Saturday, March 20, 2010

31 Bond Street-Ellen Horan

31 Bond Street
Ellen Horan
Harper, Mar 30 2010, $25.99
ISBN: 9780061773969

In 1857 New York City residents are fascinated with the brutal murder of dentist Harvey Burdell. The victim had his throat slashed to the point that he was nearly beheaded. Numerous stab wounds were inflicted all over his body.

Seeing an opportunity to further his political ambitions Manhattan District Attorney Oakey decides Burdell’s upstairs neighbor at 31 Bond Street townhouse, the widow Emma Cunningham killed the dentist. The mother of two daughters insists she was Burdell’s lawful wife, but the prosecution insists she was a rejected lover who passionately killed her paramour. Her only hope to avoid conviction resides with defense attorney Henry Clinton.

This is a terrific pre Civil War legal thriller that reads more like a superb historical than a whodunit. Readers obtain a deep look at Manhattan at a time when a slave scandal has rocked the city. Rotating between the days following the murder and flashbacks into the lives of the key cast members, fans will feel they have gone back in time as Ellen Horan captures the essence of the era.

Harriet Klausner

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