1893 New York City
Sarah Brandt, midwife, learned of the murder of Alicia Van Damm when checking on a patient at the home of Mrs. Higgins. This was also when she met Detective Sergant Frank Malloy of the New York Police Department. Sarah had arrived at the boardinghouse while the police were just examining the body, the surroundings and questioning possible witnesses. Mrs. Brandt was questioned, too, since she had been there the previous day attending to Mrs. Higgins and had actually seen Alicia. The more Detective Malloy spoke with Sarah the more he realized that her background and connections could be helpful to him in the investigation of the murder. So began this unlikely association of a midwife and a detective. In the course of this historical mystery we are plunged into the realities of corruption of the NYPD of that day, the tenements and lower class, the habits and secrets of high society, daily life communications, transportation and cooking. Whether Alicia's murderer would even be pursued was in question unless rewards were posted and police paid off. Or maybe people of influence would keep the police from investigating it. But Sarah was determined to discover who killed Alicia and why.