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Levy's newest Mary Handley mystery sets Brooklyn on Fire

Brooklyn on Fire: A Mary Handley Mystery

by Lawrence H Levy

Crown Publishing

Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date: January 19, 2016


Brooklyn on Fire is an exceptional historical mystery.

Unlike most women of the late 19th Century, Mary Handley defies expectations for her gender and sets up shop as a consulting detective. Her previous success gives her hope that she can make a go of her business, contrary to her family’s expectations. She further challenges gender ideals in her knowledge of self defense and her acceptance of her sexuality.

When Emily Worsham asks her to look into the circumstances surrounding her uncle’s death, Mary doesn’t think twice about accepting the case. She is soon drawn into a tangled web of murder, political scandal, and high society machinations. Her notoriety as an investigator allows her entrance, but her blue collar background sets her apart from the society mavens.

Lawrence Levy does an excellent job of drawing historical figures into the fray in a believable way. The romantic attraction between Mary and George Vanderbilt is palpable and well done, and the reactions of his contemporaries is not unexpected.

The mystery is fascinating and complex. Levy’s construction of the plot is thorough and well considered. Like writer of historical fiction, Levy takes liberties, but the result is an enjoyable, well written novel inspired by past events and featuring a unique protagonist.

If you like historical fiction, I would definitely recommend Brooklyn on Fire.


Brooklyn on Fire is available for preorder and will be released January 19, 2016.

I received a copy of Brooklyn on Fire from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review.




Brooklyn's most witty and daring detective risks everything to solve a dangerous triple-murder case

After closing a case with the Brooklyn Police Department, Mary Handley is determined to become an official detective in her own right. And when Emily Worsham shows up at her new office— convinced her uncle John Worsham was murdered and desperate for answers—Mary's second assignment begins.

As she investigates the curious circumstances surrounding John's death, Mary soon finds herself entangled in a high-stakes family scandal, a series of interconnected murders, political corruption, untrustworthy sources, and an unexpected romance with a central member of New York's elite.

Featuring historic figures like Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and the Vanderbilt family, Brooklyn on Fire takes Mary on a wild journey from New York City to North Carolina to uncover not only the truth of one man's death, but to unravel the mystery in three murders – with links tied perilously close to her own personal world.

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