A tough Brooklyn girl battles some titans of industry in late-19th-century New York.
Bright, curious Mary Handley has been reduced to working in a sweat shop by her lack of family support. Her mother wants her to make a good marriage; her policeman brother has always been jealous of her; only her father supports her dreams. Her discovery at age 12 of a murdered man on a train fueled her impossible desire to be a detective. When Charles Goodrich, the fiance of Mary’s friend Kate Stoddard, is murdered, Mary gets her chance at last. The police department, treating her as a pawn in a departmental power struggle, hires her with no expectation of success. Mary, who learned jujitsu from a friend’s father, is tougher than she appears, but she prefers to use her quick wit to save her from trouble. The answers to the riddle of Charles’ murder may lie in a journal he kept while he was working for Thomas Edison. Mary has a scientific bent and reveres Edison, but she’s forced to acknowledge that he’s not above stealing other people’s inventions and trying to ruin the reputations of rival inventors like Nikola Tesla while doing deals with J.P. Morgan, a man who can never be wealthy enough and who may be willing to hire killers to advance his agenda. Although everyone tells Mary she has no chance to prove anything against the ruthless industrialists she’s investigating, she’s too stubborn to leave the case alone. Her sleuthing reveals many a dirty deal. Which of them got Charles killed?
A promising series kickoff that presents a morally strong heroine with a mystery that cleverly intertwines fact and fiction.