Mary Handley is a not your typical late-nineteenth century lady. Read more...
Mary Handley is a not your typical late-nineteenth century lady. She's fiery, clever, daring and she s not about to conform to the gender norms of the day. Not long after being fired from her job at the hat factory for insubordinate behavior, Mary finds herself at the murder scene of Charles Goodrich, the brother of a prominent alderman and former bookkeeper of Thomas Edison. When Mary proves her acumen as a sleuth, she is hired by the Brooklyn police department as the city s first female policewoman to solve the crime. The top brass of the department expect her to fail, but Mary has other plans. As she delves into the mystery, she finds herself questioning the likes of J. P. Morgan, Thomas Edison, and Nikola Tesla. Mary soon discovers the key to solving the case goes well beyond finding a murderer and depends on her ability to unearth the machinations of the city s most prominent and respected public figures, men who will go to great lengths to protect their secrets.
Much like Mr. Churchill s Secretary and Maisie Dobbs, Second Street Station presents a portrait of a world plunging into modernity through the eyes of a clever female sleuth. Mary Handley is an unforgettable protagonist whose wit, humor, and charm will delight readers from the very first page."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-04-06
- Reviewer: Staff
Set in late 19th-century Brooklyn, TV writer Levy’s bland first novel launches a series starring Mary Handley, a bright young woman who wants more out of life than the usual job in a sweatshop followed by marriage and children. Everyone, including her mother, disparages her ambitions. Then the suspicious death of bookkeeper Charles Goodrich, who once worked for Thomas Edison, gives her a chance to use her brains. Mary is soon interviewing such notables as Edison, financier J.P. Morgan, and scientist Nikola Tesla. Although her knowledge of murder and corpses is entirely academic, she runs rings around the clodhopper police, whose ranks include her own unsupportive brother. Levy does a good job presenting the period background, but all the characters are tissue-paper thin. From the beginning, there’s never any doubt that Mary will succeed, nor is there any good reason to care whether she does. Agent: Paul Fedorko, N.S. Bienstock. (June)