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The new series jumps ahead seventy years past the devastation of the Civil War  to take the story up again with the granddaughter and great-granddaughter of the Bonners, Savards and Freemans. Both young women are physicians who work with the poor in New York city.

The question that is raised most often in response to The Gilded Hour is this: who is responsible for the murders? Some readers are quite irritated by the fact that the novel closes without resolving this storyline, and I’ve written about that on the weblog, here.

All will be revealed in the sequel, but in the meantime you can review the official documents an come to your own conclusion, if you wish. You’ll find them here:  the Multipara Homicide Investigation Status Report.

THE STORY

On the day the story opens, William K. and Alva Vanderbilt throw a costume ball to celebrate the completion of their new, ironically named the Petit Chateau, a mansion of marble, crystal and priceless artwork of some two hundred thousand square feet — as big as some city blocks.That night Alva spends millions of dollars to entertain a thousand of Manhattan’s social and financial elite, in a time and place when tens of thousands of children wander the streets and sleep on doorsteps and fire escapes.

Manhattan 1883 Districts: Click for a full size image.
Manhattan 1883 Districts: Click for a full size image.

The Gilded Hour is the story of Anna and SophieSavard, distant cousins, both orphaned as young girls, who are taken into their Aunt Quinlan‘s Manhattan home on Waverly Place to be raised. It is an unusual household where rational thought and artistic sensibilities are equally valued, corsets are rejected as restrictive and demeaning, and little girls are encouraged to play, explore, and ask questions. They grow up doing all this with Cap Verhoeven, the scion of a prominent family who is most at home in the garden at Waverley Place with Anna and most especially, Sophie.

As daughters and granddaughters of talented physicians and healers, Anna and Sophie both study medicine while Cap studies law, entering into practice with his uncle Conrad Belmont. The first blow comes when Cap is diagnosed with tuberculosis, so that he secludes himself for fear of infecting those around him. This loss weighs heavily on Sophie, even as she continues to meet the professional challenges that

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