Cover Image: Death at the Falls

Death at the Falls

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Member Reviews

Death at the Falls is the seventh in the enthralling Gilded Age Mystery series.  This time the setting is mostly at Niagara Falls, beautiful but becoming touristy during the Gilded Age of the 1800s.  Prudence is now officially a lawyer as well as an investigator and is an excellent complement to her partner in crime Geoffrey, an ex Pinkerton.  Their mission is to find documents proving the legitimacy of young woman, Rowan.  But as they dig deeper they encounter more sinister deeds than expected as bodies start piling up.  Enter adventurous Crazy Louie plus land disputes and you have one serious mix of hijinks but thankfully not in a silly way.

Since Geoffrey's brush with death Prudence sees him...and life...differently.  I like this dynamic, too.  But my favourite aspect was getting to know returning characters Amos and Josiah better.  Niagara Falls is not only the setting but also more than that, almost an entity in this book around which mysteries swirl and historical bits abound.  It would have been interesting to experience it before present day mass tourism.  

Historical Fiction readers who enjoy a slight bit of an edge should find this series full of promise.  

My sincere thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for providing me with an early digital copy of this fabulous book.  So many possibilities for #8 in the series!
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I just adore this series. It’s not cozy, not particularly romantic, alternates POVs, and the writing is sometimes disjointed. And so addictive that I read it in one long sitting. I was mesmerized, entranced, ensorcelled! Rosemary Simpson’s mysteries are never what I expect, and that’s a compliment.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
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Prudence Mackenzie finds herself tackling the doyennes of Niagara, on the American side as well as the Canadian side of the Falls. She has been hired to protect the interests of Rowan Adderly, the daughter of the missing son of the family. Rowan's life has been one of cruelty and abuse directed by her greedy grandmother. The grandmother believes Rowan is illegitimate and should not inherit the family trust on her 18th birthday, which is fast approaching. As her birthday fast approaches, Prudence and her partner Geoffrey Hunter try desperately to find the documents they need before someone kills Rowan.  Another exciting and tense addition to this dramatic series.
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This is a wonderful series! I'm especially enjoying the slow burn of romance that has been creeping up since the first book. We're at the point where Geoffrey and Prudence are both aware of the possibilities but have yet to declare or act. The Niagara Falls setting is spectacular as are the descriptions of life along both sides of the Niagara River: the vendors, the conmen, the land speculators, the tourists, and the corruption. Prudence is newly licensed as a practicing attorney and hopes to prove herself as such but it appears the case will be more investigative than courtroom. I'm eagerly awaiting the next adventure for Hunt & MacKenzie.
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This is the 7th installment in this series with Prudence and Geoffry. They travel to Niagra Falls to investigate and inheritance, this leads them to investigating murder also! 
This has all the components needed for a great mystery! Filled with twists and turns, villians and secrets, a quirky crew of characters that don't fail to keep the reader engaged and entertained through to the end. Opening this book was like meeting old friends for a drink, you know them, like them and are comfortable with them. Guaranteed to have a good time. 
Thank you to Kensington Books and to Net Galley for the free ARC, I am leaving my honest review in return.
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This was a great installment of a terrific series.  Lots of action, a very interesting setting, and a denouement that actually caught me by surprise — I enjoyed every minute of it. The one thing it didn’t have was any movement in the relationship between its two protagonists.  I get a little tired of the will-they-or-won’t-they dance, especially when it’s really more of a when-will-they dance. We all know it’s going to happen, so let’s just get to it, shall we? Still, in a mystery book, the mystery always matters more to me than the romance, so the foot-dragging on the love front didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment. 

Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC copy for my review.
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The detective story is quite well written, and even the "suprise" is more functional than for effect, and I really appreciated that. The only thing I don't like so much is how much the author is dragging out the unclear relationship between Prudence and Geoffry. Also, these Pinkertons, or ex-Pinkertons,  resemble Superman a little too much....

Il giallo é piuttosto ben scritto, e anche il colpo di scena é piú funzionale che ad effetto e questo l'ho apprezzato molto. L'unica cosa che non mi piace poi tanto, é quanto l'autrice stia tirando per le lunghe la relazione poco chiara tra Prudence e Geoffry. Inoltre questi Pinkerton, o ex-Pinkerton assomigliano un po' troppo a Superman...

I received from the Publisher a complimentary digital advanced review copy of the book in exchange for a honest review.
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This is seventh in a favorite series, and I enjoyed this one even more than usual. 

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.

My thanks to the author, NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing the free early arc of Death at the Falls for review. The opinions are strictly my own.
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I enjoyed this mystery, as I have the entire series.  This is the 7th book in the series, and I was hoping for a little more growth in the personal relationship between the lead characters.  But the mystery kept me guessing in parts, and I liked the secondary characters and their role in the plot.  It was also neat that the setting is at a “tourist destination” that I have visited, and I could visualize some of the action.  I will definitely continue with this series.  I voluntarily read and reviewed an eARC of this book from NetGalley, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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In this story of Hunter/Mackenzie investigative law, the lawyers land in Niagara to sort out a trust dispute and a whole lot of sordid trouble and murders along the way. This is probably my favorite mystery so far in this series, it's complex, the side characters well drawn out and both sympathetic and hateful depending on whether they were good or not.  While I think the story is tight and exciting, I didn't find much development in terms of Prudence and Geoffrey as characters, they actually felt more like side characters in this one.  I did enjoy more Amos Lang and of course Josiah, but I missed Ned Hayes.  This series continues to be strong and thankfully, this wasn't as dark as the last installment, though I'd never classify this as cozy mystery by any stretch. A very solid outing. I received an ARC for an honest review
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Set in Niagara Falls, and 7th in the series, we find out inquiry agents attempting to unravel a web of deceit spun by a woman intent of hanging on to the inheritance she feels entitled to. Wonderful.
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Hello! I really appreciate having been granted an ARC of Death at the Falls from NetGalley. Thank you! I liked this book but found myself a little confused and lost with the many sub-plots and characters. I think, in a good way, there is always a lot happening in this book, but, at the same time, it might be so much that there is not a concerted focus to draw the reader's eye. That said, though, I think this mystery of murder and romance around Niagara Falls brings an entirely fresh perspective to not only Niagara Falls but also to the Gilded Age. I think it is always fascinating to have a hero who is a detective and a heroine team up to solve a crime. Each brings something different and enlightening to the table. And Geoffrey and Prudence are well-matched...both in chemistry and skill. Metaphorically, thinking of the dynamic and unstoppable Falls, I would consider this book to be super dynamic and action-packed. Rosemary Simpson's writing, and this book are a great addition to an already favorite series. Thank you! :)
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Rowan Adderly is about to come into a large inheritance on her eighteenth birthday. The inheritance includes numerous plats of land surrounding Niagara Falls. Rowan's father is presumed dead, and her greedy grandmother, Myra, is determined to prevent the young woman from inheriting. Prudence Mackenzie and her investigative partner, Geoffrey Hunter, travel to Niagara Falls area to take on Rowan's case should Myra try to pursue the matter in court. The deeper Prudence and Geoffrey dig into Rowan's background and her father's vast holdings, the more questions they have. Their investigation takes them from the mansions of Niagara Falls' high society all the way down to workshop of a man who is determined to survive going over the falls in a barrel, and proves that there is more at play than an elderly woman determined to deny her only granddaughter of her inheritance. The bodies pile up—starting with a young Tuscarora Indian who is found in a test barrel that was launched over the falls. Keeping Rowan alive is just as important as figuring out why her grandmother wants her dead before her eighteenth birthday. 


There is a lot going on in DEATH AT THE FALLS, and, at times, it was hard to keep everything and everyone straight. The narrative bounces back and forth between several characters, and, if you're not reading the novel in one sitting, it can be hard to keep track of the plot and how/if everything was connected. Overall, it was an interesting story. I enjoyed the history lesson on Niagara Falls as it developed in a tourist area as well as an industrial area. The addition Crazy Louie Whiting and his mission to become the first person to survive going over the falls in a barrel was intriguing. My main disappointment as that Prudence's and Geoffrey's personal relationship seems to have gone stagnant. There are hints that the relationship will ramp back up, but there seemed to be a distinct lack of emotion between the two throughout the novel.
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Guilt should roar like the plunging waters of Niagara Falls.

Rosemary Simpson has decided to change things up somewhat in her latest edition of the Gilded Age Mysteries. Although this one is number seven in the lineup, it reads perfectly as a standalone. Simpson fills in the background on these characters and we're set for quite the ride. And, oh, that cover is simply spectacular.

Prudence MacKenzie and Geoffrey Hunter have recently opened an investigative law office in New York City. Prudence is only the second woman in the state to pass the bar exams in 1890. Geoffrey is a former Pinkerton agent who possesses a sixth sense when it comes to crime.

Their office has been contacted by Lady Ernestine Hamilton who resides on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. Lady Hamilton is concerned that a young woman of her acquaintance is being swindled out of her rightful inheritance. Rowan Adderly is set to receive her father's fortune upon her eighteenth birthday. Her grandmother wishes to deny her of this fortune since she doesn't believe that Rowan is her son's legitimate daughter. And social ranking and position was everything in the 1890's.

Once Prudence and Geoffrey arrive, Simpson creates a highly interesting view of the Falls during this time period. We're dealing with the American and Canadian sides and those who reside there. There was a Free Niagara movement that took on the mills and factories on the American side with the refuse and garbage in its aftermath. A suspension toll bridge allowed visitors movement from both sides.

Death at the Falls not only deals with murders popping up, but it gives us a literal bird's eye view of the early stages of the tourist trade, the quest for capturing hydroelectricity, and the impact of land disputes in an area of great potential. Simpson even incorporates the renowned attempts of going over the Falls in a wooden barrel.

But its the crafting of characters that Rosemary Simpson does so well. She not only establishes the rich of high society, but she slips in individuals of the time period like those of the Tuscaroran clan who live in the surrounding forests selling their beaded baskets. The recent Irish immigrants are not well received. And there are those who work in the local bars far from the beaten paths who know what goes on in those lush forests. Death at the Falls is packed with excitement like the Falls themselves.

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Kensington Books and to Rosemary Simpson for the opportunity.
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This will give you a merry chase after bewildering leads as you accompany Prudence and Geoffry, and company on the trail and discovery of evidence of Rowan's legitimacy and the tangled maze of murder and other curious happenings.  Even the famous Pinkertons and ex-Pinks get in on the excitement throughout this mid-1800's historical tale.  Frustrations  and satisfactions abound, so beware you don't barrel over either side of the Niagara Falls to your death!  

In my books, I'd say that this author has really done herself proud.  She has created a great, clean, thrilling detective story that'll set your heart racing and keep your mind guessing.  I believe just about any adult will love this adventure.

                                              ~ Eunice C.,  Reviewer/Blogger ~

                                                             July 2022

Disclaimer:  This is my honest opinion based on the review copy sent by NetGalley and Tyndale House Publishers.
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I have thoroughly enjoyed this entire series, and this is one of Ms. Simpsons's strongest books yet. There are several crimes involved and the rotating points of view keep the story moving along without being overly complicated. I enjoyed seeing more deeply into the minds of Prudence and Geoffrey's associates, Amos Lang and Josiah. I also enjoyed that Prudence's character seems to be moving beyond the defensive walls she constructed after the events of the first book, displaying moments of whimsy and lightheartedness that were not apparent in earlier books.

The relationship between Prudence and Geoffrey continues to underpin the series and there are hints given to what may come next. That said, the tension and sparring from previous books has disappeared as the two come to terms with their feelings, and the lack of that spark was noticeable.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Kensington for the opportunity to review the ARC. Please note all opinions are mine alone and are completely objective.
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1890s, Niagara Falls, hatred, secrets, private-investigators, law-enforcement, historical-novel, historical-places-events, historical-research, lawyers, ex-Pinkerton, false-information, family, family-drama, family-dynamics, friendship, inheritance, investigation, suspense, trauma, true-horror, greed*****

Prudence, the daughter of a judge and newly admitted to The Bar in New York state, and Geoffrey, a former Pinkerton man, are Private Investigators (along with their secretary, an ex-NYPD cop, and others). They go north to Niagara Falls at the behest of her aunt to assist a family friend they've not met before. The publisher's blurb fits nicely in here, so there's no need to repeat it. All of the characters are clear and engaging, the tight atmosphere and suspense feel real, the plot twists are intriguing and the red herrings inventive. Very well done.
I requested and received a free e-book copy from Kensington Books via NetGalley. Thank you.
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This is one of the best books (and series) that I have read!

I can’t praise this book enough! Set in gilded age New York, Prudence and Geoffrey are asked to help a young woman whose grandmother wishes to declare illegitimate to prevent her from inheriting her father’s bequest. 

It takes place in Niagara Falls and the setting is a huge part of the book’s allure. The descriptions and historical events described in the book are so captivating that I booked a trip to Niagara Falls after finishing this book. 

The chemistry between Prudence and Geoffrey is exquisite. Their mutual respect and admiration has grown since the first book in the series, and it is a pleasure to witness Geoffrey’s treatment of Prudence as an equal partner. (It is not necessary to read the first book to follow this one.)

The mystery was riveting with twists and turns that moved the story along quickly. Rosemary Simpson’s writing style flows smoothly and has a dignity that respects her readers’ intelligence. She refrains from a trend I often see where writers characters’ thoughts and dialogue are facetious, implausible, contradictory, ridiculous or rhetorical. RS characters convey realistic behavior and conversations.  I savored every page of this book. Every scene was gripped my attention—nothing was prolonged or drawn out. 

This was a phenomenal book and I HIGHLY recommend it!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

#DeathattheFalls #NetGalley
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Great setting and interesting enough plot ideas, though it wasn’t quite as much of a cozy as I’d hoped for. More than one autopsy scene and a high body count rendered this book unenjoyable for me, and I never found much to warm up to in the investigative duo. I ended up skimming much of it just to see what the resolution was.
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Prudence MacKenzie has finally been approved to practice law — one of only two women lawyers in the state of New York in the late 1800s. While still working as a private inquiry agent alongside her partner, ex-Pinkerton detective Geoffrey Hunter, she is eager to test her skills in the courtroom. So when her formidable Aunt Gillian writes her that her friend Lady Hamilton needs ‘discreet’ legal assistance in Niagara, Prudence and Geoffrey are quick to accept the challenge. 

For reasons not immediately apparent, Lady Hamilton has taken up the cause of a young woman, Rowan Adderly, on the cusp of turning eighteen and inheriting a vast fortune of money and land in the highly-desired Niagara area. After the death of her Irish songstress mother and disappearance of her wealthy father, Rowan is left vulnerable to her grandmother’s scheming to prove her illegitimate and strip Rowan of her inheritance. Myra Adderly is a force to be reckoned with, but a foe Lady Hamilton is well able to match. Prudence and Geoffrey travel to Niagara under the impression this will be a legal battle hashed out in the courts, but the situation quickly proves more complicated as the murder of a local Tuscarora man starts a chain of events that begins with corrupt land developers and seems to end with Rowan Adderly’s potential inheritance. 

As events unfold, Prudence and Geoffrey enlist the help of their associates, the indispensable secretary Josiah, and enigmatic ex-Pinkerton Amos Lang, to help unravel the threads of connection between all the pieces of the case. With intriguing secondary characters and an engaging account of Niagara at that time — including a fictitious character, Crazy Louie, based on historical daredevils determined to conquer the falls in barrels or the equivalent — this book moved at a mostly brisk pace with a few twists I didn’t fully see coming. Although again, Geoffrey and Prudence hinted at more to their relationship but there was no follow through, there’s a bit of a tantalizing teaser at the end that may lead to something in the next book. I really enjoy Rosemary Simpson’s writing and don’t mind a slow-growing relationship, but at times theirs feels somewhat stagnant. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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