Rick Geary, . . NBM, $15.95 (80pp) ISBN 978-1-56163-274-9

Geary (Jack the Ripper) adds to his Treasury of Victorian Murder series, this time retelling a true tale of the disappearance and murder of Mary Cecilia Rogers, which prompted a media frenzy in 1840s New York. Rogers sold cigars in a tobacco store that catered to many of the city's illustrious characters, including Tammany Hall politicos, authors James Fenimore Cooper and Washington Irving, and, most particularly, Edgar Allen Poe, who was so intrigued by the mystery that he wrote a novel based on the story and offered his own theories about the murder. With her "natural vivacity" and "dark smile," Rogers was popular and had many admirers. But after her bruised and bound corpse was found floating in the Hudson, a rushed investigation and hasty burial led to rampant speculation about her character and her murder. There were rumors of a botched abortion and accusations pointing to gangs of ruffians or spurned lovers—some observers even suggested that the body wasn't Mary Rogers's at all. Geary comes up with his own twist on the mystery and manages to capture the spirit of a booming and boisterous New York City in the 1840s, a city without a full-time police force at a time when bodies turned up in the city's rivers regularly. Drawing on news accounts of the time and the many fictional accounts surrounding the case, Geary's retelling is detailed and well researched, and his impressive black-and-white drawings depict Victorian New York with great care. The book includes a bibliography and several maps of Manhattan and the Jersey Shore. (June)