cover image Death of a New American

Death of a New American

Mariah Fredericks. Minotaur, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-15299-2

Fredericks’s wonderfully moving sequel to 2018’s A Death of No Importance opens in 1912 with lady’s maid Jane Prescott helping Louise Benchley, the shy daughter of an upper-class New York family, prepare for her society wedding to William Tyler. The wedding is to take place at the Long Island estate of William’s uncle, Charles Tyler, an anti-gang activist famous for his ongoing crusade against the Italian Mafia. There Jane befriends Sofia Bernardi, who’s nanny to the Tylers’ youngest child, Frederick. Late one night, Jane is roused by Frederick’s screams to find Sofia murdered in the nursery. The police believe that Sofia thwarted an attempted kidnapping—a warning to Charles from the Mafia—and paid with her life, but Jane soon discovers that Sofia’s death may be much more personal. Fredericks has a sharp eye for the complexities of human nature and how even good people are capable of committing terrible deeds to protect the ones they love. This is a touching portrait of early-20th-century New York in all its glory and ugliness. [em]Agent: Victoria Skurnick, Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary. (Apr.) [/em]