Brooklyn on Fire, by Lawrence Levy.
Brooklyn on Fire, by Lawrence Levy. Broadway Books (2016), 352 pages.
A clever, but preposterous mystery set in Brooklyn in 1890, a town full of corruption and violence.
I am amazed that a book so full of accurate historical facts can be so totally unbelievable. The greed and corruption depicted here are also all too clearly historical phenomena. The characters and situations described, however, are implausible. For a person like myself who likes to identify with the emotions and events in a book this is a major problem.
Mary Handley is a young Irish woman who wants to be a detective. This is Lawrence Levy’s second book about her, and obviously he would like to make her the heroine of a profitable new mystery series. Mary is a free spirit sexually and expects to be in total control of her life. Her family are not wealthy, but poverty is never the issue. Despite her humble beginnings, she has a knack for being involved with the rich and the famous, the “robber barons” of the era and their families. When Mary stumbles into three murders and her policeman brother is framed as a murder, she has to find the true culprit at the same time she and the son of the Vanderbilts are falling in love.
Lawrence Levy has had a long career as a writer for film and television, including a number of popular hit shows. His writing is fast-paced and full of suspense; in fact it is easy to see it being filmed. He is also very witty, making sly jokes about the wealthy and conservative.
I am sure that other readers will appreciate this book more than I did.
Thanks to Library Thing and Broadway Books for sending me a copy of this book for review.