cover image New York Nocturne: The Return of Miss Lizzie

New York Nocturne: The Return of Miss Lizzie

Walter Satterthwait. Open Road/, $14.99 trade paper (298p) ISBN 978-1-5040-2812-7

In the summer of 1925, Amanda Burton, the 16-year-old narrator of Satterthwait’s sparkling sequel to 1989’s Miss Lizzie, journeys from Boston to Manhattan to visit an uncle she’s never met, John Burton. This debonair and mysterious relative introduces her to Broadway, the Dakota, and the Cotton Club before she discovers him dead from hatchet blows a week into her stay. Amanda—whose odious stepmother was ax murdered in the previous outing—is detained and interrogated by the police before she reencounters her old (and elderly) friend Lizzie Borden, who has her chum Dorothy Parker in tow. With help from John’s colorful cronies, including a hit man whose aim is almost as lethal as Parker’s tongue, the women investigate the dead man’s dealings with New York’s speakeasy underworld. Another two murders put Lizzie as well as Amanda under suspicion. The novel’s assured and witty voice holds its disparate elements together, and Satterthwait deftly captures the verve of the Prohibition era as well as its unsavory edges. (June)