Step Into the Atmospheric World of Deception by Gaslight: Unraveling Secrets in 1888 New York City

P.D. Workman
2 min readOct 3, 2023

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Deception by Gaslight, by Kate Belli, the first book in the Gilded Gotham Mysteries, transports the reader to the enchanting yet treacherous setting of New York City in 1888. The tale unfolds around the intrepid reporter, Genevieve Stewart, and her relentless pursuit to unmask the elusive thief known as Robin Hood who has been pilfering precious items from society’s elite.

Genevieve has her suspicions, with her keen eye fixed on the mysterious millionaire Daniel McCaffrey. Is he a hero? A scoundrel? How many of the rumors about him are true? Does he even have anything to do with the thefts?

Belli masterfully paints a vivid tableau of the gaslight era, immersing readers in an atmospheric world filled with intrigue and suspense. She guides you through a labyrinthine journey across New York City in an enthralling game of cat and mouse.

Billy there, he don’t like being followed, even by a lady as pretty as you.

Kate Belli, Deception by Gaslight

SUMMARY

As a chill sets in on New York City in the winter of 1888, a jewel thief dubbed the “Robin Hood of the Lower East Side” has been stealing from the city’s wealthiest and giving to the poor. Genevieve Stewart–a young woman whose family is part of Mrs. Astor’s famed 400 but who has forged a life of her own as a reporter–decides to chase the story, but gets more than she bargained for: a murder victim sprawled in a dark alley in the dangerous Five Points neighborhood.

A handsome neighborhood tough comes to her rescue–but when she encounters the same man at a glamorous ball a few nights later, she realizes he’s society scion Daniel McCaffrey. Could this be her Robin Hood? When two more murders rock the Knickerbocker world, it becomes apparent that something much more sinister is afoot than a few stolen diamond necklaces. Genevieve is determined to prove that Daniel is Robin Hood–but she’s loath to believe he is a killer as well. From the glittering lights of Fifth Avenue to the sordid back alleys of Five Points, the truth is just one murder away.

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P.D. Workman

Writing riveting mystery, suspense, and young adult fiction about real life issues.