Title: Murder on Mulberry Bend and Murder on Marble Row
Author: Victoria Thompson
Rating: 9.1 and 9.5
I really did read these two books yesterday. It's what happens when you get a good writer and a good story mixed in with nothing to do. Both of these books continue to follow after the intertwined lives of Sarah Brandt and Frank Malloy as they are once more thrust together as partners in solving mysteries. Sarah has the connections to get places Frank can't and ask the questions he could be fired for asking while Frank has the clout and strength of the police behind him to intimidate people into behaving. Murder on Mulberry Bend begins with a young woman being found dead and Frank believing it to be Sarah at first because the girl is wearing clothes that Sarah donated to a mission. It also continues to delve into the pseudo-relationahip between Sarah and Frank as they ignore their feelings for one another even as it's apparent there is a great deal of mutual respect, friendship and love between them.
Murder on Marble Row begins with a man being killed by an explosion and Police Commissioner Teddy Roosevelt assigning Frank to the case at the request of Sarah's poweful father. Obviously as Sarah goes to console old family friends, she and Frank meet up once again and become entangled in trying to discover who killed Mr. Van Dyke. There are some very amusing moments as Sarah's very wealthy mother insists on going down to the Lower East Side and is given a taste of what it's like for those less privledged than she. She even gets her first chop suey meal in a turn of the century Chinese restaurant.
Both of these books were good and of course the rapport between characters continues to grow. I did, of course, have a fair clue of where the story was going and "who dunnit", but it doesn't erase the fact that she's a superb storyteller and you can't help but become emotionally attached to each of her regular characters.
I would definitely recommend going out and starting to buy her books if you enjoy mysteries, because this is definitely a series that only continues to improve with each book.