MYSTERY

Brooklyn Legacies

Poisoned Pen: Sourcebooks. (Erica Donato, Bk. 5). Dec. 2019. 224p. ISBN 9781492699347. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9781492699361. M
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Louisa Gibbs is a well-known firebrand advocating for the preservation of Brooklyn’s historic neighborhoods. Daniel Towns is responsible for selling the vast land holdings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Watchtower, most probably to developers. One of these holdings abuts Louisa’s 19th-century historic home, and both parties are disputing property lines. When Daniel gets threatening letters, Louisa is the prime suspect, until she, too, receives them, forcing the police to look elsewhere, with no clues to guide them. The subsequent murder of Daniel Towns in the underground tunnels connecting the various Watchtower buildings baffles everyone. Dr. Erica Donato, a new graduate specializing in Brooklyn history, has befriended both Louisa and the detective investigating the letters and murder, and both have asked for her assistance in solving the crimes.
VERDICT This fifth book in the “Erica Donato” series (after Brooklyn Wars) is fascinating primarily for the history of Brooklyn aspect. Erica is not a particularly endearing character, nor is she an astute detective—she acts before she thinks and fails to see evident facts. While this installment stands on its own, the series will attract Brooklynites and those interested in its history.

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