cover image Deception by Gaslight: A Gilded Gotham Mystery

Deception by Gaslight: A Gilded Gotham Mystery

Kate Belli. Crooked Lane, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-64385-464-9

Set in 1888 New York City, Belli’s underwhelming debut and series launch introduces Genevieve Stewart, a reporter for the New York City Globe. Genevieve is on the trail of a vigilante criminal known as Robin Hood, who has committed three burglaries and then written to the Globe explaining why his victims were selected. In addition to their greed, Robin Hood has targeted them for such additional sins as, in the case of a railroad magnate, running a prostitution ring. Genevieve’s digging takes her to the Bowery, where she encounters “one of the most handsome men she’d ever seen” in suspicious proximity to a corpse. She later learns that the hunk is Daniel McCaffrey, heir to a vast fortune and the focal point of numerous rumors. Genevieve’s search for evidence that Daniel might be Robin Hood unfolds predictably, as does her attraction to him, and in general Belli telegraphs major plot developments. Those seeking a more plausible female sleuth in the same place and period should check out Lawrence H. Levy’s Mary Handley mysteries. Agent: Danielle Egan-Miller, Browne and Miller Literary Assoc. (Oct.)