cover image Death in Saratoga Springs: A Gilded Age Mystery

Death in Saratoga Springs: A Gilded Age Mystery

Charles O’Brien. Kensington, $15 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-7582-8638-3

In O’Brien’s sedate follow-up to 2013’s Death of a Robber Baron, Pamela Thompson looks into the disappearance of Ruth Colt, a young woman of mixed race whose aunt, Martha Colt, is housekeeper to the powerful Crawford family. Martha believes that wealthy military veteran Jed Crake—a known sexual predator—has killed Ruth. When Crake travels from Manhattan to Saratoga Springs for the summer, Pamela’s teenage ward, Francesca Ricci, goes undercover as a chambermaid there to monitor his activities. Then Crake is murdered, and Francesca is arrested for the crime. As Pamela, boss Jeremiah Prescott, and colleague Harry Miller probe a circle of suspects, including Crake’s hedonistic wife, a vengeful butcher, and an unstable bellboy, they uncover a series of dark secrets reaching back to the Civil War. O’Brien accurately evokes the affluent Saratoga of 1894, but the slow-moving investigation follows a predictable path until a nice, last-minute twist. [em]Agent: Evan Marshall, Evan Marshall Agency. (June) [/em]