In January 1896 the author of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle, comes to New York with his wife, Louisa for an American tour. While staying at The New Britannic Louisa falls and sprains her ankle, making her stay behind while Arthur continues on his tour. When a woman turns up mutilated in Bowery, Louisa recognizes her from a sketch in the paper as a woman she saw in the hotel lobby. Louisa quickly becomes obsessed with the woman’s horrible death and starts putting together clues of murder. The story comes back to the hotel and The Butcher who is killing woman and mutilating them.
I am not a big Sherlock Holmes fan, but know of his stories. I was a little worried that this would be a write over of Sherlock Holmes and was very pleased when it was not. This is a story of a woman, who in a time that woman were expected to sit and behave, takes the initiative to solve the Butcher Murders. Even as she hits wall against wall, usually put there by a man, she does not give up and knows that she has details that will help catch the murdered. Louisa is a character that leads a very sheltered life, but is not scared to step outside of that shelter and get a look at the rough life and use her knowledge.
The tours and history of “Old New York” were amazing. I truly enjoyed hearing and visualizing the brownstones and the other points of interest while Louisa was on her various rides around the city. The corruption of the police was something I had heard about but never really read about. It was hard for me to accept, but easier to imagine it. Teddy Roosevelt became a favorite character of mine, even though he was not well liked with his co-workers. He was a moral character and did not stand for the corruption.
Although this is not a book I would normally read I truly enjoyed it and would happily and easily highly recommend this book to others.
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