What the Dead Leave Behind
by Rosemary Simpson
Pub Date 25 Apr 2017
WHAT THE DEAD LEAVE BEHIND
As the Great Blizzard of 1888 cripples the vast machinery that is New York City, heiress Prudence MacKenzie sits anxiously within her palatial Fifth Avenue home waiting for her fiancé’s safe return. But the fearsome storm rages through the night. With daylight, more than two hundred people are found to have perished in the icy winds and treacherous snowdrifts. Among them is Prudence’s fiancé—his body frozen, his head crushed by a heavy branch, his fingers clutching a single playing card, the ace of spades . . .
Close on the heels of her father’s untimely demise, Prudence is convinced Charles’s death was no accident. The ace of spades was a code he shared with his school friend, Geoffrey Hunter, a former Pinkerton agent and attorney from the South and a former Pinkerton agent. Wary of sinister forces closing in on her, Prudence turns to Geoffrey as her only hope in solving a murder not all believe in—and to help protect her inheritance from a stepmother who seems more interested in the family fortune than Prudence’s wellbeing . . .
Filled with richly colorful characters, fascinating historical details, and thrilling moments of suspense, What the Dead Leave Behind is an exquisitely crafted mystery for the ages.
Advance praise for What the Dead Leave Behind
“Naturally I always gravitate toward any book set in old New York, and this one exceeded expectations. It has everything one could expect from a historical mystery: set against the blizzard of ‘88, a smart heroine pits her wits against an evil stepmother out to destroy her.” —Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author of the Molly Murphy and Royal Spyness mysteries
“An engrossing, complex tale of betrayal and triumph that takes the reader deep into the heart of Gilded Age Manhattan.” —Alyssa Maxwell, author of Murder at Rough Point
“Rosemary Simpson vividly recreates the world of nineteenth-century New York City in this exciting debut mystery. Every level of society intersects as we explore a world in which corruption touches both the highest and the lowest and nothing and no one is exactly what they seem.” —Victoria Thompson, bestselling author of Murder in Morningside Heights
“A beautifully crafted mystery, full of intrigue and historical atmosphere, with great characters and the potential for further adventures.” —Catherine Lloyd, author of Death Comes to the Fair
“A wonderfully colorful cast of characters makes Rosemary Simpson's debut mystery a pleasure to read. Prudence Mackenzie's focus on law, and the depiction of New York City in 1888 is fascinating.”
—Radha Vatsal, author of A Front Page Affair
“This is a story to savor...Prudence is a stubborn, quick-witted American heroine who will remind readers of Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily Ashton and Deanna Rayborn’s Lady Julia Grey.”– Booklist
“Gilded Age New York comes alive in a mystery that spans social classes and harbors dark secrets. Prudence is a strong but flawed heroine shaped by her tragedies, and her battle against a laudanum addiction adds even more dimensions to her character – and more tension to the mystery. Geoffrey brings a bit of romantic tension, as well as muscle and Southern charm to the mix, and a host of secondary characters brighten up the cold, bleak landscape of a New York winter.”– RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars
“Richly plotted…Simpson anchors an appealing detective duo in a colorful and well-researched depiction of period settings and personalities.” - Publishers Weekly