MYSTERY

Death of a New American

Minotaur: St. Martin's. (Jane Prescott, Bk. 2). Apr. 2019. 304p. ISBN 9781250152992. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250153005. M
COPY ISBN
OrangeReviewStarAlthough the headlines in April 1912 are about the sinking of the Titanic and the women's suffragist movement, ladies' maid Jane Prescott is concerned with the upcoming wedding of Louise Benchley to William Tyler. She accompanies the Benchleys to Long Island, NY, to the estate of Charles Tyler, who is famous for finding a kidnapped child and putting down the Black Hand Italian mafia. Jane's surprised to find the Tyler children have an Italian nanny, Sofia, and befriends young Mabel Tyler, who rushes to Jane when her baby brother is screaming one night. Jane is the one to discover the nanny's body and the window open but doubts that Sofia was in league with the Black Hand. Louise's father seems to doubt it as well, because he asks Jane to once again work with reporter Michael Behan to uncover the truth.
VERDICT This follow-up to A Death of No Importance (a 2018 LJ Best Crime Fiction pick) is slow to develop, but with an astute amateur sleuth whose evaluation of the roles and positions of women is a crucial element, and a topical story line that emphasizes the immigrant experience and women's lives, this title comes highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 10/8/18.]

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