SECOND STREET STATION – Lawrence H. Levy
A Mary Handley Mystery
New York City – 1888
There is one thing about Mary Handley that drives her mother crazy – her intelligent, beautiful daughter does not want to conform to the life of a typical nineteenth century woman. Recently fired from her job in a hat factory, Mary ends up doing detective work when a friend's fiancé, Charles Goodrich, is found murdered. The fact that his brother is in local politics and that he had worked for Thomas Edison intrigues the curious Mary. Despite her gender, Mary gains the attention of the Brooklyn Police Department chief who, surprisingly, hires her to work on the case.
Meanwhile, hired by prominent members of New York society, a man only known as Bowler Hat travels the country doing various jobs for his employers. Most of these jobs involve dispatching the victim. Cold blooded, Bowler Hat is good at his business, and as he returns to New York, he is soon to become aware of Mary Handley.
Mary discovers, to her shock, that the murdered man had various connections with men such as Edison, J.P. Morgan, and Nikola Tesla. Were any of them behind Charles Goodrich's death? Danger lurks as Mary steadfastly pursues clues, aided by the chief of police when possible, but on her own when necessary. What could these famous men possibly have to hide? And why were they so intent on maintaining their secrets?
SECOND STREET STATION is a debut novel and the first, I hope, of many more Mary Handley mysteries. Mary is a fearless young woman, and not someone easily thwarted. There are plenty of suspects in the Goodrich murder, but readers will have difficulty figuring out the true killer. This is a great beginning of a potentially excellent series. I highly recommend SECOND STREET STATION.