Sarah asks for help when a woman she knows is murdered. Frank Malloy grudgingly agrees to help. As the two investigate the crime they learn more and more about each other.
Murder on St. Mark’s Place is a nice solid mystery set in America during the Victorian era (or thereabouts).
It reads like a cozy mystery but it has a bit more grit to it. There are several things I like about the book that really make it stand out.
Firstly, I love the time period and the mysteries within. I am really enjoying reading these for the setting and I think the author does a good job of honoring things like the differences in classes and the overt prudishness but raunchy underbelly of the society.
Secondly, I love that there is a female and male detective who are both POV characters. In many cozy mysteries you get only a female investigator who is helped by a friend (or often a romantic interest) police detective but he is rarely a POV character with more to offer in the book than just good looks. Frank Malloy is far from a hunky police officer but he is still a good guy I am thrilled to read about.
Thirdly, I love how the characters grow and change. In this book Frank had huge things happen that I expect will change many elements of future books. It is so nice to see characters grow in a series like this. Often in similar series I have read there is little character growth and books can be read out of order. I recommend reading these in order or you miss out on so much.
This book was more fun for me than book 1. I did like book one but there were two things this one did better. The main one was that Frank Malloy got more stage time during his personal life. In the last book he was very much at work. This one we get to see the more human side of him which kept me turning pages.
The other thing that was nice about this book was that it was less gritty than the first. Some of the themes in the first book were just hard to stomach. They made for a good story but it was a relief that this book had toned down themes. That doesn’t mean that there was no exploration of social issues. There certainly were. They just were not the same ones as book one. I was hesitant to suggest book one to some of my friends due to content but I did not have the same reservations about this book.
In book 1 the killer got their justice in a kind of unbelievable way. In this book that was much better done. Justice is served but I did not roll my eyes once about the way that justice happened.
I am so excited to read the next book.
I would recommend this series to any mystery lover. Book one is a bit rough but I think important to read for the character arc. Once you move on to book 2 things get way better.