Death of an American Beauty is the third in Mariah Fredericks's compelling series, set in Gilded Age New York, featuring Jane Prescott.
Jane Prescott is taking a break from her duties as lady’s maid for a week, and plans to begin it with attending the hottest and most scandalous show in town: the opening of an art exhibition, showcasing the cubists, that is shocking New York City.
1913 is also the fiftieth anniversary of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation speech, and the city's great and good are determined to celebrate in style. Dolly Rutherford, heiress to the glamorous Rutherford’s department store empire, has gathered her coterie of society ladies to put on a play—with Jane’s employer Louise Tyler in the starring role as Lincoln himself. Jane is torn between helping the ladies with their costumes and enjoying her holiday. But fate decides she will do neither, when a woman is found murdered outside Jane’s childhood home—a refuge for women run by her uncle.
Deeply troubled as her uncle falls under suspicion and haunted by memories of a woman she once knew, Jane—with the help of old friends and new acquaintances, reporter Michael Behan and music hall pianist Leo Hirschfeld—is determined to discover who is making death into their own twisted art form.
In The News
Nominated for the 2021 Mary Higgins Clark Award
"Ms. Fredericks's tour of old New York - from a seedy Bowery dive to the gilded palace of a department store - is eye-opening, and her mystery well-spun. But what makes this book a stand-out is its affecting depictions of interactions that transcend race, creed, gender and generations." - Wall Street Journal
"Buoyed by Fredericks' deft plotting and lucid prose, Jane handles each crisis with aplomb. A welcome addition to the lady's-maid-cozy corner." - Kirkus
"Engrossing. Fredericks's portrait of the social disparities of early 20th century New York and of the appealing Jane make this a winner." - Publishers Weekly
"Charming . . . This is well worth recommending to patrons who liked the other books in the series as well as to those who are in the market for an Upstairs, Downstairs-tinged mystery." - Booklist