cover image Let the Dead Keep Their Secrets

Let the Dead Keep Their Secrets

Rosemary Simpson. Kensington, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4967-1573-9

In Simpson’s suspenseful, atmospheric third Gilded Age mystery (after Lies That Comfort and Betray), New York opera singer Claire Buchanan, whose twin sister, Catherine, died in childbirth eight months earlier, calls on the services of Prudence MacKenzie and her investigative partner, Geoffrey Hunter. Death of both mother and child during birth was not unusual in 1889, but Claire believes that her twin’s death was not natural. Catherine’s husband, Aaron Sorensen, who inherited her wealth, is an unsuccessful gambler who married another heiress with indecent haste after her death, and his new wife is eight months pregnant. Geoffrey sets out to learn all he can about Aaron’s past, while Prudence, fearing that Aaron’s second wife and her child are also in danger, formulates a perilous plan to expose the gambler’s murder-for-inheritance scheme. Simpson’s New York is gritty and dark, and she convincingly portrays the era’s fascinating macabre spiritualist beliefs, class and gender stereotypes, and racial prejudices. [em]Agent: Jessica Faust, BookEnds Literary Agency. (Dec.) [/em]