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Second Street Station

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A historical mystery featuring the witty and wily Mary Handley, the first woman detective in Brooklyn, as she tries to prove herself in a man's world while solving a high profile murder.   Mary Handley is a not your typical late-nineteenth century lady. She's fiery, clever, daring—and she’s not about to conform to the gender norms of the day. Not long after being fired from A historical mystery featuring the witty and wily Mary Handley, the first woman detective in Brooklyn, as she tries to prove herself in a man's world while solving a high profile murder.   Mary Handley is a not your typical late-nineteenth century lady. She's fiery, clever, daring—and she’s not about to conform to the gender norms of the day. Not long after being fired from her job at the hat factory for insubordinate behavior, Mary finds herself at the murder scene of Charles Goodrich, the brother of a prominent alderman and former bookkeeper of Thomas Edison. When Mary proves her acumen as a sleuth, she is hired by the Brooklyn police department—as the city’s first female policewoman—to solve the crime. The top brass of the department expect her to fail, but Mary has other plans. As she delves into the mystery, she finds herself questioning the likes of J. P. Morgan, Thomas Edison, and Nikola Tesla. Mary soon discovers the key to solving the case goes well beyond finding a murderer and depends on her ability to unearth the machinations of the city’s most prominent and respected public figures, men who will go to great lengths to protect their secrets. Much like Mr. Churchill’s Secretary and Maisie Dobbs, Second Street Station presents a portrait of a world plunging into modernity through the eyes of a clever female sleuth. Mary Handley is an unforgettable protagonist whose wit, humor, and charm will delight readers from the very first page.


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A historical mystery featuring the witty and wily Mary Handley, the first woman detective in Brooklyn, as she tries to prove herself in a man's world while solving a high profile murder.   Mary Handley is a not your typical late-nineteenth century lady. She's fiery, clever, daring—and she’s not about to conform to the gender norms of the day. Not long after being fired from A historical mystery featuring the witty and wily Mary Handley, the first woman detective in Brooklyn, as she tries to prove herself in a man's world while solving a high profile murder.   Mary Handley is a not your typical late-nineteenth century lady. She's fiery, clever, daring—and she’s not about to conform to the gender norms of the day. Not long after being fired from her job at the hat factory for insubordinate behavior, Mary finds herself at the murder scene of Charles Goodrich, the brother of a prominent alderman and former bookkeeper of Thomas Edison. When Mary proves her acumen as a sleuth, she is hired by the Brooklyn police department—as the city’s first female policewoman—to solve the crime. The top brass of the department expect her to fail, but Mary has other plans. As she delves into the mystery, she finds herself questioning the likes of J. P. Morgan, Thomas Edison, and Nikola Tesla. Mary soon discovers the key to solving the case goes well beyond finding a murderer and depends on her ability to unearth the machinations of the city’s most prominent and respected public figures, men who will go to great lengths to protect their secrets. Much like Mr. Churchill’s Secretary and Maisie Dobbs, Second Street Station presents a portrait of a world plunging into modernity through the eyes of a clever female sleuth. Mary Handley is an unforgettable protagonist whose wit, humor, and charm will delight readers from the very first page.

30 review for Second Street Station

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I was very disappointed. Some scenes were incredibly unbelievable. The idea that she could remove her petticoats as she ran after a suspect and that she could watch bullets ricochet and dodge them and even rescue someone as she saw a ricochet going towards him were absurd. I found it difficult to believe that a woman in her position would use such words as sh*t and f**k. These things jerked me rudely out of the story. I had hoped for something with the depth of character we see in the Maisie Dob I was very disappointed. Some scenes were incredibly unbelievable. The idea that she could remove her petticoats as she ran after a suspect and that she could watch bullets ricochet and dodge them and even rescue someone as she saw a ricochet going towards him were absurd. I found it difficult to believe that a woman in her position would use such words as sh*t and f**k. These things jerked me rudely out of the story. I had hoped for something with the depth of character we see in the Maisie Dobbs, Beth Crawford and Molly Murphy series. This book failed miserably.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    www.melissa413readsalot.blogspot.com I thought this book was pretty good only because Mary Handley was an awesome character, especially since this is set in the 1880's. She witnessed a murder when she was a young girl and right then she decided she wanted to solve murders. In that day and age women didn't have those luxuries. When she got older her brother Sean is the one who became the cop and she worked in a sweatshop called the Lowry Hat Factory. They got paid hardly at all, they had to work i www.melissa413readsalot.blogspot.com I thought this book was pretty good only because Mary Handley was an awesome character, especially since this is set in the 1880's. She witnessed a murder when she was a young girl and right then she decided she wanted to solve murders. In that day and age women didn't have those luxuries. When she got older her brother Sean is the one who became the cop and she worked in a sweatshop called the Lowry Hat Factory. They got paid hardly at all, they had to work in conditions that included roaches and rats. A lot of days she went hungry. But, Mary had enough, stood up to her boss, and immediately got fired. Oh well! Mary had a friend Kate that lived above her in the apartment building and Kate's fiance got killed. Kate was so distraught that Mary went down to see if she could get in on what happened. She knew most everyone there through her brother and the Chief was nice to her. Luckily when she went in and saw the body she gave her own diagnoses of what happened. After this they decided to hire her as the first lady private investigator. As you can imagine, this made Mary ecstatic. Mary ends up getting into some scuffs with bad men and bringing them in as she if very proficient in jujitsu and can take a person down! I love it! She does end up get stabbed, shot... you know.. your every day things, but she just keeps on going. In trying to find the murderer she gets to interview people like Thomas Edison, since the one murdered did work for him, J.P. Morgan and Nikola Tesla. Also, in other places there are other murders occurring which brings her face to face with the Bowler Hat, he's the one she saw as a child murder the man on the train. Image her shock to find him all of these years later! In order to not give away any spoilers, I will say that Mary gets the murderer who you would never in a million years guess. And she takes care of some people in the story that needed taken care of. I think she is a great character and I do look forward to reading the next story about her. I love that she is a strong woman back in those days and could take care of herself. **I would like to thank Blogging for Books for a copy of this book for my honest review.**

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jilly

    The "research" performed for this book is dubious at best. The opening of Chapter Three reads: "Morgan had first hired this telegraph boy turned inventor to put electric lights in to his Fifth Avenue mansion." Compare this to: "Morgan hires Thomas Edison, a telegraph boy turned inventor, to install electricity in his 5th avenue Manhattan mansion." This passage is from the History Channel's on-line bio of JP Morgan: The main character, Mary Handley, is completely unbelievable as a woman of the late The "research" performed for this book is dubious at best. The opening of Chapter Three reads: "Morgan had first hired this telegraph boy turned inventor to put electric lights in to his Fifth Avenue mansion." Compare this to: "Morgan hires Thomas Edison, a telegraph boy turned inventor, to install electricity in his 5th avenue Manhattan mansion." This passage is from the History Channel's on-line bio of JP Morgan: The main character, Mary Handley, is completely unbelievable as a woman of the late 19th century. She's supposed to be witty, spunky and ahead of her time. She comes across as strident. Her potty mouth would still shock today, never mind in those times. There were women during that time who did not permit themselves to be constrained by society's expectations (Marie Curie and Jane Addams just to name two). However, they did not carry on the way Mary Handley does in this book. Nor did women of that time curse the way Mary does. **some spoilers follow** We are expected to believe that a working class woman of that time was able to earn enough to not only live alone, but in a room that included a sink with running water (indoor plumbing in a boarding house in 1880!) and a stove on which to burn french toast. We are further expected to believe that Mary learned jujitsu from the Chinese neighbors next door. In 1880's NY, when there were fewer than 2000 Chinese in the area, mostly men, mostly in the Five Points area of Manhattan, Mary somehow happens to grow up next door to a husband (with strange, mysterious ties to Chinese emperors), wife and daughter - in Brooklyn! The father also happens to be a martial arts master. The author does not explain why the father is a master of jujitsu, a Japanese martial art, not Chinese wushu. (BTW, is the author of the opinion that ALL Chinese men are skilled in the martial arts?) Mary's friend in the building where she lives doesn't want her parents to know that she lives in Brooklyn because it is "dangerous." What? In 1890, Brooklyn was predominantly a leafy suburb of NYC. If the young women lived in the dangerous part of Brooklyn, they would not have had indoor plumbing. If they lived in an area where the boarding houses were of excellent quality, they would not have been in a dangerous part of Brooklyn. I didn't get past chapter three. This book may improve further along, but life is simply too short to waste time on this sort of nonsense.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I'm sure I won't be the only one who picks "Second Street Station," as one of the best mystery novels of the early part of this year. It really was a special story and I was sorry to see it end. Mary Handley was only twelve-years-old when she comes upon a man who is murdered in his compartment of a railroad train as it headed from Greenpoint to New York City. The official report was suicide but Mary attempts to tell the police about a man in a Bowler Hat took something from the man's compartment s I'm sure I won't be the only one who picks "Second Street Station," as one of the best mystery novels of the early part of this year. It really was a special story and I was sorry to see it end. Mary Handley was only twelve-years-old when she comes upon a man who is murdered in his compartment of a railroad train as it headed from Greenpoint to New York City. The official report was suicide but Mary attempts to tell the police about a man in a Bowler Hat took something from the man's compartment so she thinks the man was murdered. But who listens to a twelve-year-old girl who might have a vivid imagination? The story takes place in the late 19th century when women's rights were just getting recognized and sweatshop conditions were abundant.. Mary had been employed in the Lowry Hat Factory under an overbearing propritoress. When Mary asserted herself and complained about work conditions, she was fired. This was a time that many people felt that a woman's place was in the home. That's the position Mary's mother takes, even dismissing Mary's talents and praising Mary's brother Sean in his career as a police officer. Mary shows her intellect one day at Sean's police station. She observes something and saves another officer from a possible serious injury. This was when there were no women police personnel and the department had to get a civilian woman who worked next door to the station to search a female prisoner. With the women's movement at full stride and with the death of a prominent man, Mary is given the job of finding the killer who was the former bookkeeper for Thomas Edison. She's hired by two police commissioners who believe she will fail and they can use her failure to their advantage. The setting jumps from the pages of history and draws a picture of the times. Mary had taken martial arts training and surprises more than one man with her skill. What also interested me was the depiction of Thomas Edison and J.P. Morgan. While not wanting to disclose plot, the legend of these two men might have to be revised due to this book. There is also romance in the story and Mary's romance with the son of the man who invented coco cola was vastly entertaining. With the story, the new look at certain historical personages and with the look at Brooklyn and Manhattan at the time, I would certainly rate this book as one not to be missed. I received this book in return for my honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    The idea of a female detective on the streets of New York in the nineteenth century drew me to this series. Discovering that it weaved actual historical figures and events into the story was a bonus. It took some time to adjust between the lighter, humorous scenes with Mary to the dark and violent scenes of the killer (and other nefarious individuals), but once I got into the story, I found this less jarring. I loved Mary and her spunky personality, and I was more than happy to suspend disbelief The idea of a female detective on the streets of New York in the nineteenth century drew me to this series. Discovering that it weaved actual historical figures and events into the story was a bonus. It took some time to adjust between the lighter, humorous scenes with Mary to the dark and violent scenes of the killer (and other nefarious individuals), but once I got into the story, I found this less jarring. I loved Mary and her spunky personality, and I was more than happy to suspend disbelief to be in her world. I look forward to reading more books in the series.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kitten Kisser

    Despite having a list of amazing figures in history like Tesla, Thomas Edison, Goodrich, Earhart & more this novel fell flat. None of the characters are well developed. For the most part the book was rather boring & unbelievable. The author failed miserably in creating characters I could care about. Bad guy or good guy so what? They were totally flat & one dimensional. So much could have been done to make this into a great book. All the elements are there, but alas it's a dud. Mary's Jujutsu ski Despite having a list of amazing figures in history like Tesla, Thomas Edison, Goodrich, Earhart & more this novel fell flat. None of the characters are well developed. For the most part the book was rather boring & unbelievable. The author failed miserably in creating characters I could care about. Bad guy or good guy so what? They were totally flat & one dimensional. So much could have been done to make this into a great book. All the elements are there, but alas it's a dud. Mary's Jujutsu skills reminded me of 'Pride Prejuduce & Zombies' but rather than find her unconventional ability interesting, all it did was point out how poor a job the author did with the character when I reflected on PP&Z which I found hilarious & highly entertaining. While there are no paranormal aspects to this novel, I recommended the Souless series by Gail Carriger if you enjoy witty unconventional Victorian women. I am thrilled to be finally done slogging through 'Second Street Station'. I have no intentions of picking up the next book in the series & recommend everyone gives the Mary Handley series a pass.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bertha

    Mary Handley is fiery, daring and cleaver & she's not going to conform to the gender norm of the late nineteenth century. When Mary proves her skills as a sleuth, she's hired by the Brooklyn Police Department-as the city's first policewomen-to solve a murder. As Mary delves into the murder of Charles Goodrich, the brother of a prominent alderman and former bookkeeper of Thomas Edison, she finds herself questioning J.P. Morgan, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. Mary discovers the key to solving the Mary Handley is fiery, daring and cleaver & she's not going to conform to the gender norm of the late nineteenth century. When Mary proves her skills as a sleuth, she's hired by the Brooklyn Police Department-as the city's first policewomen-to solve a murder. As Mary delves into the murder of Charles Goodrich, the brother of a prominent alderman and former bookkeeper of Thomas Edison, she finds herself questioning J.P. Morgan, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. Mary discovers the key to solving the case goes beyond finding a murderer and depends on her ability to unearth the schemes of the city's most notable public figures. With his first novel Mr. Levy has written a great historical mystery. It wasn't until I read the author's notes that I discovered the book contains many historical facts. The murder case is based on a real one and that Mary Handley was a real person. The author has a gift for including just the right amount of description. I'm hoping that Second Street Station is the first book in a long Mary Handley series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    Mary Hadley is hired by the Brooklyn police department to solve a murder, but they are expecting her to fail, but she is determined to prove them wrong. Charles Goodrich, the man that was killed used to work for Thomas Edison. Could Edison be involved with this murder or someone else as famous as him like J. P. Morgan or and Nikola Tesla? And, why would anyone murder  Charles Goodrich. Did he know something about Edison that could damage the man's reputation?  This book was a pleasant surprise. I Mary Hadley is hired by the Brooklyn police department to solve a murder, but they are expecting her to fail, but she is determined to prove them wrong. Charles Goodrich, the man that was killed used to work for Thomas Edison. Could Edison be involved with this murder or someone else as famous as him like J. P. Morgan or and Nikola Tesla? And, why would anyone murder  Charles Goodrich. Did he know something about Edison that could damage the man's reputation?  This book was a pleasant surprise. I started to read it last night and finished it this morning. I like reading historical fiction with real people in it and it was interesting to read a murder mystery that involved Edison and Tesla. Mary Hadley has always been the odd one out in her family so becoming a policewoman seems perfect for her, especially since she wanted to be a detective when she was little and witnessed a murder. It was sometimes I bit frustrating to read how good she was and special and there are several times in this book that everything is so bloody convenient for her, her knowledge of jujitsu for instance or that she had a piece of glass on her to defend herself. And, every time she happened to be at the right place at the right time. Like the murder, she witnessed as a child or when the parents of a friend she knew were killed or when she happens to stop by the police station and saves a man's life, etc. I mean come one. Is it something I'm really having a problem with when it comes to in a story is when everything is convenient for the main character throughout the book. It takes away a bit of the fun of reading. But, despite that was the book enjoyable, the ending surprising, I did like Mary and I wouldn't mind reading the next book in the series. I received the book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Thomas

    The year is 1888 and Mary Handley is a young woman in New York working in a sweat shop, trying to make ends meet but hoping for something more. As a young girl, she had witnessed the aftereffects of a murder on a train and ever since, she’s hoped to become a detective. Through a series of events, she finally gets her wish, but merely as a token female with the police department. Seems the leadership wants to fight back against the pressure to allow female police by appointing a girl to a near im The year is 1888 and Mary Handley is a young woman in New York working in a sweat shop, trying to make ends meet but hoping for something more. As a young girl, she had witnessed the aftereffects of a murder on a train and ever since, she’s hoped to become a detective. Through a series of events, she finally gets her wish, but merely as a token female with the police department. Seems the leadership wants to fight back against the pressure to allow female police by appointing a girl to a near impossible-to-solve murder case, just to prove women don’t belong. The character of Mary Handley is by far the best thing about this book, the first in a series. She’s a woman ahead of her time, feisty, funny, and of course proves the entire police department wrong about women’s abilities. She doggedly pursues the case despite instant celebrity, threats to her life, and experiencing actual beatings. I was surprised to learn that she is a real person from history, though this account is fictionalized. The book also brings in many other historical characters, including Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, J. P. Morgan, and New York Police Chief (soon to be superintendent) Patrick Campbell. We are there not only at the beginning of the electric wars of AC vs DC, but also see the beginnings of Coca Cola and the associated rise of cocaine and heroin addiction. While the story was interesting and the characters intriguing, I kept hoping for a little more substance to the whole thing. There is a lot of history that is touched upon but in only a cursory way. This is the first novel published by the author, but he is a veteran of television writing in the US, particularly situation comedies. I think that shows in his writing. He switches character points of view constantly, often from paragraph to paragraph, like a TV production. On the plus side, we do get to “see” most of the plot unfold. I may well pick up the next book in the series at some point but I do hope for a bit more depth.

  10. 4 out of 5

    David Johnston

    Filled with implausibilities and shoddy research but not a total waste of time. But no, a 19th century police force would not give a woman a murder investigation, jujitisu is not a Chinese martial art, and you can't kill someone by throwing a playing card at them. Also I'm a bit uncomfortable with the portrayal of J.P. Morgan. He was a real person and portraying him as an employer of assassins without historical backing seems unfair even if he's safely long dead. Filled with implausibilities and shoddy research but not a total waste of time. But no, a 19th century police force would not give a woman a murder investigation, jujitisu is not a Chinese martial art, and you can't kill someone by throwing a playing card at them. Also I'm a bit uncomfortable with the portrayal of J.P. Morgan. He was a real person and portraying him as an employer of assassins without historical backing seems unfair even if he's safely long dead.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Book Club Mom

    The future looks bleak when Mary Handley is fired from her sweatshop job in Brooklyn. She’d held her tongue long enough at the Lowry Hat Factory and finally gave her boss, the Widow Lowry, a piece of her mind. “After all, if you didn’t call a pig a pig, it might never know it was one,” she tells the widow. Now both poor and jobless, she shows up at her police officer brother’s Second Street Station, hoping for a meal. It’s 1888 and a lot is going on in New York. Women are starting to demand their The future looks bleak when Mary Handley is fired from her sweatshop job in Brooklyn. She’d held her tongue long enough at the Lowry Hat Factory and finally gave her boss, the Widow Lowry, a piece of her mind. “After all, if you didn’t call a pig a pig, it might never know it was one,” she tells the widow. Now both poor and jobless, she shows up at her police officer brother’s Second Street Station, hoping for a meal. It’s 1888 and a lot is going on in New York. Women are starting to demand their rights. Powerful entrepreneurs like J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie and Jay Gould are wielding their influence and the genius inventors, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla are in the middle of a war of currents. In Brooklyn, Mary is not about to listen to her mother’s advice to find a husband. She has a sharp mind and an independent streak and isn’t about to settle down. “Have you no interest in betterin’ yourself?” her mother asks. Mary gets her chance at a new career when Charles Goodrich, Thomas Edison’s bookkeeper, is murdered. In a public relations move, Police Chief Patrick Campbell offers Mary a job as a detective, the first female officer in New York. Mary doesn’t have to think twice before she says yes. What follows is a very entertaining historical fiction mystery with lots of action and twists and turns. Second Street Station is based on the actual Goodrich murder case in which the real Mary Handley was a key part of the investigation. A large cast of historical figures, including Morgan, Edison and Tesla, figure in the story. Lesser-known characters also cast doubt, leaving almost no one beyond suspicion. In Levy’s story, Mary’s knack for figuring things out carries her far into the investigation, but she lands in many dangerous situations. It’s great fun to imagine Mary in these scenes and to cheer for her as she goes up against mysterious assassins who are determined to take her down. Levy offers just enough clues along the way to engage the reader. There’s a promise of a resolution, but plenty of surprises wait at the finish. I very much enjoyed reading Second Street Station, which is the first in Levy’s new series of mysteries and I think the historical element greatly enhances an already winning story. In particular, Levy portrays Thomas Edison in a very different way from what is taught in schoolbooks, making me want to know more about his driven and creative personality and about his fierce competition with Tesla. Levy has a fun writing style and gives the story an authentic feel by adding great details unique to the time period. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series, Brooklyn on Fire, available Spring 2016.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Di

    In the end, I did enjoy seeing Mary work through this case and kick some butt while she was at it, however, the things that bothered me about this book will stay with me for a while. I picked up this book because I received a copy of the second book in this series for review. I do not like to series out of order so I had to read this first. I had prepared myself before starting this for it's view on women due to the time in history where this story takes place. I hadn't prepared myself for it's s In the end, I did enjoy seeing Mary work through this case and kick some butt while she was at it, however, the things that bothered me about this book will stay with me for a while. I picked up this book because I received a copy of the second book in this series for review. I do not like to series out of order so I had to read this first. I had prepared myself before starting this for it's view on women due to the time in history where this story takes place. I hadn't prepared myself for it's statements regarding Chinese immigrant workers. Granted, due to the time period, I probably should've prepared myself for all aspects, but I didn't and those parts of this story bothered me a lot. It makes you wonder how the author comes up with such hateful phrases. I understand this is a work of fiction, but I have to wonder if he heard something like what he has written from someone else in his life, did he make it up himself, or is it how he actually feels? Also, there is a derogatory name for a Chinese person used in this book which shocked and disgusted me. Having the Chinese character's storyline in this book is merely a way to explain how Mary learned jujitsu, I feel. The narratives were uncalled for and unnecessary in my opinion because the story would've been fine without the mention of those characters. In fact, I probably would've rated this higher if those sections had been excluded. Mary is a great character. I really enjoyed seeing how she dealt with situations and the work place bullying she faced. The mystery was interesting also and I did enjoy seeing other historical figures pop up in this story, though their portrayal was not very nice. This book does portray drug use by several of the characters also. Overall, I did enjoy the parts that didn't have to do with the Chinese people, but the sections of this book that bothered me will stay with me for a while. I will be reading the next book since I did receive it for review, but I will need to distance myself from it for a bit first.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Glen

    A nonconforming woman in fin-de-siecle New York City, is given the chance to be a detective and solve a mystery. She talks to a bunch of important personages, and comes into conflict with Thomas Edison, who has become a real bogeyman of late. Humdrum.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    Second Street Station by Lawrence H. Levy is an engaging and unique historical mystery. It is the first book in the Mary Handley mystery series. In 1876 at the age of twelve, Mary Handley saw a Frenchman play an interesting instrument in his railroad compartment. Mary later went back for another look and saw a man with a bowler hat leave the compartment. Mary looked in and saw the Frenchman was dead. The instrument was also gone. The Frenchman’s death was ruled a suicide despite Mary. Mary tried Second Street Station by Lawrence H. Levy is an engaging and unique historical mystery. It is the first book in the Mary Handley mystery series. In 1876 at the age of twelve, Mary Handley saw a Frenchman play an interesting instrument in his railroad compartment. Mary later went back for another look and saw a man with a bowler hat leave the compartment. Mary looked in and saw the Frenchman was dead. The instrument was also gone. The Frenchman’s death was ruled a suicide despite Mary. Mary tried to tell them that he was killed, but the ruled it out to a child’s imagination. In 1888 Mary is working at the Lowry Hat Factory and very unhappy with her job (she has a tartar for a boss). Mary is very intelligent, observant, and inquisitive, which is not a good trait in a woman in the 1800’s. Mary’s friend, Katie is upset over the death (murder) of her fiancé, Charles Goodrich. Charles was an accountant for Thomas Edison, but had quit the previous day. Charles had kept a journal with detailed records. There are many people who would like to get their hands on this journal. Chief Detective Patrick Campbell is a thorn in the police commissioner’s side and they would love to get rid of him. They insist that he hire a woman detective to solve Charles Goodrich’s murder (because of women that have been picketing outside the Second Street Station and the press they are generating). Chief Campbell hires Mary to be the first lady detective. Mary’s brother, Sean is an officer at the Second Street Station under Chief Campbell. Chief Campbell has noticed Mary’s intellect and skills in observation. Mary is thrilled to have a position that utilizes her skills and she has wanted to be a detective since she was twelve. Mary sets out to find investigate Charles Goodrich’s murder. Mary gets to talk to Thomas Edison (someone she has admired for years), Nickolas Tesla, and J.P. Morgan. Mary manages to get drugged, clunked on the head, shot at, and get thrown from a horse trolley (of course, she was chasing a suspect using said trolley). Mary is very determined and she is not going to let anyone stop her. Second Street Station is a wonderful book to read. The books had lots of wonderful twists and turns. I give Second Street Station 5 out of 5 stars. The only thing I did not like was the foul language that was sprinkled throughout the book (used mostly by Mary). I do not think it was necessary and did not go with the time period (it would be more in her character to use foreign foul language that would puzzle people). The history in the book was fascinating. I did not realize that cocaine was such a widely used substance in that time period. It was an ingredient in a wine called Vin Mariani and drunk by Thomas Edison. We, likewise, get a glimpse of the inventor of Coca-Cola, John Pemberton (which also contained small amounts of cocaine). This book grabbed me from the beginning and kept me hooked until the last page. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program (from Broadway Books/Random House) in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own! http://bibliophileandavidreader.blogs...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    When she was 12 years old Mary Handley witnessed a killer leaving the scene of a crime. The killer did not worry too much thinking Mary would scream at the sight of the body and who would believe the tale of a hysterical 12-year-old. He underestimated Mary. She was not a typical then and, considering it was the late 1800’s, did not grow into a typical young woman. Mary was smart, clever, well read and due to a very unfeminine (for the times) interest in science – had a sharp eye for details. Unhe When she was 12 years old Mary Handley witnessed a killer leaving the scene of a crime. The killer did not worry too much thinking Mary would scream at the sight of the body and who would believe the tale of a hysterical 12-year-old. He underestimated Mary. She was not a typical then and, considering it was the late 1800’s, did not grow into a typical young woman. Mary was smart, clever, well read and due to a very unfeminine (for the times) interest in science – had a sharp eye for details. Unheard of, but Mary wanted to become a detective. When Charles Goodrich, not only Thomas Edison’s accountant but also the fiancée of Mary’s dear friend Kate, is shot in his foyer Mary arrives on the scene. In her usual outspoken, uncensored way announces that the police have overlooked some major crime scene clues and promptly points them out. This brings her to the attention of Police Chief Campbell. He is impressed with Mary’s keen eye and suggests she would be a wonderful “copper” – if only women were allowed on the force. In an unusual turn of events, with the suffragette movement demanding rights for women – pressuring city officials to make it happen and two Police Commissioners looking to discredit Chief Campbell in any way possible, Mary finds herself in her dream job. Yes it’s temporary and yes it’s unorthodox and a little fishy, but she intends to make the most of this opportunity and find the bad guy. This is a charming work of historical fiction and Mary’s role in the book is very entertaining. Mary gives us an inside look at what it was like to be an intelligent woman in an era and a society where smart women were frowned upon; often encouraged to hide their light under a bushel. Being historical fiction allows for some interesting “true life” characters to be included so I learned quite a bit more than I knew before about Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, J.P. Morgan and Charles and John Pemberton (of Coca Cola fame). Mr. Levy has researched the time period well and writes vivid descriptions of late 1880’s Brooklyn. As interesting as those descriptions were I found they occasionally left me waiting in the wings for the story to resume. I can forgive him that because, having written extensively for various television shows, his dialogue in this book is wonderful … not necessarily always true to the time period (some modern terms sneak in) … but that didn’t take anything away from the story. I know this is the first book of a new series (the following book entitled “Brooklyn on Fire” is being released January 2016) … so much for my resolve not to get involved in yet another series … sigh. I enjoyed the book enough that I will probably pick up the next one just to see where Mr. Levy takes Mary. I enjoyed the book enough to make that commitment but any more than that will definitely depend on the next book. Overall, a good read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kate Baxter

    Clever, bright, resourceful women are just too few and far between in Brooklyn, 1888. However, such is our heroine of the historically set murder mystery whose occasional outbursts could make a sailor blush and her mother furious. The story reads like a well-spun yarn when in actuality, much is based in fact. This came as a pleasant surprise while reading the author's notes at the end of the book. The interplay of famous scientists juxtaposed against one another all vying for J.P. Morgan's notic Clever, bright, resourceful women are just too few and far between in Brooklyn, 1888. However, such is our heroine of the historically set murder mystery whose occasional outbursts could make a sailor blush and her mother furious. The story reads like a well-spun yarn when in actuality, much is based in fact. This came as a pleasant surprise while reading the author's notes at the end of the book. The interplay of famous scientists juxtaposed against one another all vying for J.P. Morgan's notice and undewriting was well done. The pace was fast and engaging - did not want to put the book down. The Pithole, PA rape scene was rather jarring and did not contribute significantly to character development. We already got the impression that the guy was bad to the core. This scene along with the few other sex scenes appears to be rather gratuitous and lends little to plot development. Overall, this was a good story and fine introduction to a spunky, young, and clever female sleuth. Hopefully, this is not the last we have heard of Mary Handley.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    Good idea, poor execution

  18. 5 out of 5

    Arimathea

    I'm glad I got this from a Little Free Library and didn't pay for it. And I can see why it was passed on. I was willing to suspend disbelief until the scene where Mary was tracking bullets ricocheting off concrete pillars and floors with her eyes, in real time, and rolling out of their way. And then pushed another character out of the way of one bullet. No way. NO WAY. Also, last time I looked, jujitsu is a Japanese martial art. Not Chinese. The assassin, who we already know has killed a few peopl I'm glad I got this from a Little Free Library and didn't pay for it. And I can see why it was passed on. I was willing to suspend disbelief until the scene where Mary was tracking bullets ricocheting off concrete pillars and floors with her eyes, in real time, and rolling out of their way. And then pushed another character out of the way of one bullet. No way. NO WAY. Also, last time I looked, jujitsu is a Japanese martial art. Not Chinese. The assassin, who we already know has killed a few people, finds the farmer whose land he's supposed to acquire (why?), beats up the farmer, rapes the farmer's wife, and then leaves them alive to describe the assassin and say "the person who files the deed of sale for the land we owned, he's the rapist and assailant"? Really? I enjoy mysteries set in this period, but found this one impossible to relish.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Carol/Bonadie

    A young woman in the New York City of Thomas Edison, J. P. Morgan, Tesla and others, solves a case for the NYPD and is invited to join the force. I liked this tale of a young woman using her wits to battle criminals and the sexism of the NYPD. Reminded me of the Maisie Dobbs series, at least in her method to investigating. Will listen to more of this series, ably read by Cassandra Campbell.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chantal

    What a surprisingly nice read! Recommended by a friend, I'm so glad I listened because this is a very entertaining story about a woman ahead of her time! Mary Handley will surprise you and make you root for her! What a surprisingly nice read! Recommended by a friend, I'm so glad I listened because this is a very entertaining story about a woman ahead of her time! Mary Handley will surprise you and make you root for her!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Avid Series Reader

    Second Street Station by Lawrence Levy is the first book of the Mary Handley mystery series set in early 20th century NYC. Mary Handley is an intelligent young woman, unwilling to be the meek helpmate and breeder expected of young women in society. She has dreamed of becoming a detective, since age 12 when she witnessed a crime. Political shenanigans result in her appointment as a detective on a murder case. Famous US history-book-heroes are portrayed as villains: Thomas Edison steals original in Second Street Station by Lawrence Levy is the first book of the Mary Handley mystery series set in early 20th century NYC. Mary Handley is an intelligent young woman, unwilling to be the meek helpmate and breeder expected of young women in society. She has dreamed of becoming a detective, since age 12 when she witnessed a crime. Political shenanigans result in her appointment as a detective on a murder case. Famous US history-book-heroes are portrayed as villains: Thomas Edison steals original inventions from others, and has them killed by thugs if they protest; J.P. Morgan bankrolls Edison. Edison roasts a calf alive before a crowd, a trick stunt to outwit Nikola Tesla, his rival in the field of electricity. Mary uses her wits to solve the original crime as well as the subplots. She's quite sarcastic, which is missed entirely by the dimwits she questions. Chapters alternate from the point of view of a character identified only as Bowler Hat.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Delaina

    It is becoming like torture to read this book, not because the writing is poor. The author is very skilled. But there are too many characters given center stage in turn and at 70 pages in I hardly know the heroine at all. And when she does appear, she flits thru her scenes with hardly a ripple then disappears, ceding the floor to every other character in the book one after the other. If it wasn't called 'a Mary Handley mystery' right on the cover I'd begin to wonder who was the lead character. E It is becoming like torture to read this book, not because the writing is poor. The author is very skilled. But there are too many characters given center stage in turn and at 70 pages in I hardly know the heroine at all. And when she does appear, she flits thru her scenes with hardly a ripple then disappears, ceding the floor to every other character in the book one after the other. If it wasn't called 'a Mary Handley mystery' right on the cover I'd begin to wonder who was the lead character. Ehhhhh. Next.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tammy Dodge

    I found this book so interesting. A fictional book with real life characters from early 1900’s like Thomas Edison, JP Morgan, Tesla, Coca Cola creator John Pemberton. Author used real life events during a fictional Story about a murder mystery. I am planning on reading more by this author.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Vicki

    This is an enjoyable listen, somewhat marred by a historical anachronism early in the story and a heavy dose of coincidence throughout. Mary is an interesting heroine in a fascinating time period, though I shook my head many times at how naively she wandered into dangerous situations with no weapon or backup. Despite those minor flaws, I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Karyn Niedert

    VIA: NetGalley Book Title and Author: Second Street Station by Lawrence H. Levy RELEASE DATE: June 9th, 2015 RATING: 3 Stars Worth requesting at library or buying in paperback GENRE: Mystery / Historical Fiction AUDIENCE: Fans of Jacquiline Winspear, Anne Perry, and Susan Elia MacNeal may enjoy this book. SERIES: Standalone-may possibly become a series but Google search didn’t turn up any evidence of this as fact. SUMMARY: Blurb from NetGalley: “ A historical mystery featuring the witty and wily Mary H VIA: NetGalley Book Title and Author: Second Street Station by Lawrence H. Levy RELEASE DATE: June 9th, 2015 RATING: 3 Stars Worth requesting at library or buying in paperback GENRE: Mystery / Historical Fiction AUDIENCE: Fans of Jacquiline Winspear, Anne Perry, and Susan Elia MacNeal may enjoy this book. SERIES: Standalone-may possibly become a series but Google search didn’t turn up any evidence of this as fact. SUMMARY: Blurb from NetGalley: “ A historical mystery featuring the witty and wily Mary Handley, the first woman detective in Brooklyn, as she tries to prove herself in a man's world while solving a high profile murder. Mary Handley is a not your typical late-nineteenth century lady. She's fiery, clever, daring, and she’s not about to conform to the gender norms of the day. Not long after being fired from her job at the hat factory for insubordinate behavior, Mary finds herself at the murder scene of Charles Goodrich, the brother of a prominent alderman and former bookkeeper of Thomas Edison. When Mary proves her acumen as a sleuth, she is hired by the Brooklyn police department as the city’s first female policewoman to solve the crime. The top brass of the department expect her to fail, but Mary has other plans. As she delves into the mystery, she finds herself questioning the likes of J. P. Morgan, Thomas Edison, and Nikola Tesla. Mary soon discovers the key to solving the case goes well beyond finding a murderer and depends on her ability to unearth the machinations of the city’s most prominent and respected public figures, men who will go to great lengths to protect their secrets. REVIEW: I was completely charmed by the character of Mary Handley as a young woman trying to live her dreams while overcoming her lot in life-that of being born female. Completely against the odds, she manages to wriggle her way into a high-profile murder investigation. Determined to find justice for the cold murder of her friend’s fiancé, she follows lead after lead to solve this mystery. Dodging bullets, fists, and slinging some jujitsu of her own, she manages to track down the killer and bring them to justice. Along the way, she learns some not so pleasant details about Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and political powerhouses of the time period. Levy tosses in some romance for color, but not so much as to distract from the main plot line that the book will be pigeonholed as chick lit. The characters surrounding Mary were a bit cliché but still enjoyable, and I read this book in a day. I liked how Mary developed throughout the story, and how she reacted to the stonewalling tactics thrown in her way as she tracked down the murderer. She kept her chin up, moving forward despite the obstacles lying in her path. Levy’s “Second Street Station” is an extremely good read, and I hope he follows up with another book in what would make an excellent series.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ferne

    I was captivated by the lead character, Mary Handley. Just the thought of her makes me smile. Mary is not your typical late 19th century Victorian young woman of 24. Mary is an independent thinker with a strong sense since the age of 12 that she is meant to be a detective. Mary’s Mother merely describes her daughter as “My Mary falls just short of being pretty” but Mary is clever, feisty, and doesn’t shy away from a challenge. As Mary becomes the first female detective in Brooklyn’s Police Depar I was captivated by the lead character, Mary Handley. Just the thought of her makes me smile. Mary is not your typical late 19th century Victorian young woman of 24. Mary is an independent thinker with a strong sense since the age of 12 that she is meant to be a detective. Mary’s Mother merely describes her daughter as “My Mary falls just short of being pretty” but Mary is clever, feisty, and doesn’t shy away from a challenge. As Mary becomes the first female detective in Brooklyn’s Police Department, it’s not difficult to imagine how she will succeed. This mystery and detective story is action-packed and has depth that is quite unparalleled in its genre. I loved every facet of the novel especially the ease in which the history of the time with names that everyone recognizes (e.g. Thomas Edison, J.P. Morgan) are brought to life within the story. The setting descriptions are vivid and the conversations between characters seem so plausible that there are moments when readers might have to seriously remind themselves that they’re reading fiction. As I closed the novel, it brought to mind the women portrayed in the movie, “Iron-Jawed Angels.” [Activists Alice Paul (portrayed by actress Hilary Swank) and Lucy Burns (portrayed by actress Frances O'Connor) take the women's suffrage movement by storm.] I think this novel could be utilized in so many different ways – not merely as a great new title for a book club to read and discuss – but so much more. I’d love to see the novel used by teachers of creative writing to inspire students to take the ordinary story and make it extraordinary as Lawrence H. Levy has penned. What a dynamic way to present a story combining history and creative storytelling into one exquisite presentation of mystery. I’d love to learn that a teacher of literature and a teacher of history have combined classes to utilize this novel as a lead-in to learning the history of women in law enforcement as well as the true history of New York in the 19th century and about the inventors and businesses of the time. I’d love to see the novel read by generations of women in the same family to inspire the questions and discussions between generations. What a unique way to inspire the sharing of the contributions the women in their family have made and to share how in their own unique ways they have changed the world in their own family or neighborhood. In other words, this novel is the perfect Mother’s Day gift to span all generations. I’m really hoping that the author might be considering writing a sequel and it would be even more extraordinary if “Second Street Station” might turn into a series of “Mary Handley Mysteries.” I’d love to spend more time with this character! Mary Handley is one of those characters that after you close the back cover of the book, you’re wishing you could go the nearest bookstore or coffee shop to meet her in person and share a conversation. I was lucky enough to receive a pre-publication copy of this title as an “Early Reviewer” from Library Thing.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Skjam!

    The “historical mystery” sub-genre is the intersection of the mystery and historical fiction genres. Pick a time period in the past (there’s no minimum gap requirement, but it’s best to pick one far enough back that everyone involved is conveniently dead), research it, stir some real life people and events into a fictional murder, and voila! Many such have become well-loved mystery series. This particular volume is set in Brooklyn (still a separate city from New York at the time) in the 1880s. Th The “historical mystery” sub-genre is the intersection of the mystery and historical fiction genres. Pick a time period in the past (there’s no minimum gap requirement, but it’s best to pick one far enough back that everyone involved is conveniently dead), research it, stir some real life people and events into a fictional murder, and voila! Many such have become well-loved mystery series. This particular volume is set in Brooklyn (still a separate city from New York at the time) in the 1880s. The combination of a high-profile murder case and political pressure from women’s groups results in Chief Campbell of the Second Street Station police to hire Mary Handley as Brooklyn’s first female police detective. As Mary investigates the Goodrich murder, she must battle not only sexism, but the power of wealthy men who have dark secrets, and an unsuspected enemy from her past. This story is very loosely based on a real life murder case, so don’t Google ‘Mary Handley” if you’re going to read this book, as it will reveal a huge spoiler. However, a lot of extra plot has been added around those bare bones to make this a novel. It is kind of fun to watch Mary being all competent and smart-mouthed (the author’s background in sitcom writing shows in her ready witticisms). Mary Handley has very 21st Century attitudes, while the “bad guys” have more period-appropriate 19th Century prejudices. This sometimes makes it feel like the writer is trying to appeal to modern readers more than trying to present an authentic feel to the story. One glaring example is that Mary just happens to befriend a Chinese immigrant family whose father just happens to be a jujitsu master and teach Mary his skills. Why a Chinese immigrant is a master of the traditionally Japanese art of jujitsu is never explained. Remember what I said about the real-life people being conveniently dead? This is important as Thomas Edison gets a “historical villain upgrade”, being even more vile (probably) than he was in actual history. That’d be a clear case for libel if he were still around. Oddly enough, one of the plot elements here reminded me of the Milestone Comics title Hardware; those familiar with that series will spot it too. A lot of space is devoted to cocaine, still legal at that point, as Mary interacts with the Pembertons, inventors of Coca-Cola. There is also a character referred to as “Bowler Hat” after his favorite headgear. He is important to Mary’s life in several ways, mostly negative, though it’s clear from early on that he’s not involved in the murder she’s investigating. In addition to the expected violence and some consensual sex, there is a gratuitous rape scene. I was not pleased. Mary’s also a bit of a potty-mouth. All in all, the story is fanciful and readers should not think about it too hard lest it fall apart at the seams. It’s diverting, but flawed. Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books on the premise that I would read and review it. No other compensation is involved.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    http://readertoreader.com/index.cfm?f... SECOND STREET STATION Lawrence Levy Broadway Books June 2015 Mary Handley was twelve in 1876 when she witnessed a murder. The victim was a Frenchman that was playing a machine in his train compartment that made such pleasant sounds; he closed door in her face. Mary slipped back a little later hoping to hear more of those magical sounds, but she saw a big man in a bowler hat leaving the Frenchman’s cabin with the deceased’s luggage. The Frenchman’s death looked http://readertoreader.com/index.cfm?f... SECOND STREET STATION Lawrence Levy Broadway Books June 2015 Mary Handley was twelve in 1876 when she witnessed a murder. The victim was a Frenchman that was playing a machine in his train compartment that made such pleasant sounds; he closed door in her face. Mary slipped back a little later hoping to hear more of those magical sounds, but she saw a big man in a bowler hat leaving the Frenchman’s cabin with the deceased’s luggage. The Frenchman’s death looked like, and passed for, a suicide by hanging, but the little girl knew better. Mary has always been a precocious child and before the murder her ambition was to be a scientist or philosopher; after the murder she wants to become a detective. Her mother, Elizabeth, believes the finest achievement a woman can claim is to be a wife and mother. Mary’s bests her older brother Sean in just about any endeavor; but Sean is allowed to choose his life’s ambition of being a policeman and Mary is denied any formal education. She works at the Lowry Hat Factory, a sweatshop, and lives in a tiny one-room apartment in one of the worse sections of Brooklyn. She has a friend from the factory, Kate Stoddard, who lives one floor above her. Kate is engaged to be married. Mary is well known in Sean’s precinct and she gets waylaid by a group of female protesters in front of the station picketing for the hiring of female police officers. Mary won’t join them, but Chief Patrick Campbell offers her a job with an added incentive of fifteen hundred dollars if she can catch a wanted killer before his detectives can. This makes Mary the first female detective in New York City and comes at the right time as she has just been fired from the sweatshop. SECOND STREET STATION is a veritable font of rumors about such famous men of the late nineteenth-century as Thomas Edison, J. P. Morgan, Goodrich, and Tesla. Cocaine was considered a wonder drug and was used in over-the-counter medications and also prescribed by physicians. Some expensive wines and liqueurs were also laced with this narcotic One rumor is that the original inventor of Coca-Cola sold his formula due to his own addiction. Lawrence Levy has spun a fantastic tongue-in-cheek story that is a page-turner and a half. Most characters are based on real people and the imagined incidents are remarkable. The conditions of the haves and have-nots, and most especially the women are depicted. The invented characters also have a real life feeling of their own. If you are an aficionado of “factoid” stories, this very clever, well written story is for you!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Zeb Kantrowitz

    Mary Handley has wanted to be a detective since she was a little girl, ever since she saw a man murdered on a train, and no one could give the Police a description of the man. She could but no one paid any attention to a 10 year old girl. In the late nineteenth century (between 1876 and 1899) woman was brought up to be wives and mothers not professionals and not police. When she is in her twenties, she’s still unmarried to her mother’s disgust, and the only job she can find is working in a hat f Mary Handley has wanted to be a detective since she was a little girl, ever since she saw a man murdered on a train, and no one could give the Police a description of the man. She could but no one paid any attention to a 10 year old girl. In the late nineteenth century (between 1876 and 1899) woman was brought up to be wives and mothers not professionals and not police. When she is in her twenties, she’s still unmarried to her mother’s disgust, and the only job she can find is working in a hat factory. Her boss hates her and she hates the job, she still wants to be a detective, but there are no women police in Brooklyn at that time. Her brother though has become a cop and is friendly with the head of detectives. One day there’s a robbery and Mary happens to be there to catch the crook. Even though it embarrasses her brother, it gets the attention of the Chief of Detectives. The Chief has been feeling pressure to hire women by the local suffragettes. When the brother of a Brooklyn Alderman is found murdered, Mary is hired to solve the case. It’s to be her baptism by fire, and she will get little or no help from the rest of the Police Force, especially her brother. The murdered man had just left the employ of Thomas Edison, and is reputed to have a journal from his ten years working with Edison. The journal may have information that will show that Edison is not the great inventor he is made out to be and may have stolen the works of other men, some who disappeared. Levy uses the mystery to bring to the fore such luminaries of the times as J P Morgan, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. All of this is played straight up as a mystery but in a very soft manner with a lot of humor and complaining by Mary of the treatment of woman at that time. She is especially upset with the clothing that a ‘modest’ young woman must wear. Have you ever tried to chase a suspect in corset and petticoats, not to mention heeled shoes? Of course, most of these men don’t want to give her the time of day much less answer questions from ‘an Irish girl’. As you can guess, she solves the mystery, finds herself a beau, and is hired by the Brooklyn Police Department. It all done with a light touch and a description of the ‘lower classes’ at a time that most of us are not truly familiar with. Nicely done. Zeb Kantrowitz zworstblog.blogspot.com

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    AUTHOR: Levy, Lawrence H. TITLE: Second Street Station DATE READ: 02/02/16 RATING: 4.5/ B+ GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS Crime Fiction / 2015 / Broadway Books / 309 pgs SERIES/STAND-ALONE: #1 Mary Handley CHARACTERS Mary Handley / 1st female detective in Brooklyn, NY TIME/PLACE: Late 1880's/ Brooklyn NY FIRST LINES What could Senator Conkling have possibly been thinking? The Blizzard of 1888 struck in March and had brought the entire Eastern Seaboard to a virtual standstill. COMMENTS: This is a b AUTHOR: Levy, Lawrence H. TITLE: Second Street Station DATE READ: 02/02/16 RATING: 4.5/ B+ GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS Crime Fiction / 2015 / Broadway Books / 309 pgs SERIES/STAND-ALONE: #1 Mary Handley CHARACTERS Mary Handley / 1st female detective in Brooklyn, NY TIME/PLACE: Late 1880's/ Brooklyn NY FIRST LINES What could Senator Conkling have possibly been thinking? The Blizzard of 1888 struck in March and had brought the entire Eastern Seaboard to a virtual standstill. COMMENTS: This is a book I won on goodreads and one that was chosen for me to read in a swap -- Tell me what to read next. Historical crime fiction that includes quite a few well-known people from the time: Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, J.P. Morgan, etc. This story focuses on a real murder but it is fictionalized. There actually was a real Mary Handley -- interesting all the way back in 1888 a woman detective working (altho' maybe temporarily) for the police dept. Mary has always been a precocious and curious individual preferring science to frills and lace, and always seeing a future for her that is not based on her looks or who she marries, despite her mother telling her this is her lot. She is fired from her factory job for being insubordinant, but fate lands her a position trying to find the murderer of Charles Goodrich. Charles was the former bookkeeper for Thomas Edison and also the fiance of one of Mary's friends and co-workers Kate Stoddard. I really enjoyed this much more than I thought -- there was more depth to both plot & characters than I had expected. And all the added information about Edison, Tesla, etc was very interesting. The title Second Street Station refers to the police station in Brooklyn where Mary works and coincidentally her older brother Sean is a policeman working here, too. I do think there were times where Mary became a bit of "super-hero" and went beyond belief in being able to defend herself, especially in the constraining clothes of the times (bustles and yards and yards of material -- do not make for easy movement when eluding the enemy). Having the Chinese neighbors and learning JiuJitsu of course was an advantage for her … but I still had a hard time believing she could conquer so many of her opponents. Still Mary was a very likeable person, despite what her mother says, and one I would read more about … book 2 should be out soon.

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