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I know you’ve heard it before, but this is a real page turner. It is a fictionalized account of a truly brutal murder that made headlines for more than three months in New York during 1857. In this pre-Civil War era, there was already plenty of intrigue concerning the gross treatment of women, the working class, and free blacks and runaway slaves. All of which made up a substantial part of the population of New York. To say that corruption in the local government was running rampant would be an understatement. Drop into this simmering pot a savage murder of a seemingly respectable dentist in his locked house;swindled business partners; alienated relatives; a sexy widow, who was his housekeeper and possible lover; politicians with their own agendas; a missing black man who was the victim’s coachman, and you have a great story.
The author skillfully leads the reader through a did she or didn’t she kill her lover scenario. The preparations for the trial of the mistress and its subsequent revelations are counter played against glimpses of the events that lead up to the murder which took place at 31 Bond Street. Although Mrs Cunningham is the prosecution’s focus for the crime, there is certainly no lack of alternate suspects. A very skillfully executed historical murder mystery.
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