Last Stop in Brooklyn is the third murder mystery in a series by Lawrence H. Levy. They are set in New York before the turn of the 20th century, and the detective is female named Mary Handley.
In this story, the main mystery is a series of murders that seem to be a continuation of Jack the Ripper’s work—prostitutes are murdered and mutilated on the anniversaries of Jack’s kills. And someone seems to be trying to cover up for the murderer, since each case has been sealed shortly after the investigation began. Mary is approached by the brother of a man who has been convicted of the first prostitute murder to clear his name.
There are other things going on, as well, however. An anarchist sets off a suicide bomb in a wealthy industrialist’s office, injuring the industrialist and killing at least one person other than the bomber. The husband of one of Mary Handley’s friends seems to be having an affair with the wife of the son of one of Mary’s mother’s friends. An employee who was injured in the bombing tries to sue the industrialist. A policeman is in the pay of the industrialist.
These are all interesting pieces to the mystery, and I was looking forward to the way that Levy would connect all of them. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. It seemed to me that the murderer would have to be someone important in the city, someone who would have a police officer on his payroll, because the files were all sealed. That was important in the story—someone was sealing all of the files on dead prostitutes before the killer was found.
But, when we found out who the killer was, he had no apparent connection with anyone in the police force. He was not connected in any apparent way with the wealthy industrialist who was such a large part of the story. He was not connected in any way with Mary’s friend, her husband, or the woman he was supposedly having an affair with. So, these were two different stories: the murder of the prostitutes and the problems of the wealthy industrialist. What connection did they have with each other? Nothing was shown.
All in all, I was quite disappointed with this story.
Skullduggery, a novel of piracy in the New World by Robert Frusolone, makes an interesting read. From the Bahamas to Virginia, this book gives a fascinating look at the people and landscapes that made up the New World before the American Revolution. Grayson Fallon, as protagonist, captured my interest at once and kept it for the entirety of the novel.
The story begins when a man wakes up on a desert island, surrounded by bodies, with no memory of who he is or how he got there. He is picked up by a ship and he learns that his name is Grayson Fallon and he is a pirate. The name seems right to him, but the idea that he might be a pirate does not. So, he starts a voyage to discover the truth.
I only had one major problem with the way this story is constructed. That problem is that the author writes from too many points of view, diluting the sympathy the reader should have for the main character. We learn about the main character and his situation from the outside—which would be fine, but the main character should be learning these things. Grayson Fallon has amnesia, so he doesn’t know any of the things we are seeing from the outside.
However, the scenery is well-drawn and consistent. I found it fascinating to walk through the towns of Virginia in the 18th century. And the ships they had at the time were described very well. The author gives an excellent taste of the times.
I was also very interested in the tale of what happened to Grayson Fallon, how he was lost, and how he found himself. There was enough suspense in that story that I felt I had to keep reading until I found out what would happen.
Finally, Robert Frusolone managed to pull together all of the strings at the end of the novel. There were no questions that were not answered at the end. I believe this is the most important thing. It made the novel a satisfying experience.
I went to look at Yerkes Cemetery, today. It is at 8 mile rd and Meadowbrook in Northville.
It is a little cemetery--the smallest one I have yet visited. It almost seems like a family cemetery. Although there are other names on some of the stones, by far the most common name in the cemetery is Yerkes. I took pictures of eight separate monuments with the name Yerkes.
Some of the stones are fairly old--some of them are falling down.
But other stones have been repaired or replaced, so someone is clearly taking care of the cemetery.
I had written, in the 'Coming Soon' section of this website, that I would be submitting two stories to an anthology that is being called The Lost Door. I did submit one story to that collection, and it was accepted for publication. It will be coming out sometime in August, and I am very excited about it. I am also interested to read the other stories. It sounds like this collection will be outstanding, even by Zimbell House standards.
I had been planning to submit a second story to the same anthology, but after I had written it, I realized that my second story would not fit. The Lost Door is an anthology about Doors. The Door should be an important part of the story, almost another character. That is not the case in this story. The Door--a portajohn, in this case--is important, but it does not figure greatly after the first quarter of the story.
So, I have decided to offer it here:
Cat and Mouse