MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Death of a New American Summary and Reviews

Death of a New American

A Jane Prescott Novel

by Mariah Fredericks

Death of a New American by Mariah Fredericks X
Death of a New American by Mariah Fredericks
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Book Summary

Death of a New American by Mariah Fredericks is the atmospheric, compelling follow-up to the stunning debut A Death of No Importance, featuring series character, Jane Prescott.

In 1912, as New York reels from the news of the Titanic disaster, ladies' maid Jane Prescott travels to Long Island with the Benchley family. Their daughter Louise is to marry William Tyler, at their uncle and aunt's mansion; the Tylers are a glamorous, storied couple, their past filled with travel and adventure. Now, Charles Tyler is known for putting down New York's notorious Italian mafia, the Black Hand, and his wife Alva has settled into domestic life.

As the city visitors adjust to the rhythms of the household, and plan Louise's upcoming wedding, Jane quickly befriends the Tyler children's nanny, Sofia - a young Italian-American woman. However, one unusually sultry spring night, Jane is woken by a scream from the nursery - and rushes in to find Sofia murdered, and the carefully locked window flung open.

The Tylers believe that this is an attempted kidnapping of their baby gone wrong; a warning from the criminal underworld to Charles Tyler. But Jane is asked to help with the investigation by her friend, journalist Michael Behan, who knows that she is uniquely placed to see what other tensions may simmer just below the surface in this wealthy, secretive household. Was Sofia's murder fall-out from the social tensions rife in New York, or could it be a much more personal crime?

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred and Boxed Review. Wonderfully moving...Fredericks has a sharp eye for the complexities of human nature and how even good people are capable of committing terrible deeds to protect the ones they love. This is a touching portrait of early-20th-century New York in all its glory and ugliness." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Readers will await more adventures with the plucky, wise Jane." - Booklist

"Fredericks' heroine has an acerbic wit that occasionally flashes, but it's hard to sustain interest in this effort stocked with mainly stock characters." - Kirkus

"An engrossing page turner with an engaging sleuth, an in depth study of human nature across social lines, and a fearless exploration of Gilded Age New York with its underbelly of poverty, crime, and ruthless politics. I'm loving this series!" - Alyssa Maxwell, author of the Gilded Newport Mysteries.

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Becky H

Death of a New American
Jane Prescott, lady’s maid and mystery solver, becomes embroiled in labor disputes, the Black Hand and murder in this entertaining novel set in 1912 New York.
Louise, Jane’s lady, is about to marry the son of a prestigious family. When the Tyler’s nursemaid is murdered and notes are found threatening the infant child of Louise’s soon to be in laws, Jane and newspaperman Michael Behan spring into action.
Between love and the criminal underworld, the tension is palpable. Well written, with interesting situation and characters, this novel will be a welcome addition to book groups and individual readers alike.

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Author Information

Mariah Fredericks Author Biography

Photo: Jonathan Elderfield

Mariah Fredericks was born and raised in New York City, where she still lives today with her family. She is a graduate of Vassar College with a BA in history. She has written several novels for young adults; her novel Crunch Time was nominated for an Edgar in 2007. A Death of No Importance is her first mystery for adults. 

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