Betrayal on the Bowery

Crooked Lane. (Gilded Gotham Mystery, Bk. 2). Oct. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9781643857589. $27.99. M
Belli’s sequel to Deception by Gaslight picks up after the 1889 wedding of New York City elites Esmie Bradley and Rupert Milton. Their friends, journalist Genevieve Stewart and millionaire Daniel McCaffrey, meet at the seaport to see the newlyweds off on their honeymoon cruise. Esmie’s scream sends Genevieve and Daniel running onboard where they the corpse of a man who was one of Esmie’s previous suitors. Rupert claims that the man had invaded the couple’s honeymoon suite where he was yelling about demons, then vomited and died. While the police investigate Rupert for the man’s death, Daniel and Genevieve take a clue, a medallion they found in the dead man’s pocket, and go to the Bowery. The medallion came from the neighborhood’s notorious Boyle’s Suicide Tavern, indicating that someone spent the night there and lived to tell about it. The investigation hasn’t gone far when Daniel and Genevieve’s dinner at a rooftop restaurant is interrupted by another young man who yells that a demon is coming, then jumps to his death. Soon this case and another (the disappearance of a young society woman) converge at a mysterious mansion, where Genevieve will have to save Daniel from an unscrupulous woman and dangerous men.
VERDICT An action-packed historical mystery with a strong female protagonist and hints of future romance.
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