April 25, 2023
ABOUT MURDER ON BEDFORD STREET:
Perfect for fans of Rhys Bowen, Emily Brightwell, and Anne Perry’s Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Mysteries, the series transports readers to early 1900s New York and follows the twisty mysteries solved by midwife Sarah Molloy and her private investigator husband, Frank.
In this installment, Sarah and Frank must stop a killer lurking among a young family. According to Publishers Weekly, “The loving relationship between Frank and Sarah bolsters the clever plot.
This long-running series shows no signs of losing steam.”
In MURDER ON BEDFORD STREET, when Frank is hired by the disagreeable Hugh Breedlove to prove that his young niece, Julia, has been wrongfully committed to an insane asylum by her cruel and unfaithful husband, Chet Longly, he finds the case impossible to refuse.
Though Breedlove and his wife seem more interested in protecting the family reputation than their niece’s safety, Frank and Sarah agree to help for the sake of Julia and the young son she left behind.Frank and Sarah’s investigation reveals a dark secret—a maid at the Longly home died suspiciously under Chet’s watch, and now it seems Julia’s son might also be in danger.
MURDER ON BEDFORD STREET NONEXCLUSIVE EXCERPT:
Nobody could accuse Frank Malloy of being a snob. As an Irish Catholic and a former policeman, he was, in fact, the kind of person snobs usually looked down on. He might be a millionaire now, but lots of people still looked down on him because he'd always be Irish no matter how much money he had. This was why he felt a little guilty about feeling snobbish about the prospective client who had just been escorted into his office. Hugh Breedlove, according to his calling card, was not Irish or poor and would have been shocked to learn Frank had already developed a bad opinion of him. His tailor-made suit spoke of wealth, as did his bright gold watch chain and the large ruby ring on his hand. He was an imposing man with silver hair pomaded into place and a neatly trimmed beard. His expression ruined the effect, though. His frown spoke of contempt as he glanced around and saw nothing that apparently pleased him, including Frank himself. Breedlove stopped his critical perusal of Frank's modest office only when Frank's secretary, Maeve, announced him. From the twinkle in her eye, she knew Frank's opinion of Mr. Breedlove, who might well be the biggest snob Frank had met in his life so far, and he had met a few. "Nice to meet you, Mr. Breedlove," Frank said with a professional smile. He'd risen from his desk chair and reached across his desk to shake Breedlove's hand. Breedlove seemed to hesitate before accepting the handshake, but luckily for him-if he really needed the services of Frank's private detective agency-he finally did. Then he gave Maeve one of his disapproving looks, as if to ask why she was still in the room. He obviously didn't know he couldn't possibly intimidate Maeve Smith. "Do you want me to take notes, Mr. Malloy?" she asked, her eyes still twinkling. "I have a matter of the utmost delicacy to discuss," Breedlove informed them both haughtily. Frank could have told him that all of his clients did, but he said, "I'll call you if I need you, Maeve." She gave him a mischievous grin before closing the door behind her, and Frank somehow managed not to roll his eyes. "Please sit down, Mr. Breedlove, and tell me how I can help you." Frank motioned to the wooden client chairs that sat in front of his desk. Breedlove didn't actually take out his handkerchief and wipe off the seat before he sat on it, but he looked as if he would have liked to. Frank's opinion of him did not improve. "You come highly recommended, Mr. Malloy," Breedlove said doubtfully, glancing around the utilitarian office again. "May I ask who recommended me?" Frank thought he might want to take some revenge. Breedlove mentioned the names of two wealthy gentlemen whom Frank had assisted in the past. "They said you could be very discreet." "They were right, and anything you tell me will be confidential, even if you don't hire me, Mr. Breedlove." Breedlove seemed to relax a little at that, but only a little. "If I have your word, then . . ." "Of course. Now why don't you tell me why you need my help?" Breedlove sighed and folded his well-tended hands in his lap. "My family and I have spent the past five years in London, and we just returned to New York a few weeks ago." "What took you to London?" "My work. I'm a partner in an investment bank, and I went over to manage our office there." "I see. And what brought you back to New York?" He seemed to brighten at this. "My daughter. You see, she's eighteen now, and we wanted to bring her out in society here in America. I know it's all the fashion to marry a British aristocrat, but we didn't want that for our girl." Or maybe they didn't have a big enough fortune to attract a British aristocrat, but Frank didn't mention this. He just nodded his understanding. "As you can imagine, things have changed a lot in the five years we've been gone. Old friends have . . . Well, we were depending on my sister-in-law to help ease us back into society. My brother died while we were away, you see, but I assumed she would still be available. And her daughter had married well, or so we were led to believe. Between the two of them, we expected . . ." To Frank's surprise, Breedlove's gaze dropped to his folded hands, and he looked almost embarrassed. "You expected they would sponsor your daughter?" Frank guessed. Breedlove looked up in obvious surprise. "You know how a young lady is introduced to society?" Frank tried not to feel offended. That would be petty. "My wife was a debutante." Plainly, Breedlove was shocked, but he managed to say, "Oh well, I suppose you'd know then." "Yes. Now you were saying about your niece and your sister-in-law . . . ?" "Uh, yes, I was. Ellie, my brother's widow, has left the city, it seems. She moved to the country somewhere and no one seems to know where." That did seem strange, but perhaps Ellie had her reasons. "And your niece?" "Julia. As I said, we heard she'd married well. Chet Longly, you know." Frank didn't know, but he nodded to encourage Breedlove to keep talking. "When we went to call on her, Longly told us . . ." Once again, he dropped his gaze to his folded hands, and for the first time Frank understood that he really did have something painful to tell Frank. Frank instantly regretted his hasty judgment of Breedlove and leaned forward to indicate his concern. "Has something happened to Julia?" "Yes, she . . . Longly has put her in an insane asylum."
Excerpted from Murder on Bedford Street by Victoria Thompson Copyright © 2023 by Victoria Thompson. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Victoria Thompson is the Edgar® and Agatha Award–nominated author of the Gaslight Mysteries, the Counterfeit Lady series, and numerous historical novels.
She lives in the Chicago area with her family.
Learn more online at victoriathompson.com.