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A Death of No Importance: A Mystery
By: Mariah Fredericks
List Price: $24.99
Your Price: $15.36
(as of: 09/22/18)
Manufacturer: Minotaur Books
ISBN: 9781250152978
Publication Date: 2018-04-10
Release Date 2018-04-10
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours


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Product Description:

“A taut, suspenseful, and complex murder mystery with gorgeous period detail.”―Susan Elia MacNeal

Through her exquisite prose, sharp observation and deft plotting, Mariah Fredericks invites us into the heart of a changing New York in her remarkable debut adult novel, A Death of No Importance.

New York City, 1910. Invisible until she’s needed, Jane Prescott has perfected the art of serving as a ladies’ maid to the city’s upper echelons. When she takes up a position with the Benchley family, dismissed by the city’s elite as “new money”, Jane realizes that while she may not have financial privilege, she has a power they do not―she understands the rules of high society. The Benchleys cause further outrage when their daughter Charlotte becomes engaged to notorious playboy Norrie, the son of the eminent Newsome family.

But when Norrie is found murdered at a party, Jane discovers she is uniquely positioned―she’s a woman no one sees, but who witnesses everything; who possesses no social power, but that of fierce intellect―and therefore has the tools to solve his murder. There are many with grudges to bear: from the family Norrie was supposed to marry into, to the survivors of a tragic accident in a mine owned by the Newsomes, to the rising anarchists who are sick of those born into wealth getting away with anything they want. Jane also knows that in both high society and the city’s underbelly, morals can become cheap in the wrong hands: scandal and violence simmer just beneath the surface―and can break out at any time.



Abandoned by her widowed father as they arrived on America’s shore, Jane Prescott has had an unusual upbringing at the home of her uncle, a pastor who runs a mission house of sorts. With few opportunities to choose from, Jane has taken a position as ladies’ maid to Charlotte and Louise Benchley, the daughters of a local well-to-do family. Jane knows that taking care of the young women will not be pleasant, but she also knows an opportunity when she sees it.

Charlotte is headstrong and impetuous, and has decided that she’s to marry Norrie Newsome, heir to the Newsome mining fortune. The fact that Norrie is already promised and teetering on announcing his engagement to another doesn’t stop Charlotte, however, and the prospective couple make plans to announce their impending nuptials. Planning is as far as it goes, as Norrie is found murdered on the eve of their planned announcement, and all eyes turn to Charlotte as suspect.

Jane isn’t buying Charlotte as a murderer; in fact, Jane is quite certain that the wrong person has been fingered for the crime. As she sets off to investigate further, she finds an unlikely ally in a local newspaperman, Michael Behan, who is looking for both the truth and THE scoop of the century. Despite their best efforts, their goal of seeking and exposing the truth may not come to light, and as events unfold, Jane despairs that indeed the wrong person will be convicted. Perhaps justice will be served, but not at all as Jane expected.

A Death of No Importance is a wonderfully crafted period mystery. Author Mariah Fredericks creates the perfect atmosphere, providing historical details and references that immerse the reader directly in the setting of 1910 Manhattan and environs. Fredericks has a remarkable gift of exploiting human nature and tying it with a plot that is thought-provoking and believable. Jane Prescott is an interesting protagonist, and hopefully this is the first of many mysteries Jane will explore and resolve. Expertly written, historically plausible and genuinely compelling, A Death of No Importance is a must-read for mystery lovers. Don’t miss this fantastic debut!

 
By: Joyce Greenfield, ReaderToReader.com


 
     
 
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