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There s a bit of theater in all of us.Frank and Sarah Malloy are the mainstay characters of Victoria Thompson s Gaslight Mystery series We re now entering 21 and I ve been locked in since the very beginning and always will be.Our newly married couple have been through quite a lot of adventures and misshaps throughout the years and Victoria Thompson carves out very creative scenarios for them Sarah has taken her midwifery skills to a higher level and is now opening a renovated birthing center There s a bit of theater in all of us.Frank and Sarah Malloy are the mainstay characters of Victoria Thompson s Gaslight Mystery series We re now entering 21 and I ve been locked in since the very beginning and always will be.Our newly married couple have been through quite a lot of adventures and misshaps throughout the years and Victoria Thompson carves out very creative scenarios for them Sarah has taken her midwifery skills to a higher level and is now opening a renovated birthing center in New York City Frank has left behind his fine honed career as a police officer and is venturing out in his own detective business But their backgrounds won t prepare them for the next dilemma that awaits.The enterprising duo wish to adopt their young charge, Catherine, who has been in their care for some time But legalities stand on terra firma as their lawyer explains that this adoption will not be as cut and dry as they first thought They must locate Catherine s legal, but wayward, father to give up his parental rights Parnell Vaughan has spent most of his life on the stage of many a theater rather than on the solid stage of fatherhood When Parnell s bloodied body is found dead in his dressingroom, all eyes focus on Frank who may have been a bit forceful or not in persuading Parnell to sign those legal papers.Murder on Union Square is an enjoyable period piece by the talented Victoria Thompson While I ve pretty much been drawn in by all of them especially the earlier books , this one seems to lack a bit of the pizzazz associated with the others The beginning is dry with excessive legal dialogue and not much set up for the warm relationship that exists with Sarah, Frank, Catherine, and friends and family As the mystery unfolds, overuse of questioning techniques to disarm likely suspects repeats and repeats page after page Same characters over and over, but just changing up the scenery now and then Don t get me wrong Murder on Union Square is still a worthy read, but it suffers from stilted episodes in its delivery and a tad bit of plot fatigue.Perhaps the next one will return to the winning formula of the earlier books Just keep em comin , Ms Thompson I ll always be a fan I received a copy of Murder on Union Square from Penguin s First to Read Murder on Union Square is the 21st book in Victoria Thompson s Gaslight Mystery series featuring Frank and Sarah Malloy In this entry, the couple is trying to adopt Catherine, a young girl they ve taken in She s already become part of the family and the Malloys want to make it official Unfortunately, they discover that a legal technicality is standing in their way Catherine s mother, Emma Hardy, had an affair and she b I received a copy of Murder on Union Square from Penguin s First to Read Murder on Union Square is the 21st book in Victoria Thompson s Gaslight Mystery series featuring Frank and Sarah Malloy In this entry, the couple is trying to adopt Catherine, a young girl they ve taken in She s already become part of the family and the Malloys want to make it official Unfortunately, they discover that a legal technicality is standing in their way Catherine s mother, Emma Hardy, had an affair and she became pregnant with Catherine She and her husband, Parnell Vaughn, were separated when the affair occurred but, even though it s clear Parnell is not the father, the law deems that Catherine is Parnell s daughter since he was Emma s husband the law dictates that a husband is the father of his wife s children Devastated, Frank and Sarah are determined to convince Parnell to allow them to adopt Catherine When they meet with him at the theater he is currently performing at, he isthan willing to sign the child over to them as he is not her father and has no interest in raising her It seems a done deal until Parnell s fiancee, Eliza, demands that Parnell be compensated for helping them out Parnell isn t interested in money but Eliza requests Frank bring a thousand dollars with him when he returns with the papers that Parnell needs to sign.Unfortunately, when Frank returns, he finds Parnell bludgeoned to death When Eliza finds Frank at the scene, covered in blood, she claims he murdered Parnell because Parnell no longer wanted to sign Catherine over to the Malloys Malloy is arrested but is soon released on bail Frank and Sarah are joined by their friends and colleagues, Maeve and Gino in a race to solve Parnell s murder and clear Frank s name Naturally, they concentrate on the people at the theater the day of the murder They have a small pool of suspects with little in the way of motive but they doggedly investigate and question the people who knew Parnell several times in an attempt to get to the bottom of things.And, this is where I had issues with the book I ve read several books in this series and have enjoyed them all The mysteries are solid and the characters are likeable Normally, my interest is held until the end In this case, I struggled to get through the book A lot of it has to do with the repetitive interviewing of the same few people It just made the story drag It almost felt like it was in a loop because they kept visiting the same people The scenes where Frank, Sarah, Maeve and Gino discuss their findings and spitball theories slow things down quite a bit as well Shortening these scenes would help keep the pace brisk Though I had a few issues with the book, I did enjoy the reveal and the mystery itself As always, I liked reading about the Malloys and Maeve and Gino Gino a bitthan Maeve I like this series and will continue to read it and hope one day to go back and read the entries I ve missed Not every book can be a hit and, while not a miss, Murder on Union Square is not quite at the same level as the other books in the series I d still recommend it to fans of the series and anyone who likes historical mysteries An intriguing little surprise at the start when Frank himself becomes a murder suspect This sets the scene for his little team to start an investigation to clear his name I thought this book worked very well I enjoyed the humour behind Maeve and Gino s developing relationship I liked the way Sarah and Frank worked together and also how Sarah s mother came to their aid in her usual fashion All the regular characters were in play plus a few from previous books and the story moved along well.T An intriguing little surprise at the start when Frank himself becomes a murder suspect This sets the scene for his little team to start an investigation to clear his name I thought this book worked very well I enjoyed the humour behind Maeve and Gino s developing relationship I liked the way Sarah and Frank worked together and also how Sarah s mother came to their aid in her usual fashion All the regular characters were in play plus a few from previous books and the story moved along well.The mystery revolved around a cast of players in a theatre and there was a lot of good historical detail about the Syndicate which I had never heard of before This author always seems to teach me something in her books I have three separate HF series on the go all set in New York and it truly has a remarkable and frequently very entertaining history Sadly I only have onebook to read in this series before I catch up with the author I sincerely hope she keeps writing them Frank and Sarah Malloy are ready to move forward with the adoption of Catherine, the young orphan she s been raising for almost two years and who views both of them as parents They run into a major legal obstacle requiring them to first get approval from actor Parnell Vaughn, the man who was married to Catherine s mother at the time of her birth, even though he isn t her biological father When they approach Vaughn, his conniving fianc e asks for money, even though he sthan willing to giv Frank and Sarah Malloy are ready to move forward with the adoption of Catherine, the young orphan she s been raising for almost two years and who views both of them as parents They run into a major legal obstacle requiring them to first get approval from actor Parnell Vaughn, the man who was married to Catherine s mother at the time of her birth, even though he isn t her biological father When they approach Vaughn, his conniving fianc e asks for money, even though he sthan willing to give them rights without conditions Frank agrees and returns with the legal documents, only to find the man beaten to death Unfortunately for Frank, he becomes the prime suspect for the murder The backdrop is the theatrical world and solving the murder is complicated by having to investigate and interview people whose livelihoods are based on how well they can convince you they re someone else The list of suspects are all part of this world and it s hard to tell when they re lying or telling the truth I certainly couldn t But, the real substance of the story isthe developing sense of family created by Sarah and Frank They re surrounded by extended family and friends, deepening relationships through the new investigation agency and women s clinic There are moments of humor and tenderness that bring something different to this series I liked this story, though the discussions around the many theories were tiresome at times But, the family and friendship themes, infused with lots of humor, made this story special Frank has a few precious moments that just warmed my heart Combined, they make this series a wonderful place to return It took me a while to get into this book, mostly because I haven t read any others in the series and since there have beenthan 20, clearly I ve missed a lot and also because for whatever reason I didn t realize that it s a turn of the century setting Once I figured that out, though, the dialog and interactions among the characters made total sense from then on, reading it was quite an enjoyable experience.At the beginning, New York married couple Sarah nee Brandt and Frank Malloy sh It took me a while to get into this book, mostly because I haven t read any others in the series and since there have beenthan 20, clearly I ve missed a lot and also because for whatever reason I didn t realize that it s a turn of the century setting Once I figured that out, though, the dialog and interactions among the characters made total sense from then on, reading it was quite an enjoyable experience.At the beginning, New York married couple Sarah nee Brandt and Frank Malloy she a midwife and he a private detective are hoping to adopt Catherine, a child Sarah apparently has been raising how that came to be was, I suppose, the subject of an earlier book They learn that the man Catherine s mother was married to isn t her birth father and under the law, only the real father has parental rights and can sign over his daughter to the Malloys Turns out he s Parnell Vaughn, an actor in a small, independent theater company, and he sthan willing to give up the child he neither knew nor wants anything to do with His actress fiancee, though, isn t about to let him give something for nothing ante up, she demands, or she ll put the kabosh on the deal.Even though the real dad doesn t care about the money and such payments are illegal, Frank agrees but when he returns to the theater with cash in hand, he finds that Parnell has been brutally murdered Worse, since Frank gets covered with Parnell s blood when he inspected the body and nobody else seems to be around, Frank becomes the No 1 suspect Needless to say, he didn t do it so he and his partner Gino, with help from Sarah, set out to prove his innocence.There s no shortage of other suspects, including the aforementioned fiancee, a long in the tooth actress who refuses to give up ingenue roles and act her age, her producer husband who would do anything to keep her happy and an agent who may have motives that are not in his clients best interests Helping to sort things out is Serafina, another character from an earlier book or books as a medium, she just may be able to conjure up insights that will help get to the truth.The action moves along quickly although it does get a bit bogged down here and there by too lengthy what if discussions among the characters The writing is interesting and true to the period, and once in a while there s a touch of humor The only thing I was never able to figure out, though, is why Frank is referred to by his first name in some instances and his last name in others for a while, I actually thought they were two different people.Still, I m happy to find this series, a delightful combination of historical fiction and murder mystery For sure, I ll be watching for the next installment Meantime, I thank the publisher, via NetGalley, for the opportunity to read an advance review copy The book is extra special when it s signed for you by the author Frank and Sarah Malloy are getting ready to legally adopt little Catherine when their attorney tells them there is a problem Catherine s stepfather, Actor Vaughn Parnell, must relinquish his rights to Catherine Frank and Sarah visit Parnell at the theater where he is performing He is willing to sign the paperwork, but his fianc e requests that they pay a fee for his signature The next day Frank returns to the theater with the money to get Parnell s signature, only to find him bludgeoned to d Frank and Sarah Malloy are getting ready to legally adopt little Catherine when their attorney tells them there is a problem Catherine s stepfather, Actor Vaughn Parnell, must relinquish his rights to Catherine Frank and Sarah visit Parnell at the theater where he is performing He is willing to sign the paperwork, but his fianc e requests that they pay a fee for his signature The next day Frank returns to the theater with the money to get Parnell s signature, only to find him bludgeoned to death The police believe Frank may have killed Vaughn and arrest him Frank and Sarah vow to find out who really killed Parnell and clear Frank s name.This was a humorous addition to the Gaslight Mysteries There were several conversations that I found amusing There were only a handful of suspects I guessed the killer very quickly, but still found the story entertaining My rating 4 Stars &Free Epub ⇹ Murder on Union Square ⇲ When a murder hits close to home, Frank finds himself in an unusual position the prime suspect in the latest installment of the national bestselling Gaslight Mystery seriesSarah and Frank Malloy are enjoying married life and looking to make their family official by adopting Catherine, the child whom Sarah rescued and has been raising as her daughter The process seems fairly straightforward, but at the last minute, the newlyweds discover that Parnell Vaughn, Catherine s legal father, has a claim on the child, and his grasping fianc e is demanding a financial settlement to relinquish parental rights Even though exchanging money for a child is illegal, Frank and Sarah s love for Catherine drives them to comply When Frank returns with the money and finds Vaughn beaten to death, all evidence points to Frank as the culprit A not quite famous actor with modest means, Vaughn seems an unlikely candidate for murder, particularly such a violent crime of passion But Frank soon uncovers real life intrigue as dramatic as any that appears on stage Sarah and Frank enlist those closest to them to help hunt for Vaughn s killer as Frank s own life and the future of their family hang in the balance Finally, finally I m done reading this book It was torture Zero character development and I figured who the murderer was early on while I had to read on and on the same dialogues between Malloy, Sarah, Gino and Meave With every installment Meave just gets worse She and Gino demand things from Malloy and Sarah and it s annoying Gino wants a motor car and Meave wants favours because Malloy and Sarah didn t include her in something Mrs Thompson can claim that all the fans of the series love Me Finally, finally I m done reading this book It was torture Zero character development and I figured who the murderer was early on while I had to read on and on the same dialogues between Malloy, Sarah, Gino and Meave With every installment Meave just gets worse She and Gino demand things from Malloy and Sarah and it s annoying Gino wants a motor car and Meave wants favours because Malloy and Sarah didn t include her in something Mrs Thompson can claim that all the fans of the series love Meave and Gino but that s not true Their will they won t they storyline is boring me and while I expected for Sarah and Frank to investigateclosely now they are married and a little bitof romance between them I have to suffer the presence of Meave and Gino since they are always around In this installment they had eveninvestigating time than Frank and Sarah and was another reason I didn t enjoy the book Also Sarah and Frank have lost their edge and all the good ideas come from Meave and Gino If mrs Thompson is so fond of them she should start a series with them which I will not bother to read I have already purchased the next installment but I m reluctant to read it and I fear that this will be my last one from this series I miss too much Frank and Sarah while they were alone and discussing things over since I started the series for them and their chemistry that seems non existent in the last installments Frank and Sarah Mallory planned to adopted Catherine in this long running historical mystery but are stymied by a legal technology Frank goes to see Catherine s legal father, Parnell Vaughn to sign papers relinquishing his paternal rights He finds Parnell beaten to death and is accused as the killer He finds himself arrested and charged with murder Sarah, Maeve, and Gino worked with Frank to locate the killer in order to save his reputation Sarah plans to open a maternity center continue wi Frank and Sarah Mallory planned to adopted Catherine in this long running historical mystery but are stymied by a legal technology Frank goes to see Catherine s legal father, Parnell Vaughn to sign papers relinquishing his paternal rights He finds Parnell beaten to death and is accused as the killer He finds himself arrested and charged with murder Sarah, Maeve, and Gino worked with Frank to locate the killer in order to save his reputation Sarah plans to open a maternity center continue with Maeve instructing workmen The Center opens as Sarah aides in the delivery of an old friend, Serafina s daughter The tale twists and turns as the Mallorys friends explore the world of theater in order to find the killer Serafina will aide in the unearthing a killer I HIGHLY recommend this book and series.Disclosure Many thanks to Berkley for a review copy The opinions expressed are my own