cover image The Unquiet Dead

The Unquiet Dead

Stacie Murphy. Pegasus Crime, $26 (288p) ISBN 978-1-64313-893-0

Set in 1893 Manhattan, Murphy’s stellar sequel to 2021’s A Deadly Fortune finds Amelia Matthew struggling to master her vulnerability to the spirits of the dead and Jonas Vincent, her brother and investigative partner, traumatized by a recent gunshot wound. After five-year-old Ginny Holloway is kidnapped, her body is found on the street with 15-year-old laundry worker Amos Alston beside it. When Amos, the son of a Black waiter at the upscale nightclub where Amelia and Jonas work, is arrested for Ginny’s murder, attorney Sidney White agrees to help the siblings clear him. A brutal beating prompts Amos to confess, and the trio’s initial sleuthing implicates him more deeply. Absent from home at the time of the abduction, he became friendly with Ginny during laundry deliveries to her family’s opulent mansion. As Jonas and Sidney investigate, they must hide their mutual attraction, and Amelia reencounters Andrew Cavanaugh, the handsome doctor she met during her last case. Convincing characterizations, taut plotting, and vivid depiction of the class, gender, and racial tensions roiling Gilded Age New York make this entry a standout. Murphy is a historical writer to watch. Agent: Jill Marr, Sandra Dijkstra Literary. (Apr.)