Emily Cabot, expelled from the University of Chicago, takes her interest in social work to Hull House, where she s to help Jane Addams publish information connected from the neighborhood When the dead body of a sweatshop overseer is found in the Hull House parlor, some of the residents come under suspicion Neighborhood feelings run high against the social workers and physicians when a smallpox epidemic strikes Emily fears her feckless brother is involved in the death and also struggles with her feelings for Dr Chapman, who thinks of her as an innocent girl There s danger and adventure before the real criminal is exposed. I won this book from goodreads first reads program This is a sequel, but could be read on its own I picked the first novel Death at the Fair from my local library and fell right into the Chicago s World s Fair.This is a historical mystery that takes place at the end of the 19th century Ms McNamara does an excellent job in describing our heroine Emily who is a strong outspoken woman foraging a life after she was dismissed by the newly found University of Chicago She had been earning a MS in Sociology when her friend, a doctor was wrongly accused of murder Now we find Emily after she has taken a position at Jane Addams Hull House While I loved the first book, I thought this one was even better Ms McNamara has hit her stride in flushing out Emily and giving us detailed descriptions about deplorable living and working conditions and also detailing the outbreak of small pox that started earlier on the Midway Emily is unfortunately bounded by society and tradition and often has to hear the news second hand especially from a friend or male relative She does always seem to find a way to push or step out of those boundaries, which leads her to trouble However, she is a keen observer and can always get herself back on track One of the things I really enjoy about Ms McNamara s writing is that she stays true to the dialect of the time and gives your mind nice words to chew on that were popular during the day I had to get out my dictionary once to figure out exactly what one word meant I had a good idea from the context of the sentence, but it s not a word that is in common rotation This may put some off, but I love when I get to exercise the noggin and it does stay true to the historical aspect of the novel My only quibble with the book was when she occasionally switched tense At one point Emily says she wouldn t appreciate a point made until she was much older When you are young you can never see that you will appreciate a point later, as this can only happen with time and reflection This small omission doesn t detract from the book in the slightest The story is quite enjoyable and I liked Emily, so I continued staying way up past my bed time to find out what happened to her. In This Well Plotted Sequel To Death At The Fair, Emily Cabot Finds Work At Hull House, The Famous Settlement Established By Jane Addams There She Quickly Becomes Involved In The Political And Social Problems Of The Immigrant Community But When A Man Who Works For A Sweatshop Owner Is Murdered In The Hull House Parlor, Emily Must Determine Whether One Of Her Colleagues Is Responsible, Or Whether The Real Reason For The Murder Is Revenge For A Past Tragedy In Her Own Family As A Smallpox Epidemic Spreads Through The Impoverished West Side Of Chicago, The Very Existence Of The Settlement Is Threatened And Emily Finds Herself In Jeopardy From Both The Deadly Disease And A Killer I love, love, love this series Can t wait for the third one After Emily Cabot is expelled from the University of Chicago for actions occurring while clearing a man unjustly accused of murder, she obtains a position at Hull House assisting Jane Addams Soon after she moves in, a man who had come to see her is found bludgeoned to death at Hull House Concerned that her younger brother may be involved as he was seen leaving the room the day of the murder, she assists the detective in charge of the investigation Her brother is convinced that the man who murdered their father, a Boston judge, has fled to Chicago, and he is determined to find him Unfortunately, his actions lead to tragedy Details of the operation and people of Hull House, the smallpox epidemic that raged that winter, the deplorable living and working conditions of the immigrant population, the corruption and lack of concern for the poor of the businessmen and politicians, and 1893 Chicago are skillfully woven through the story This mystery will appeal to those who enjoyed Ann Stamos Bitter Tide, a tale of the immigrant experience and corruption in New York City. This is the second in a series of cerebral mysteries by Frances McNamara Emily Cabot fresh off solving the murder her friend and professor was charged with now faces expulsion and disgrace The newly credited women s graduate school at the University of Chicago cannot tolerate such an impulsive and independent woman as Emily Cabot and so even though her dean and some professors stand up for her, Emily is expelled and sent in disgrace to work at Hull House and try to redeem herself She is promissed that if she can get a Hull House study organized and into publication she will be allowed back into the university Of course Emily steps right into another murder and this time her brother is implicated Yes, Alden has refused to go back to his banking job in Boston and stays in Chicago hanging around his disreputable friends from the first book Now he s lying to the police and counting on his sister covering for him Emily solves this mystery but at a great personal price, including the death of her mother If I say I ll give too much of the story away and I d rather you read it for yourself Packed into a relatively short book are a cast of wonderful characters, both real and created, tense action and a whodunit.Frances is adept at mixing the history of the place and time with the puzzle of the murder mystery and that is why I call these cerebral mysteries This is right up my ally as I love both history and mystery Here Frances has chosen a well known social movement in Chicago and one that probably is not known to most Americans The turn of the last century was a time when America was struggling with a new wave of immigration and unfair labor practices especially as it concerns working women But don t think Frances is preachy and this book is some didactic work about American social history This is a mystery book full of rich characters with a tight plot I loved it and can t wait to read Death at Pullman which the author so graciously sent me. Death at Hull House is a Historical Mystery set in the late 1800 s in Chicago, at the infamous Hull house Emily Cabot, Recently expelled from the University of Chicago is set to work at Hull house Soon she is involved in a murder , when a man is found dead at Hull house The residents are suspect along with her brother Not only is she trying to solve this murder she is up against the small pox epidemic, trying to save and educate as many people as she can.Well written, Murder at Hull House is not only a murder mystery, it shows the daily struggles with disease, poverty, over worked immigrant sweatshop workers, and what little rights women had at the time Ms McNamara writes with vivid detail pulling you back into a century past I highly recommend to those who love a great mystery with a historical setting I look forward to work from Frances McNamara. This is the second in a series of three about Emily Cabot a young and one of the first female teachers at the U of Chicago who gets involved in a number of off campus mysteries which because of the times, 1893, get her dismissed from the school and assigned to Hull House to work with Jane Adams Here she becomes aware of the difficulties faced by the lower half of the social stratum and learns a great respect for them This is a historical novel as well, taking us through the sweatshops of the clothing manufacturing business and the small pox epidemic.The author grew up in Boston and at the time of this books in 2009 was a librarian at the U of Chicago.Her next book set in the Pullman area at the time of the 1894 railroad strike Looking forward to it. I wanted to like this book because it interweaves a fictional plot with real historical people and settings, which I find intriguing But the book needed better editing The lack of commas is horribly distracting for me, the pace is slowed by wordiness, and the dialogue suffers from an unwillingness to use contractions I like the portrayal of Jane Addams and Hull House. Fiction interwoven with historical facts I liked the characters and would read additional books by this author.
Frances McNamara grew up in Boston, where her father served as Police Commissioner for ten years She has degrees from Mount Holyoke and Simmons Colleges, and formerly worked as a librarian at the University of Chicago When not working or writing she can be found sailing on the Charles River in Boston or beaching on Cape Cod.
- 276 pages
- Death at Hull House
- Frances McNamara
- 10 September 2018 Frances McNamara