A Death in Utopia—Vol. 1 of the Charlotte Edgerton Mysteries
Charlotte Edgerton would like to change the world but first she must track down a killer. The year is 1842, and Charlotte has left behind an impoverished life in England to come to America and join the Utopian community of Brook Farm in rural Massachusetts. At first it seems to be an idyllic world of like-minded people living in harmony. But soon cracks appear. The mysterious death of a visiting minister threatens to undermine trust within the community. Visits from the sheriff and a reporter bring unwelcome attention from outsiders who dislike the Brook Farmers’ lifestyles and disapprove of the reforms they champion.
Determined to discover who is responsible for the minister’s death Charlotte finds an ally in Daniel Gallagher, an ambitious young Irish immigrant and fledgling newspaper reporter. Their first suspect is a penniless Irish tramp, but troubling details come to light suggesting other possibilities. As Charlotte and Daniel seek for answers they find themselves unveiling the secrets of several of the community’s most revered members. Will their discoveries endanger the community and threaten their hopes for the future? Times are hard and desperate farmers are being imprisoned for debt; many are in danger of losing their property. Embittered locals look with suspicion on strangers who want to turn their world upside down. Will Charlotte and Daniel be able to find the killer and build the new lives they dream about?
Death Visits a Bawdy House—Vol. 2 of the Charlotte Edgerton Mysteries
When Charlotte Edgerton moves to New York City from staid Boston in 1843, she finds the crowds on Broadway and the attractions of P.T. Barnum’s new American Museum thrilling. She is young, idealistic, and in love. The future looks bright for herself and her devoted Daniel. But when first one and then another of the glamorous “sporting girls” who work in the city’s famous brothels is murdered, Charlotte becomes aware of the darkness that lurks behind the bright glow of the city.
In a city where abolitionists are not popular and suspicion of free blacks runs high, the arrest of a black man for the crimes stirs high emotions. Charlotte and Daniel discover even police can be prejudiced, politicians are not always honest, and kindness can lead to danger. When a ruthless murderer tricks her into becoming a prisoner, Charlotte must rely on her wits to save herself and a helpless child. …
Death Calls at the Palace—Vol. 3 of the Charlotte Edgerton Mysteries
London in 1846 is far from the gracious society Charlotte Edgerton and her husband Daniel had imagined. Still mourning the death of their infant son, Charlotte finds the gray skies and gritty poverty of London streets almost more than she can bear. Dark skinned strangers from Britain’s far-flung empire are demanding justice, but the young Queen Victoria and her court do not seem to listen. Even worse, Charlotte’s naive brother Tom is being drawn into a radical political group that Charlotte fears will lead him to violence and perhaps death. Meanwhile the city is growing more and more crowded with impoverished immigrants from famine-stricken Ireland. When one of her young Irish friends—a kitchen maid—dies in a tragic fire, Charlotte believes it was no accident. But uncaring policemen scoff at her suspicions. Charlotte discovers that she must search for the villain on her own.
In volume 3 of the Charlotte Edgerton Mysteries series, Charlotte and Daniel have left the boisterous streets of New York and moved to London where Daniel takes up a new job on a weekly newspaper. After their adventures in New York City (You can read about them in Death Visits a Bawdy House.) they find themselves in a city even more dangerous than the one they left behind.