I had this book out from the library so long they charged me for a replacement, and then I ended up buying a used copy anyway (I did return the library book, which was an Interlibrary Loan, whoops). Should have just done that from the beginning! Oh, well. I would have bought it eventually anyway, because this is a really good series and I will be revisiting it some time in the future, and also I have to complete my Lyndsay Faye book collection (gotta catch ’em all? sorry, I’m too old for Pokemon references; I don’t understand it).
This is the third and last book in Faye’s Timothy Wilde historical mystery series, which follows one of the first detectives on the NY police force in its infancy, during an extremely turbulent time in NYC and in the country. Anti-immigration sentiment is stirring, and the Civil War is brewing as abolitionists and non-abolitionists fight for influence over the city’s politics. Literal fires are also being started all over the city, and as someone whose parents died in a fire, and who was disfigured by another later in life, this is a major conflict for our hero. Who is setting the fires, and why?
As always with this series, Faye gives us an interesting mystery paired with main characters who burrow into your heart (the relationship between Timothy and his big brother Val continues to be my favorite), along with a peek into the historical boiling pot that was NYC at this time in history (the 1840s). If you are a historical fiction person who enjoys seeing how the social issues of yesteryear affected people’s real everyday lives, and also you like a good mystery, I highly recommend this series.