cover image Murder in Chinatown: A Gaslight Mystery

Murder in Chinatown: A Gaslight Mystery

Victoria Thompson, . . Berkley Prime Crime, $23.95 (305pp) ISBN 978-0-425-21531-9

Edgar-finalist Thompson’s eye-opening ninth Gaslight mystery (after 2006’s Murder in Little Italy) examines the culture clash in early 20th-century New York City between Chinese and Irish immigrants, whose poverty prompted many of them to intermarry. While midwife Sarah Brandt is attending pregnant Cora Lee, “a strapping Irish girl” whose husband is a successful Chinese merchant, Cora’s teenage half-Chinese niece, Angel, bursts into Cora’s Chinatown flat and asks Cora to save her from an arranged marriage to Mr. Wong, an elderly Chinese restaurant owner. When Angel later disappears, Sarah investigates and learns the missing girl had a secret lover, a young Irishman. After Angel winds up dead in an alley, Sarah turns to her detective friend, Frank Malloy, for help. The action of this thought-provoking novel with its vivid portrait of the miseries of tenement life builds to an unexpected climax. (June)