Saturday, January 4, 2020

Winter Reading 2020 Near Prospect Park: A Mary Handley Mystery

Once again Mary Handley is back on the job. She never actually left,  just scaled back her investigations due to motherhood and caring for an infant. Her mother remains as caustic and annoying as ever, constantly pushing and dictating and getting on everyone's nerves. Her brother Sean is still on the police force and has recently become serious about a young woman, finally recovering enough from the grief of his murdered fiancee to move one with life. And Mary is trying to balance the confidentiality of her career with the closeness and trust needed for a healthy marriage.

As in all the mysteries featuring Mary, prominent historical figures and events play a role in the story as well as establishing the setting. Stanford White, Nikola Tesla, and W.S. Gilbert (of Gilbert & Sullivan fame) are just a few of the notables that turn up along the way. But there are themes that resonate with today's headlines as well.. #MeToo finds a place in the predicament of a young girl hired to jump out of a pie at a party for wealthy men, only to be assaulted and then dismissed afterward. The situation of wealthy and powerful men having carte blanche to take advantage of the poor and marginalized and the apathy of officials unwilling to take the part of their victim has not really changed over time.

Mary's feelings of determination, resolve to find the answers, and her ability to push on despite personal loss and the forces working against her are always admirable. Readers who have followed the series will be glad to see her again and cheer for her investigation to bring everyone the justice they deserve.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley for review purposes.

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