It isn’t enough that turn-of-the-century Manhattan midwife Sarah Brandt’s physician husband was murdered; now her career is about to involve her in another crime.
Sarah is called in by the Linton family to confirm their fears that their learning-disabled daughter is pregnant. Sarah is caught up in trying to find out who could be responsible for the predicament of Grace, a sweet and lovely girl of 17 who never goes anywhere alone. Sarah calls on her friend Det. Sgt. Frank Malloy, who’s still working on the murder of her husband, to help her discover Grace’s seducer. Although Sarah works mainly with the poor, she’s not above using her parents’ social connections to investigate those involved in the church Grace attends. The minister, Oliver Upchurch, seems to be doing fine work with the orphaned boys in his church group. His wife, however, is eccentric and outspoken, a fact her husband blames on her childless state. It’s hard to disgorge information from clannish, snobbish Manhattan society, but Sarah, never giving up, discovers some horrifying secrets that lead to a fatality and the official involvement of Malloy (Murder on Marble Row, 2004, etc.) before an ending that isn’t quite happily ever after.
A convincing tale of depravity and death among the upper classes of old New York.