For his seventh novel, the popular author of the Mickey Rawlings baseball mysteries changes venue and century. Hoping to fatten his meager Harper's Weekly stipend, Marshall Webb is looking for a plot for a new dime novel; his quest for a proper heroine takes him to Ellis Island in January, 1892, to meet the first immigrant ship to dock there. He finds in Christina van der Waals, a 14-year-old Dutch girl, the perfect candidate for his "girl makes good" story line; unfortunately, somewhere between Ellis Island and Manhattan, she disappears. Webb then locates her cousin, "opera singer" (read: exotic dancer) Liz Luck, whom Christina had said was to meet her, and learns that Liz was unaware of the young girl's plans. Liz's husband, a crooked cop named Gleason, throws Webb out and he heads back to the ferry terminal, determined to find Christina. His efforts lead him to Rebecca Davies, whose wealthy family funds Colden House, a haven for young women. Rebecca opens his eyes to the tragic fates of so many immigrant girls, and they join forces to search the filthy underworld of sweatshops and brothels, falling in love in the process. Rebecca's money helps pull the duo from some nasty scrapes as they face considerable personal dangers including Christina's abductor. Soos (Murder at Ebbets Field) captures the period handsomely as the couple bridges both moneyed and penniless worlds in this time of Tammany Hall corruption and na‹ve immigrants arriving in boatloads to encounter difficult odds and uncertain futures. The solid plot and well-researched background help to carry the tale, even though Soos never builds the suspense the novel calls for. Still, history buffs will enjoy this look at a harsh transitional period in New York history. Agent, Meredith Bernstein.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.From Booklist:
Seeking nothing more than inspiration for his next dime novel, Marshall Webb is at the opening of Ellis Island on January 1, 1892, looking for a pretty young immigrant whose story he can write, and 14-year-old Christina van der Waals from Amsterdam seems just the ticket. But when the girl disappears before reaching her cousin in New York and Webb tries to find her, he becomes embroiled with those who sell immigrants into slave labor or prostitution and the corrupt police force and Tammany Hall administration that don't help. Webb is aided by the two-man staff of the American Kinemascope Company, which hopes to beat Thomas Edison (himself a minor character) into offering moving pictures to the public. But his staunchest ally is Rebecca Davies, as forthright as she is attractive, who operates a home for women in need with financing from her wealthy family. With elements of history and mystery, plus a little romance, this is a nicely paced, entertaining novel with just enough of the happy ending its protagonist always seeks. Michele Leber
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Book Description Kensington. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1575667673. Bookseller Inventory # GTA5549JLVW021315H0732B
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Book Description Kensington, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 1575667673
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Book Description Kensington, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. New item. Bookseller Inventory # QX-178-37-4957514