Friday, January 8, 2021

Ten historical crime titles that trace the history of New York City

Stacie Murphy began writing A Deadly Fortune in March of 2017 as a way to force herself to stay off Twitter in the evenings. (It didn’t work).

At CrimeReads, Murphy tagged "ten novels—ranging from the early 18th century to the middle of the 20th, some standalones and others part of wonderful series—" that trace the history of New York City. One title on the list:
The Gods of Gotham, Lyndsay Faye

The first installment of Faye’s Timothy Wilde trilogy follows former barman Wilde as he takes a position with the copper stars, New York City’s first organized police force. Wilde and his fellow star police, as they’re commonly known, have their work cut out for them. The city’s population has ballooned from around 60,000 at the beginning of the 19th century to nearly half a million by 1845, when the novel begins. Thousands of desperate, starving Irish immigrants are staggering off of ships every week, fleeing famine, and the city’s native residents don’t necessarily welcome their arrival. When Wilde begins investigating the murders of children—or “kinchin,” in the argot of the city’s criminal class—he runs the risk of further inflaming a city already on the edge. Faye’s vivid use of historical detail and language is nothing short of brilliant.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Page 69 Test: The Gods of Gotham.

--Marshal Zeringue