Charles OBrien: Death in Saratoga Springs

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Ed Crake There is very little doubt that Ruth Colt is dead and that her body was disposed of at the meatpacking facility Pamela Thompson is an investigator for Prescott and she and another agent Harry Miller go to Saratoga Springs because Captain Crake and his wife are visiting the waters there A young woman that Pamela had once helped works in the Grand Union Hotel and she is framed for murder Pamela and Harry must do double duty finding two killers nowCharles O Brien is the author of THE ROBBER BARRONS the first Gilded Age Mystery featuring Prescott and Associates Pamela who was once a client of Jeremiah Prescott is turning into a cracker jack sleuth and it appears that there may be a bit of a romance brewing between the lady and her boss DEATH IN SARATOGA SPRINGS the second book in this mystery series is an intriguing mixture of fact and fiction Great characters perfect pace and a good feeling of place and time along with a wondrous narrative all claim pride of place in this novel The villain is vil incarnate and the hero of the story is a true Southern gentleman This is a really good and A Fairly Honourable Defeat entertaining taleBetty Cox Staff ReviewerReader to Reader The year is 1894 On a routine freezing February Monday morning in New York City Pamela Thompson widow picks her way carefully across the ice to the office of hermployers Prescott Associates on Irving Place After ntering the premises nothing will be the same for her and her friends for a long long time Waiting in his office with her mployer Mr Prescott is a tall distinguished gentleman who is introduced as Mr Virgil Crawford butler to the Crawford family now residing on Washington Suare On the basis of the names Pamela assumes that Mr Crawford must be a relative A closer look at his light skin golden brown Elisabeth Shue 135 Success Facts - Everything You Need to Know about Elisabeth Shue eyes and thick curly grey hair tells her that this man was black and very likely once a slave The Crawford s James and his sister Edith were originally from near Savannah Georgia Virgil had indeed been one of their slaves After the war they offered him a proper position and he has been serving themver since On this day he wants to The Man Without a Face engage Prescott to investigate the disappearance of their housekeeper Mary Colt s niece Ruth Colt Pamela is assigned to the case and so begins a tale with twists and turns than a fair ground roller coaster Immediately it is decided by all the interested parties that the villain and cause of the girl s disappearance must be thevil Captain Jed Crake supposedly a distinguished cavalry officer and now the owner of a meat packing business on West Fourteenth Street So much for innocent until proven guilty As Pamela and her investigative partner Harry White begin to make progress her ward Francesca Ricci is threatened by a gangster Unless they agree to stop investigating the captain the girl will be disappeared They agree and a recovered Francesca is sent to work for the summer for her protection in the Grand Union Hotel one of Saratoga Springs most august and well known stablishments Now the real mysteries can be activated As a diverse cast assembles in Saratoga Springs lements of the book begin to seem as if they were written by Agatha Christie with Pamela as a young. R NYPD detective Harry Miller are ngaged to search for a maid allegedly abducted by the captainBefore they can find the missing woman Crake's dark history catches up with him and he is murdered in a posh hotel in Saratoga Springs As fate would have it Pamela's ward Francesca Ricci working as a chambermaid in the hotel is accused of the crime Now in this pastoral playground of the idle rich it's up to Pamela and Miller to find Crake's killer as well as his victim and save an innocent girl from.

Entertaining and asy to read Usually I could anticipate the future happenings in the plot Enjoyed the historical background 25 MEH An interesting mystery for its setting late 19th century Saratoga Springs and the basic story Captain Jed Crake a decorated Civil War veteran suspected of a This is the second in the Gilded Age Mystery series it s 1894 and we are in New York City Jeremiah Prescott a New York City attorney is approached by the wealthy Crawford family who want him to investigate the disappearance of a young black housemaid Enter scene left Pamela Thompson who has been mployed by Prescott to investigate wrong doings and misdeeds committed by the wealthy and maybe not so wealthy of American SocietyThe Gilded Age Mystery series is an asy historical suspense novel which All Seated on the Ground entertains andducates its reader Set in one of the most fascinating periods of New York City s long and varied life well worth a read if you are interested in New York s Gilded Age The second in a series of Gilded Age mysteries O Brien sets the tone atmosphere and hardships in the time period of the late nineteenth century Focusing on a meatpacking tycoon and storied Union army captain Jed Crake there are two separate mysteries One of the missing young women namely helpless chambermaids but specifically the newest victim whose disappearance hadn t garnered any attention until months later While Prescott and Associates joins the investigation their prime suspect Crake Untitled. ends up dead himself Not only must the private investigators piece together the dead girls killer connection and how they were disastrously disposed of using the meatpacking plant itself but who among thelite in and around Saratoga Springs may have wanted Crake dead This undercurrent of dark family secrets political payoffs and adultery make for a strong historical mystery that s as much about the characters as the time period s lawlessness The pacing of details character introductions and uncovered history keeps readers ngaged as they sift through the clues in an authentic whodunit While the late 1890s in upstate New York is a prominent feature of the story most young adults would not gravitate toward it unless they are fans of the genre or want to read about the history in their own backyard yet adults will appreciate its accurate portrayals and genuine mysteriousness DEATH IN SARATOGA SPRINGSCharles O BrienKensingtonJune 2014Prescott and Associates counselors at law are hired by a representative of the James Crawford family Mr Virgil Crawford their butler Fifteen year old Ruth Colt the daughter of the Crawford s housekeeper Martha has been missing for a month Ruth had a job as a chambermaid but her disappearance did not cause the police any concern It is suspected that Ruth was a victim of a man calling himself Mr Johnson but is actually Captain Jed Crake a wealthy meatpacking xecutive and a distinguished cavalry officer under General Sherman Crake keeps all politicians and law Against All Odds enforcement bribed very well so that he can pretty much do as he wishes without repercussions There is a very sad and horrendous history between the remaining Crawford family the brother James and his sister Edith and From the slaughterhouses of Manhattan to thelite nclaves of Saratoga Springs private detective Pamela Thompson follows a trail of death and deception left by a Civil War heroDeath In Saratoga SpringsNew York City 1894 Captain Jed Crake is a decorated veteran of the Union army and a successful mogul in the meatpacking industry But this powerful man also has a hidden private life as a predator of young women Working for attorney Jeremiah Prescott private investigators Pamela Thompson and forme.

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Er Miss Marple First to arrive is Captain Crake and his nurse Birgitta accompanied by his wife Rachel and her lover Robert Shaw Also mooning around is a strange golden yed bell boy Jason Dunn who came with Karl Metzger a NYC butcher fired by Crake and his wife Erika Even though all of these had reasons to hate Captain Crake when he is murdered suspicion immediately falls on Francesca Desperate and afraid she contacts Pamela in New York and a large part of the Prescott Associates team arrive in Saratoga Springs along with James and Edith Crawford and the indubitable Virgil Crawford With all the actors in place a myriad of plots and subplots are charged to unravel I must say that the author s research has been thorough and The DOS effective His knowledge of the settings Saratoga Springs New York City and also Savannah during the war shines through the details and makes a series of complex intertwining plots come alive In fact to my mind there s almost too much plot for what is a relatively slim 185 page book The characters and incidents are deftly sketched and yet to me they seem to be begging forlaboration there are so many potentially interesting plot threads that are just touched upon then left behind To be honest I think this would be a better book if it were 100 pages or so longer I also have trouble with some of the language It seems ill judged in places For xample I found constant use of gambling dens particularly grievous Saratoga Springs was and is a classy place The kinds of people who patronised the Grand Union Hotel would have chosen other words for the places they freuented in which to waste their money Or for xample when Pamela receives an invitation to visit the track with Edith she is tempted Now if one of my key suspects in a murder investigation invited me for a day at the races I d be a lot than tempted The issue here I think is one of voice Each character in a book should speak and think with language that reflects their background social status and personality Too often for me the choice of words here doesn t accurately project the person it is assigned to Another possibly irrelevant uestion is would Virgil Crawford have been allowed to so openly keep company with Pamela As late as 1912 anti miscegenation amendments to the Constitution were still being introduced in Congress While New York State had no laws against it feelings against interracial relationships were still very prevalent and powerful It s a lovely fantasy but I doubt that a scant 30 years after the Sleep, Circadian Rhythms, and Metabolism end of the Civil War a friendship between a black man and a white womanven in New York City or a posh and thus hidebound resort like Saratoga Springs could operate so openly Still this is for the most part an Treasons, Stratagems, And Spoils enjoyable read but I feel it could have been better 3 1800 s atrocities during teh Civil War haunt late 1800 s upstate NY resort town A return to the Gilded Age with this read It was a fascinating time Injoyed this mystery and the central characters Liked the setting not the characters I found this story contrived and unconvincing The characters were not developed so I didn t care about them And I do find Saratoga Springs in the late 1880s a charming setting. A fate worse than death Praise for Death of a Robber BaronO'Brien captures the colorful details and varied characters of an opulent Payment Due era deftly Publishers Weekly A pleasingly detailed look at the age of the robber barons along withnough strongly characterized suspects to keep readers guessing Kirkus ReviewsThe author skillfully weaves in fascinating details about American social history Pair with Stefanie Pintoff and also recommend for fans of Rhys Bowen's ‘Molly Murphy' series Library Journ.

See this thread for informationThe Columbia University educated historian embarked on his mystery writing career in 1988 six years before he retired from the WIU history department O'Brien's wife Elvy an art historian had moved to Williamstown VA after accepting a position with the J Paul Getty Trust then at the Clark Art Institute That began a series of long commutes for O'BrienI wanted to make use of time on board trains and planes and in airports Many of my fellow passengers were reading crime novels I thought why not exploit my fund of historical settings and write a historical mystery O'Brien explained The idea of 'Mute Witness' blossomed in the air between Albany and ChicagoWhen O'Brien retired in 1994 after 22 years of teaching at Western he began to seriously study the art of writing fiction with colleague Tama Baldwin of the WIU English faculty