Murder on Madison Square

Gaslight Mystery #25

By Victoria Thompson

ISBN 9780593337066

Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie


Sarah and Frank Malloy must catch a scheming killer in this latest gripping installment in the USA Today bestselling Gaslight Mysteries

Former policeman Frank Malloy is frustrated when a woman requests his private detective services to implicate her wealthy husband in adultery, the only legal grounds for divorce in New York state. Although Mrs. Bing seems genuinely distressed about her marriage and desperate to end it, she refuses to tell Frank the reason she absolutely must divorce her husband and admits she has no legal grounds. Frank explains he won’t manufacture evidence for her and sends her on her way.

The following week, Frank and Sarah happen to be attending the first ever auto show in Madison Square Garden when they meet the woman’s husband, Alvin Bing, who has invested in a company that produces one of the electric motorcars on display. A few days later, the newspapers report that millionaire Alvin Bing has been found dead, pinned beneath one of the wheels of his very own motorcar. But who was driving it? The obvious suspect is Mrs. Bing, but Frank and Sarah find that nothing is as it seems in their puzzling, dangerous search for truth.


This stunning new novel in one of my favorite historical mystery series was excellent! I enjoyed seeing Frank, his wife Sarah, Gino, and Maeve in a complex new case! It includes the automobile industry in the election year 1900. I was very surprised to see that there were fully electric vehicles in the early years of automobile history. I continue to laugh at how five miles per hour seems fast to Frank! This novel, and others in the series, can be read as standalones, with sufficient background to fully enjoy them.

Frank and Gino, former police officers, are partners in a private investigation firm. Maeve works in the office while Frank and Sarah’s children are in school and is their nanny the rest of the time. Sarah is a nurse and midwife, and still works at the women’s hospital she established. She also helps Frank and Gino with their cases.

Ethel Bing was referred to Frank from an attorney in his office building. She wanted a divorce but could only get one if her husband of less than nine months was found to be unfaithful. She didn’t say why she wanted the divorce, and Frank was unwilling to set her husband up in a false situation. She and her husband had both lost their first spouses; Pearl, his adult daughter, resented him for remarrying. Ethel’s teenage daughter, Carrie, from her first marriage, seemed to genuinely care for Alvin.

It was shocking, a few days later, when Ethel’s husband Alvin was killed, run over by his own car after leaving the automobile show at Madison Square Garden. He had been an investor and partner with Will, who designed, built, and sold electric autos.

Ethel came to the Malloy home to see Frank, but instead spoke with Sarah. The murder of her husband came too soon after her recent attempt to divorce him, so she won’t go to his office. Sarah will bring Frank to the Bing home to make a condolence call so they can meet. Ethel wants his help to find who killed Alvin. Alvin’s first wife, despite what he told everyone, is still very much alive and had appeared at their door days earlier. Alvin had abandoned her several years ago when he took Pearl to New York. Nora spent those years working her way east to find them.

Each of the characters are crafted with care. I enjoyed getting to see the regulars again. Frank and Sarah, Gino, and Maeve are each a delight, bringing diverse backgrounds and qualities. They each have a delightful sense of humor, as does Frank’s mother, who lives with Frank and Sarah. I enjoy Mrs. Malloy’s dry input into their cases, and she comes up with some real zingers! I admire her for how she volunteers at grandson Brian’s school so she can learn sign language to better communicate with him and to help others. Between the five of them, I don’t believe there is a mystery in the Big Apple they can’t solve.

The historical background was very well researched, as I was sufficiently curious about an event to look it up. The author brings this era to life throughout the series, from lifestyles to politics and even the three different types of autos being engineered then.

The author is equally adept at bringing to life a mystery that could easily come from today’s headlines. Frank, Gino, Maeve, and Sarah follow every lead to find Mr. Bing’s killer in this fast-paced mystery. When a second murder takes place, determining if there is one killer or two added to the challenge. There were small “tells” throughout that led me to my main suspect, yet two others seemed to have equal if not stronger motives. I was extremely grieved by the motives various characters had for his murder, especially the real killer(s). The murders were fully resolved without any loose ends, with some pleasant and not-so-pleasant outcomes for characters. I highly recommend this mystery and series to fans of historical mysteries and the author.