Friday, August 9, 2013

Death of a Robber Baron by Charles O'Brien

When Pamela's husband dies, she's embarrassed to find out that he has mortgaged everything and she is left penniless.  She only has her clothes and her will to carry her forward.  The boarding house she moves into is a big comedown from her own home, but she takes in stride.  Now she needs to find a job...

Kensington Books sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It was published in August, so you can find a copy at your local bookstore now.

The story is set in the Gilded Age in 1891, and women didn't work at that time.  Pamela has no choice.  She's not interested in remarrying, knows no men who might want her, and prefers being alone at this point.  She finally finds someone who is willing to hire her; he wants her to work as a department store detective.  She gets some training and then she goes to work.  She does quite well at Macy's and soon finds herself sent out another job:  Investigating thievery at a cottage.  The irony is that she is now working for the man who sold bad stocks to her husband and made him commit suicide in despair.  She tries to set that aside and work on her assigned job, but that's hard to do.  It gets worse when she finds the robber baron dead in his study.  It was murder and she's determined to solve the case.

I enjoyed Pamela's never-say-die attitude and her growing appreciation for her boss.  He's married, but he's fond of Pamela also.  It will be interesting to see how this relationship works out in later books.  I wasn't sure who killed the baron, but the answer was surprising and appropriate.

Mr. O'Brien writes a good tale with well researched background of the era.  Visiting this point in history was a treat.  Could you do as well as Pamela does at detecting?  Why not read this book and see?

Happy reading.

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