Belli’s middling sequel to 2020’s Deception by Gaslight begins in June 1889, when society-page reporter Genevieve Stewart and her sometime investigative partner, Daniel McCaffrey, go to see Rupert Milton, Lord Umberland, and his bride, Esmie, off on their honeymoon voyage. Aboard the ship, Marcus Dalrymple, a former suitor of Esmie’s, bursts into the couple’s stateroom, babbles about danger and demons, and dies. Inside Marcus’s pocket is a souvenir medallion from a Bowery dive known as Boyle’s Suicide Tavern, legendary for the deaths said to occur on the upper floors. Genevieve and Daniel discover no clues when they visit Boyle’s the next day, but while they’re dining at a rooftop restaurant that night another young man begins rambling incoherently about a demon before jumping from the parapet. Soon afterward, the police discover that Marcus was poisoned and arrest Rupert for the crime. Belli evocatively portrays Gilded Age New York, but the diffuse plot is too reliant on coincidence to generate much suspense. Historical mystery fans can safely take a pass. Agent: Danielle Egan-Miller, Browne and Miller Literary Assoc.(Oct.).
Reviewed on : 07/26/2021 Release date: 10/12/2021 Genre: Mystery/Thriller