the murder, and the police are listening. But when a second woman, a department store employee and a former resident of Tewin’s halfway house, is murdered and another trophy taken, Jane sees a connection to a similar assault that happened near the refuge years earlier. Jane sets out to locate the woman who survived that assault and perhaps find a killer. No matter that the rich historical detail overshadows the crime solving. Fredericks’s portrait of the social disparities of early 20th century New York and of the appealing Jane make this a winner. Agent: Victoria Skurnick, Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 01/23/2020
Release date: 04/14/2020
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-250-78170-3
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