Friday, June 10, 2016

BROOKLYN ON FIRE by Lawrence H. Levy

A Mary Handley Mystery, Book 2
Broadway Books
January 19th, 2016
Historical Mystery
Reviewed by Dawn (
Obtained by Blogging for Books
3 Hearts

Mary Handley has closed one case with the Brooklyn Police Department and is determined to become a real detective in her own right. But when a client comes to her new office saying her uncle was murdered, Mary finds her second case is as complex as the first one was. Family scandals and secrets, politics, corruption and more cause Mary to stumble more than once. Add in a romance with one of New York’s elite, well the life of luxury is something Mary could get used to.  But Mary is determined to find out the cause of death and solve the mystery that has spawned not just one murder but three. Can Mary figure out the case before all she holds dear is gone in a puff of smoke?

I have to admit I haven’t read the first book in the series, Second Street Station, and found myself a little lost at times when I read this one. I highly recommend reading book one first before you pick this one up. There are things mentioned in book two that took place in this book that if you didn’t read it, you’ll have a hard time figuring things out at times. With that said, I got to admit that I really liked this book, even with the above mentions from time to time. With a mystery that kept me intrigued to real life people showing up (Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, etc) to a time period that had me enthralled with the way everything was back then. This author does a great job in capturing it all within the pages of BROOKLYN ON FIRE. This author has a flair for describing events and people to the point where they come alive on paper, ready to step out of the book and into your living room. The mix of fiction and mystery was done masterfully and kept my attention at times to the point where I forgot to eat, sleep and more. It was highly entertaining. But there was a downside as well. The author puts way too much into this book plot wise as well as point of views jump all over the place. One minute you are following Mary as she hunts up clues and ten the next you are reading about politicians and their desire for more-money, land, power, etc. All those things just slowed the pace down and caused some minor confusion over who was ‘speaking’ in the book. I preferred reading Mary’s storyline though I could have done without her forced romance with George Vanderbilt. It felt like the author was trying to tick off boxes with that. It didn’t seem real to me in the storyline and was quite stiff.

Even with those few issues, BROOKLYN ON FIRE was an engaging historical mystery that kept my attention to the very end. If you enjoy a character that tries to turn social mores upside down and try to make her dreams come true, then you might enjoy this second book in the Mary Handley series. I do caution you that you should read book one as I mentioned as there is a large cast of characters that are mentioned as well as events that happened in book one as well. I think I might pick up book one, Second Street Station, and see if I can get into this story a bit better later on. I look forward to seeing where this author goes in the series.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

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