Death, Diamonds, and Deception

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Pub Date 24 Nov 2020 | Archive Date 24 Nov 2020

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Set amidst the opulent mansions and cobblestone streets of Old New York, this fifth installment in Rosemary Simpson's acclaimed series brings the Gilded Age to life, as heiress Prudence MacKenzie and ex-Pinkerton Geoffrey Hunter dash down a twisted maze from Fifth Avenue to Five Points in pursuit of stolen diamonds once belonging to Marie Antionette ...

Fall 1889: Lady Rotherton has arrived from London intent on chaperoning her niece Prudence through a New York social season to find a suitable husband. It's certainly not her niece's devilishly handsome partner in Hunter and MacKenzie Investigative Law. Aunt Gillian's eye for eligible suitors is surpassed only by her ability to discern genuine gems from nearly flawless fakes. At the Assembly Ball at Delmonico's, she effortlessly determines that the stones in the spectacular diamond waterfall necklace adorning the neck of the wife of banker William De Vries are fake.

Insisting on absolute discretion to avoid scandal, the banker employs Prudence and Geoffrey to recover the stolen diamonds pried out of their settings--priceless stones acquired by Tiffany, originally purchased for Marie Antoinette. Their search for a possible fence rapidly leads to a dead end: a jeweler brutally killed in his shop during an apparent theft.

The jeweler's murder is only the first in a string of mysterious deaths, as Prudence and Geoffrey pursue their elusive quarry. But the clues keep leading back to duplicity on the part of the De Vries family, who, it turns out, have a great deal to hide...
Set amidst the opulent mansions and cobblestone streets of Old New York, this fifth installment in Rosemary Simpson's acclaimed series brings the Gilded Age to life, as heiress Prudence MacKenzie and...

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Average rating from 46 members

Featured Reviews

I love this series and Death, Diamonds and Deception did not disappoint! Prudence and Geoffrey are exciting and interesting characters. I love the addition of Lady Rotherton, Prudence's aunt, to accompany the eclectic company of character that assist them in their inquiries. Jewels, particularly those associated with Marie Antoinette, are always interesting and this case is no exception. Mix in jealously, murder and a variety of suspects with an array of motives. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to the next one!

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My first introduction to the series was a great experience and has compelled me to seek out the first four books. Prudence, an unusually independent young woman in 1870s New York, is from the upper echelon of society but abhors the insincerity and snobbery which is part and parcel of it. She is a female detective and along with Geoffrey, her partner, sets out to solve multiple crimes in this book. Along the way we catch snippets of class differences of the time from urchins to servants to aristocracy. We also realize that problems don't recognize class...everyone experiences the same emotions. The plots and subplots held me in suspense...I was invested throughout one turn after another, spellbound by the historical details such as food, homes, clothing, balls, diamonds and conventions of the era. The importance of appearances trumped almost everything so when murder and other crimes are committed we see the lengths people went through to protect reputations. Cliffhanger endings are great in my opinion; perfect resolution is less interesting. This fascinating book was a page turner and I found myself entranced to the very last word. Lovers of historical fiction, mystery and romance should seek out this book. Well worth the read. My sincere thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this enthralling book. Much appreciated.

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A tantalising novel, as are all the best thrillers of this nature, one that I enjoyed reading, and would highly recommend. Prudence is advised to marry by her aunt, Lady Rotherton, but wants something more out of life, i.e. a career as a detective, much frowned upon in those days, but a choice that she can get away with, due to her connections in society. She investigates the case of the missing diamonds and finds she and her partner, Geoffrey, have bitten off more than they can chew, potentially, there being a number of deaths in consequence. How she deals with this I will not spoil, by spelling it out, but there are a lot of complicated twists and turns to the plot.

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1870s, private-investigators, NYC, law-enforcement, friendship, family-dynamics, historical-fiction, historical-places-events, historical-research, historical-setting, prejudice 1879 Manhattan, New York. Prudence, the daughter of a judge and independent woman, and Geoffrey, a former Pinkerton man, are Private Investigators (along with their secretary, an ex-NYPD cop, and others) are hired by a wealthy supercilious stock broker whose wife's elaborate Tiffany diamond necklace has been found to have had many of its diamonds replaced with paste. To top it all off, the person who actually discovered the theft was Prudence's visiting aristocratic and bossy aunt from London. The partners have only begun to investigate when the first murder occurs. There are more murders, a resentful NYPD detective, multiple family issues, alcoholic family members (the stuff about the gold cure and Swiss clinic seem well researched), red herrings, plot twists, and some really fascinating characters. I loved it for all that and more! I requested and received a free ebook copy from Kensington Books via NetGalley. Thank you!

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Rosemary Simpson immediately immerses readers in Gilded Age New York society. Her stories are almost gothic in nature with their isolated wives, stifled daughters, drunk sons and step sons - its all so dark and claustrophobic and I love it. With this mystery, she manages to plumb the idea that even with outrageous riches no one is ever happy. Not a single person - not even the two main characters who seem to manage to pine for each other without ever really showing it. I'm struck by the emotional complexity of the mystery if not the mystery itself. That oart of the story felt anti-climatic. After awhile it didn't really matter who stole the diamonds as much as how and why. Of course, there was the red herring of the step son but that was actually the story that really got to me that I wanted more of - all these people worn down by the expectations of high society. Any kind f perceived failure is a cancer to either be ripped out or suffocated. BY the time it got to the end, I knew who ithe culprit was. It had been telegraphed but again that was anti climatic because what mattered was how our two detectives ebded up solving it. That's not a complaint. I read these mysteries as comfort food to see the detectives figure out a puzzle not to surprised by how I did not see it coming. In that way, the author delivers handily. The mystery itself doesn't knock my socks off but the emotional resonance, the descriptive setting and complex characters and the ongoing romantic drama between the two leads are bar none and keep me coming back!

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