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by Kate Belli

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 2023
ISBN: 9781639105304
Publisher: Crooked Lane

Now engaged to be married, reporter Genevieve Stewart and philanthropist Daniel McCaffrey fight for their lives against powerful forces in New York City.

Genevieve grew up in a well-to-do society family with a feminist mother interested in societal problems. Daniel started life in a poor Irish family but by chance became heir to a fortune and was educated at the best schools. In April 1890, both are working to improve life for the poor. At a party for Daniel’s charity, the Society to Aid Social Ills, Genevieve and their friend Rupert Milton notice someone watching her. When they confront the watcher, he claims to be Daniel’s long-lost brother, Connor. Daniel wants to believe that Connor really is his brother, but knows he may be a fraud. As he continues to investigate his past, he and Genevieve are drawn into the investigation of a series of arson attacks on progressive institutions. Among the targets is Daniel's photographer friend Dagmar Hansen, whose studio is burned to the ground while Daniel is examining his images of sweatshops; the two men barely escape with their lives. Genevieve, who has won her editor's grudging permission to write a story about a fire at the Sunflower Mission House, also is put in danger after she learns that the mission was supplying residents with contraceptives, illegal under the draconian Comstock Act. Seeking information about birth control for herself puts her in a precarious situation. Their investigations make it clear to both that money rules the world and that many of those who have it will do unspeakable things to keep it.

The several mysteries are greatly enhanced by social commentary and the unsettling feeling that the battle continues.