Cover Image: Death at the Falls

Death at the Falls

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Member Reviews

I am a huge fan of The Gilded Age Mystery series. However, this novel is different than the other novels. This is because it is set at the Niagara Falls, which made the setting idyllic. It was fun that there were murders taking place at the Niagara Falls. The characters are already well established. Prudence is already a competent sleuth. The mystery itself was very clever, and I loved the reveal. Overall, this was a solid entry in an established series! I recommend this for fans of Alyssa Maxwell, Jennifer Ashley, and Tessa Arlen!
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This is the seventh book in the Gilded Age mystery series by Rosemary Simpson. I haven’t read them all or in order, but I’ve enjoyed all of them so far. 

A twisted, complicated novel set on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls in the 1890s. I loved the level of detail and how the plot split into two mysteries. Prudence takes on an inheritance case when the potential heiress’s claims are declared false. An interesting look at family dynamics, greed, and madness. The other thread in this story is the murder of a man not meant to go over the falls in a barrel, but somehow got switched. This is long before anyone figured out how to go over safely (and goodness, why would you want to??!!), and the falls themselves are the murder weapon–very interesting! 

An absorbing mystery with a woman sleuth set during an interesting time, that’s all I ask for, and this is what I got x10. I still have more in this series to read and enjoy. Highly recommended.

I also love the covers the series.
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I got this book when it was a 'Read Now' option due to the beautiful cover. I did not realize it was the seventh in a series. I am the sort of person that needs to read series in order. I hope to work my way through the Gilded Age Mystery series as it sounds really interesting.
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This is the second book I've read in this series.  It moved a bit slow and it was hard for me to get into.  It took me a lot longer than usual to read it because it didn't keep my interest.  I enjoyed the first book I read in the series, and I do like the characters, but the plot and setting just did not capture my attention.

My rating is 2.5 stars, rounded up to three on sites with no half-star option.

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley.  My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.
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I love it when a novel sends me scrambling for Google. While the author sets scene perfectly, I found myself looking for pictures of Niagara Falls. Once gain a great mix of mystery and romance. I can't wait for the next installment.
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My first foray into Rosemary Simpson's Gilded Age Mystery series proved to be very enjoyable. The author adeptly weaves historical facts and descriptions into a highly engaging mystery. Well worth a look.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Kensington Books via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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Rosemary Simpson gives us another Gilded Age mystery in Death at the Falls.  New lawyer Prudence MacKenzie  and her former Pinkerton partner Geoffrey Hunter travel to Niagara Falls at the request of Lady Rotherton on behalf of Lady Hamilton.  There is a question about the safety and inheritance of Rowan Adderly because her grandmother wishes to disinherit her.; Lady Hamilton is protecting her.  Bodies start dropping. Whodunit?  The Niagara area is fast developing for business and power production.  Who else wants to do in members of Rowan's family?
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A delightful cozy mystery. The main characters remind me of the two in the Thin Man film series. I haven't read the others in this series, but I felt well-informed and didn't feel like I was missing out on anything. Although this one did make me want to read more!
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October 1890.

It’s no surprise that private investigators Prudence MacKenzie and Geoffrey Hunter welcome the opportunity to “get out of Dodge” aka New York City: New York is too hot for them given the sordid sexual nature of their recent investigations. The partners are intrigued to be offered a case in Niagara Falls. They can’t refuse a request demanded by Gillian, the Dowager Viscountess Lady Rotherton (Prudence’s aristocratic dollar-princess aunt) to help a fellow dollar-princess. N.B. “a Dollar Princess referred to an American heiress, often from newly wealthy families, who married a title-rich but cash-poor British nobleman.” Think of Downton Abbey’s fictional Cora Crawley, the Countess of Grantham, as an excellent example. Aunt Gillian is maddingly vague in her missive to Prudence. ‘My dear friend Ernestine Hamilton needs your help. She knows you’ve passed the bar. I’ve told her you’re on the way. Don’t dawdle. Be discreet.’ The partners are suspicious that Aunt Gillian has touted their legal abilities because that’s usually not why they’re hired. 

“I think of us less as lawyers than private inquiry agents. Don’t you?”


“Hunter and Mackenzie, Investigative Law. We’ve created something new,” Geoffrey said.


While the courtroom had always reminded a possibility, most of the cases they’d accepted in the past two and a half years had been more investigatory than legal. He had thought that might change after Prudence became only the second woman to be admitted to the practice of law in New York State, but the clients she had been hoping for had not materialized.

Geoffrey and Prudence push the envelope when they arrive in Niagara Falls. They stay in an elegant hotel on the Canadian side of the Falls and rather unusually, occupy the same suite (separate bedrooms, of course). They’re professionals and undeterred by gossip. Even though “Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in America, established in 1885,” it’s like the wild, wild west. As they say, “There’s gold in them thar hills,” which translates to prescient folks realizing that harnessing the power of the awesome falls will fuel hydro-electric plants. Someone(s) will make a fortune as Geoffrey explains to Prudence.

I have a feeling that if what we’re here for is a land dispute, it’s because either Thomas Edison or George Westinghouse is angling to ensure that only one of them holds the power monopoly. Electricity is the future, Prudence, and it could prove to be even more lucrative than Carnegie’s steel mills, Rockefeller’s oil fields, or Vanderbilt’s railroads. My money, for what it’s worth, is on Nikola Tesla’s alternating current.”

Everyone in Niagara is speculating whether a man could ever go over the falls and survive the journey. Unsavory folks push the envelope, like “daredevil Crazy Louie Whiting.” He wants to be the first to “navigate the falls without drowning.” Louie’s latest stunt is to send a sheep over the falls in a uniquely designed test barrel: if the animal survives, a human is next. 

Against such a background, they meet Lady Rotherton’s friend, Lady Ernestine Hamilton. Lady Hamilton was “so graceful in her walk, that she seemed to glide effortlessly across the parlor into which Geoffrey and Prudence had been ushered.” Prudence presses Lady Hamilton on why she insisted they come to Niagara, Ontario, reminding her that she can’t practice in Canada. 

“I don’t need a Canadian solicitor or barrister. The suit I intend to fight will be brought in an American court,” Lady Hamilton explained. “What do you know about having a child declared illegitimate?”

A grandmother wants to declare her granddaughter illegitimate before her eighteenth birthday because the girl stands to inherit a considerable estate and “there’s a great deal of land involved.” Her father, Lucas Adderly, has been missing since the girl’s childhood: the land is “worth millions.” Lady Hamilton refuses to go into the particulars, asking them to indulge her until the next day. They think Lady Hamilton, for all her elegance and charm, is holding out on them. They’re not sure whether to take a case that every lawyer on both sides of the border has turned down.  

But time is of the essence. Lady Hamilton takes them to visit the convent school where Rowan’s grandmother, Mrs. Myra Adderly, entombed her. It’s reminiscent of Frances Hodges Burnett’s The Little Princess: prize “parlor boarder” Sarah Crewe is thought to have lost all her money and is turned into a scullery maid/junior teacher by the cruel headmistress. When Prudence sees the orphans, she is moved by the evidence of years of abuse.

Work-roughened fingers tied the day’s clean aprons around bodies thickened by years of porridge, potatoes, and unrelenting manual labor.


Everything Prudence had learned in the past few years about class distinctions, hopeless lives, and the crushing weight of poverty painted the other side of the picture Lady Hamilton had brought them here to envision.

Rosemary Simpson brings physical poverty to life but even more vividly, she shows how the lack of love can inflict cruel wounds on a young psyche. Lady Hamilton arranged, secretly, for Rowan to live in the woods with Daniel Johnson, a kind elderly woodsman, and his dog Hero, because she fears for Rowan’s safety.

The barrel, supposedly containing a sheep, is sent over the Falls. Surprisingly, “when the barrel is retrieved and opened, the battered body of a local Tuscarora Indian spills out.” His name was Martin Fallow and he was murdered. Martin was somewhat of a math savant and had been investigating the financial shenanigans behind Rowan’s grandmother’s actions in cutting her granddaughter out of her inheritance. The partners formally take the case after Martin’s murder because behind the flimflam stunts are avaricious, greedy real estate speculators, aided by unscrupulous bankers, lawyers, and hangers-on. 

Prudence and Geoffrey call on their home team to come to Niagara to help in the investigation. Amos Lang works undercover: they task him to sidle up to Crazy Louie to see if he was behind Martin Fallow’s death. Were there two identical barrels? Josiah Gregory is in his element—acting as a cataloguer/archivist at the Hamilton estate, his job is to find the records that Myra wants hidden. 

Josiah liked nothing more than complicated schemes hatched by venal fraudsters. And if they were family members trying to cheat one another, so much the better.

The partners race against time to prove that Myra has falsified documents in order to disinherit Rowan. Someone viciously attacks Daniel and his dog: Rowan is not safe. Their erstwhile client, Lady Hamilton, is obfuscating the facts. It’s a complicated case, full of surprises. 

For readers curious about the burgeoning relationship between Prudence and Geoffrey, Simpson keeps us in suspended animation. There are signs that they may someday have a partnership in life as well as work but it’s not definitive. Stay tuned! Fans of HBO’s The Gilded Age will enjoy Rosemary Simpson’s seventh Gilded Age mystery. It’s a treat to see Prudence and Geoffrey exercise their investigative chops outside of New York City.
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Death at the Falls is the seventh book in the A Gilded Age Mystery series by Rosemary Simpson.

Prudence MacKenzie has passed the New York Bar exam and is relieved to have that behind her.  Prudence and Geoffrey Hunter run the Hunter and MacKenzie Investigative Law office. 

Prudence and Geoffrey are heading to Niagara Falls. Prudence’s Aunt Gillian wrote to her asking to visit her friend Lady Hamilton who would like legal advice about her concern for seventeen-year-old Rowan Adderly. On her eighteenth birthday, Rowan will receive a large trust fund of money and land.  Rowan had lived with her grandmother, Myra Adderly, since infancy when her father left Rowan with his mother and went West to make his fortune.  Myra Adderly intends to prove her son and the mother of Rowan were never married; therefore, Rowan is not entitled to the trust.  Geoffrey will have their secretary, Josiah, into the investigation to learn the trust holdings.

The book has a subplot that centers around Crazy Louie, who builds barrels, hoping to become the first human to traverse Niagara Falls successfully.  On one of the last trials, a sheep is put in the barrel and set off down the Niagara River.  Prudence and Geoffrey are near the river when the barrel is placed in the water.  There is a double shock when the barrel is retrieved; the barrel is still intact, but inside is the body of a dead male.  Prudence and Geoffrey need to investigate, and Geoffrey will on his ex-Pinkerton agent partner to handle the investigation.

This series is one of my favorite historical cozy mystery series. Ms. Simpson weaves historical facts and descriptions into an engaging mystery. The story is well-written and plotted. The story moves at a good pace.  The characters are well-developed, believable, and interesting.

I am anxiously awaiting the next book in this wonderful series.
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This is the seventh book in the Gilded Age Mystery Series and I've enjoyed some of the books while others have been lackluster for me. This one ended up being a lackluster read. I definitely haven't liked the books where the author changes the setting. In this one Prudence and Geoffrey travel to Niagra Falls for a case. I had a hard time getting into this book. The overall plot just didn't interest me. I started to get interested more when Josiah and Amos came on the scene to help with the investigation. Their characters were more interesting to me this time than Prudence and Geoffrey. There were some twists and reveals in the book that were pretty easy to figure out. This was one of those books where the reader is privy to more information than the characters doing the investigation, and I really don't like those kinds of mysteries. After I got into the book about halfway, I realized that Prudence and Geoffrey basically did nothing but talk to some people in this book. They didn't uncover anything related to the investigation themselves. It was all other people, at least for most of the book. Then of course Prudence goes and gets herself into trouble yet again. At least this time she got herself out of it.

In the beginning I thought there would be relationship progress between Prudence and Geoffrey, but nothing ends up happening besides a small teaser at the end, which felt like it came out of nowhere. I didn't feel any chemistry between them in this book. I know this is mainly about the mystery, but the background romance was something I was hoping would progress and develop by now. At this point, I think it may be time for me to part ways with this series. It's been too up and down for me and I'm just not liking it enough to keep going.

Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing me with an ARC of this book.
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Death at the Falls by Rosemary Simpson is Historical Mystery Fiction with plenty of suspense and action. Rosemary Simpson’s writing is sensational with characters and scenes easy to visualize. Her book has a plot with many intriguing coils. When you think you know who did it and the motives, it all changes. I really enjoyed this book, it may be my favorite because of the unpredictable characters.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.  I appreciate the opportunity and thank the author and publisher for allowing me to read, enjoy and review this book. 5 Stars
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How exciting! A new author to me, writing stories I am addicted to! Yes, historical mysteries and I have to say, I cannot wait to read more!

The author has combined true history with fiction, which always draws my further interest. The main characters and secondary characters come alive and you can picture yourself there at Niagara Falls.

Secrets, murder, greed and a lot of red herrings bring this excellent tale full circle as Prudence and Geoffrey try to solve what is truly happening.. Fabulous and a beautiful cover!
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This is seventh in the Gilded Age Mystery series, and I enjoyed this one even more than the other i read.

Prudence and Geoffrey are called to Niagara Falls to sort out inheritance/trust fund issues, but they end up with several murders to solve. This one actually involves a couple of storylines with overlapping characters. Disappearances, dastardly villains, a colorful cast and a fascinating backdrop (love the historical elements) make for an exciting read. And Prudence and Geoffrey (and cohorts) are always fun and interesting characters. Recommended .this book to all my Mystery lovers.
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I love this series! This most recent entry was full of interesting new characters, and I loved the setting of Niagara Falls. I adore Prudence and Geoffrey and am happy with the pace at which their relationship is developing. I can’t wait for the next book!
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This is my first book by this author, and happily it won't be my last. I was thoroughly entertained, I enjoyed the location of the book, Niagara Falls, what a unique backdrop for a story! Prudence, now a lawyer, I had no idea that it is a series, will have to go back and read the first one, although the way this story is written, you don't feel clueless, but it does make you want to know the characters better. Prudence and Geoffery Hunter are in Niagara to help a young lady get, and keep control of her inheritance, the sad thing here is, it's her Grandmother standing in her way. I think with so many characters, reading the first six stories would help with that. Geoffrey is an ex Pinkerton agent, he and Prudence are partners, which for the late 1800's is quite an achievement for Prudence, and quite unusual for a man like Jeffery to be supportive of. After reading some gritty stories, this is a pleasure read, murders yes, mystery yes, not really a cozy, but certainly not gritty. Murders, greed, conmen, it all makes for an enjoyable read! Thank you #Netgalley #KensingtonBooks
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Location, location, location.  Even in the 1890's property and location was king!  

Prudence Mackenzie and Geoffrey Hunter head to Niagara Falls to defend the legitimacy of a young woman who will be inheriting some large tracts of land in the area.  Her grandmother does not want her to inherit, and is planning to declare her illegitimate.  What follows is a riveting tale of deceit, half-truths, and murder.  

I have not read this author in the past and did not know this book was part of a series.  It was quite good and now I've got to go back and get the first six books!  Since I read it as a stand-alone, it can be read if you haven't read any of the other books in this series.  But, I think the enjoyment of this book will be enhanced by reading the first six.
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Historical mysteries are a favorite of mine and this series is one of the best. With seven books, so far, I think I enjoyed this one the most. Maybe it's the setting of Niagara Falls in 1890, taking Prudence and her law partner, Geoffrey out of New York on a case that will take them to both sides of the Falls. Prudence has just passed the New York bar, one of only two women to have done so by 1890. She is hoping to be in a courtroom defending their client regarding her inheritance when she turns eighteen. Her grandmother will do anything to prevent her from getting it. It was at the request of Prudence's aunt that they took the case and it soon becomes clear that there is more to it than any of them had imagined.  The Niagara area is growing and that growth includes crooks and conmen and a murderer. Control of the vast hydro-electrical power plus the surrounding land is bringing out the greedy. Keeping Rowan Adderly safe until her eighteenth birthday will be a challenge and not just from her nasty grandmother. 
The cast of characters is large but one surely stands out - Crazy Louie Whiting, a man who wants to be the first to survive going over the Falls in a barrel. Put it all together and Niagara becomes a major character on its own. (American widow, Anna Edson Taylor, aged 63, was the first to do it on October 24, 1901) Full of history Death at the Falls had me engaged from page one and never let go..If you are new to this series it works as a stand alone with enough backstory to keep the new reader from getting lost.  
My thanks to the publisher Kensington and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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I thought this was a slow moving book for most  part.
It really got better in the last few chapters.  I did think it was also somewhat predictable but still an enjoyable mystery.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the early copy
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Real estate.  It's all about development and profit even in 1890s Niagara.  Especially in 1890s Niagara, as various forces begin to create not only critical power by harnessing the Falls but also a nascent tourist industry.  And that's where Prudence and Geoffrey find themselves when they travel from New York to help Rowan, a young woman whose inheritance is threatened by her hateful grandmother.  They discover there's more to the picturesque town than meets the eye, especially when the bodies start to pile up and when it becomes apparent that Rowan's life is in peril.   It's a good historical mystery (and not really a cozy) with good characters and an interesting setting.  This is the 7th in a series and it should be fine as a standalone because Simpson gives enough back story to get new readers up to speed.  Thanks to netgalley for the ARC.  A good read.
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