Author: Mariah Fredericks
Series: Jane Prescott #3
Published by: Minotaur Books on Apr. 14, 2020
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
Format: Paperback, ARC
Source: Minotaur Books
Book Rating: 8.5/10
Death of an American Beauty is the third in Mariah Fredericks’s compelling series, set in Gilded Age New York, featuring Jane Prescott.
Jane Prescott is taking a break from her duties as lady’s maid for a week, and plans to begin it with attending the hottest and most scandalous show in town: the opening of an art exhibition, showcasing the cubists, that is shocking New York City.
1913 is also the fiftieth anniversary of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation speech, and the city’s great and good are determined to celebrate in style. Dolly Rutherford, heiress to the glamorous Rutherford’s department store empire, has gathered her coterie of society ladies to put on a play—with Jane’s employer Louise Tyler in the starring role as Lincoln himself. Jane is torn between helping the ladies with their costumes and enjoying her holiday. But fate decides she will do neither, when a woman is found murdered outside Jane’s childhood home—a refuge for women run by her uncle.
Deeply troubled as her uncle falls under suspicion and haunted by memories of a woman she once knew, Jane—with the help of old friends and new acquaintances, reporter Michael Behan and music hall pianist Leo Hirschfeld—is determined to discover who is making death into their own twisted art form.
Authentic, atmospheric, and mysterious!
In this latest novel by Fredericks, Death of an American Beauty, we head back to Manhattan during the early twentieth century and into the life of lady’s maid, Jane Prescott whose highly-anticipated vacation is suddenly turned upside down when a resident of her uncle’s refuge for reformed prostitutes is found viciously murdered, and the American Beauty Pagent is in urgent need of a last-minute seamstress.
The prose is meticulous and rich. The characters are independent, intelligent, and resourceful. And the plot is a well-paced whodunit full of amateur sleuthing, red herrings, suspects, deduction, familial dynamics, duty, friendship, secrets, racial inequality, sexism, romance, violence, and murder.
Death of an American Beauty is the third book in the Jane Prescott series, and if you love historical mysteries, this novel won’t disappoint. It is a menacing, entertaining, vivid tale that is certainly well worth a read.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.