Hello, there, I’m Maeve Smith, Sarah Brandt’s nanny. I know, you didn’t expect to hear from me, but Mrs. Brandt and Detective Sergeant Malloy are in Europe on their honeymoon. They left me in charge of everything while they’re away. Oh yes, Mr. Malloy’s mother is living with us now, too, but I take care of Mrs. Brandt’s daughter, Catherine, and make all the decisions. You might think that’s a big responsibility for someone who’s not quite eighteen yet, but I’ve been on my own for a while now. I don’t tell many people about my past, but that’s because I don’t think it’s any of their business and not because I’m ashamed. My mother ran off when I was little, or at least that’s what I’ve been told. I don’t remember her at all. My father got himself in trouble with the wrong people and ended up dead when I was about ten, so I went to live with my grandfather. He was a grifter and a good one, too. He took many a sucker in the Green Goods Game, but that’s another story. He taught me a lot of ways to cheat people, but he wanted me to live a respectable life and not have to worry about going to jail all the time. He might’ve gotten his wish, too, if he hadn’t been killed when a con went wrong. He left me a little money, but I never saw it because the lawyers got it first, so I went to live at one of those missions that are springing up all over the city while I decided what I was going to do. That’s where I met Mrs. Brandt, and when she decided to adopt little Catherine, she hired me to be her nursemaid. That was two years ago.
I have to admit, I only took the job to get away from the mission, but Mrs. Brandt turned out to be a really nice lady, and I love little Catherine dearly. Since I came to live with Mrs. Brandt, I’ve taken care of Catherine, but I’ve also learned a thing or two about finding murderers. I’m actually the one who found out who killed Mrs. Brandt’s first husband, and I’ve helped with other cases, too. So when a woman came to our door just before Christmas, asking for help because her daughter had been falsely accused of murder, how could I turn her away? Don’t worry, I had some help. Gino Donatelli is back working for the New York City police, so naturally, I asked him for advice. You might think I took advantage of him because I know he’s sweet on me, but believe me, he was only too happy to help. He’s just a patrolman, and he never gets to do anything interesting, at least no officially. But he’s smart and he’s learned a lot from Mr. Malloy, so he was a big help, when he wasn’t trying to flirt with me.
Somehow, Mrs. Brandt’s mother also got involved. Mrs. Decker is another one who never gets to do anything interesting, even though she’s a society woman and not a policeman. You probably won’t believe this, because I can hardly believe it myself, but even Mr. Decker helped out. I never would’ve thought of asking him, of course. He terrifies me. Or at least he did. But Mrs. Decker insisted, and it turns out he’s pretty smart and not nearly as mean as I thought. He didn’t even try to take over, which was really what I was afraid he’d do.
Solving the case and finding the real killer was a lot of fun for all of us, even though it was scary sometimes. We had a great story to tell Mr. and Mrs. Malloy (I have to remember that Mrs. Brandt is Mrs. Malloy now) when they got back from their honeymoon. We also had a proposition for them, but I don’t want to ruin it for you by telling you what it was or how we solved the case. You can read all about it in Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue. Oh, and Merry Christmas!
You can read Maeve’s story in Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue, the 18th installment in the “Gaslight” Mystery Series featuring midwife Sarah Brandt and published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is Murder on Astor Place.
About Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue
Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy and Sarah Brandt are not the only ones who have recently tied the knot. Family friend Mrs. O’Neill was delighted when her daughter Una wed charming millionaire Randolph Pollock. She didn’t wonder why such a wealthy man would want to marry a poor Irish girl, no matter how pretty she was. But now Mrs. O’Neill has a problem. Pollock’s servants have found their employer bludgeoned to death with Una cradling his body. Rendered mute by the horror of her husband’s death, Una cannot explain what happened, so the police have charged her with murder and locked her away in the Tombs to await trial. Mrs. O’Neill would like Frank to investigate the case and save Una, yet with Frank and Sarah still on their honeymoon, it’s up to the other members of their newly formed household to do some detective work. But solving the mystery behind Pollock’s death means first discovering the truth about who he really is. . . .
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Meet the Author
Victoria Thompson writes the Agatha and Edgar® Nominated Gaslight Mystery Series, set in turn-of-the-century New York City featuring midwife Sarah Brandt. The 18th book in the series is Victoria Thompson writes the Agatha and Edgar® Nominated Gaslight Mystery Series, set in turn-of-the-century New York City featuring midwife Sarah Brandt. The 18th book in the series is Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue. She also contributed to the award winning MANY GENRES/ONE CRAFT. Victoria teaches in the Seton Hill University MFA program in writing popular fiction. She lives in Central PA with her husband and a very spoiled little dog. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Novelists, Inc.