Death of a New American by Mariah Fredericks is the atmospheric, compelling follow-up to the stunning debut A Death of No Importance, featuring series character, Jane Prescott.
In 1912, as New York reels from the news of the Titanic disaster, ladies’ maid Jane Prescott travels to Long Island with the Benchley family. Their daughter Louise is to marry William Tyler, at their uncle and aunt’s mansion; the Tylers are a glamorous, storied couple, their past filled with travel and adventure. Now, Charles Tyler is known for putting down New York’s notorious Italian mafia, the Black Hand, and his wife Alva has settled into domestic life.
As the city visitors adjust to the rhythms of the household, and plan Louise’s upcoming wedding, Jane quickly befriends the Tyler children’s nanny, Sofia—a young Italian-American woman. However, one unusually sultry spring night, Jane is woken by a scream from the nursery—and rushes in to find Sofia murdered, and the carefully locked window flung open.
The Tylers believe that this is an attempted kidnapping of their baby gone wrong; a warning from the criminal underworld to Charles Tyler. But Jane is asked to help with the investigation by her friend, journalist Michael Behan, who knows that she is uniquely placed to see what other tensions may simmer just below the surface in this wealthy, secretive household. Was Sofia’s murder fall-out from the social tensions rife in New York, or could it be a much more personal crime?
About the Author
MARIAH FREDERICKS was born and raised in New York City, where she still lives with her family. She is the author of several YA novels. A Death of No Importance is her first adult novel.
"Jane observes matters with a knowing eye, from the minutely personal to the tragically public. Ms. Fredericks sets Jane's investigation neatly within a larger social context of the suffrage movement, and the results are unexpectedly thrilling."—The Wall Street Journal
"Wonderfully moving...Fredericks has a sharp eye for the complexities of human nature and how even good people are capable of committing terrible deeds to protect the ones they love. This is a touching portrait of early-20th-century New York in all its glory and ugliness."—Publishers Weekly (Starred and Boxed)
"With an astute amateur sleuth whose evaluation of the roles and positions of women is a crucial element, and a topical story line that emphasizes the immigrant experience and women's lives, this title comes highly recommended."—Library Journal (Starred, Pick of the Month)
"This fast-moving, second entry in the series builds an immersive account of life in the early twentieth century/ Readers will await more adventures with the plucky, wise Jane. Try this with patrons who enjoyed Jessica Fellowes' The Mitford Murders (2018) and with fans of mysteries that have solid historical-fiction underpinnings."—Booklist
"An engrossing page turner with an engaging sleuth, an in depth study of human nature across social lines, and a fearless exploration of Gilded Age New York with its underbelly of poverty, crime, and ruthless politics. I'm loving this series!"—Alyssa Maxwell, author of the Gilded Newport Mysteries.
Praise for A Death of No Importance:
"Murder in the ranks of high society provides heady entertainment for the servants who toil in obscurity in A Death of No Importance, a lively upstairs/downstairs mystery by Mariah Fredericks set in New York City in 1910."—New York Times Book Review
“A sparkling mystery . . . The novel's voice, plotting, pace, characterization, and historical background are all expertly crafted, while the resolution—which feels both surprising and convincing—will leave readers hungry for more.”—Publishers Weekly (starred)
“Jane is an appealing amateur sleuth . . . With its vivid depiction of contrasting worlds this series debut should appeal to readers of Alyssa Maxwell’s ‘Gilded Age’ historical mysteries.”—Library Journal (starred)
"Deftly woven...[An] intricate historical mystery and pointed commentary on human nature."—Booklist
"The prewar world of New York City in 1910 comes to life through the colorful social settings and real historical events...[a] debut adult novel with period details and strong characterizations."—BookPage
"A deliciously intriguing peek at 1910 New York. A well-plotted mystery with a plucky amateur sleuth—and an ending that could promise more cases for Jane to solve in the future!"—RT Book Reviews
"A really good read for fans of historical fiction—the character had a great voice that sucked me in immediately."—Book Riot
"A highly engaging read...satisfying."—BookBrowse
"Another deftly crafted novel by an author with a genuine flair for originality and a total master of the mystery genre, A Death of No Importance by Mariah Fredericks is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections."—The Midwest Book Review
“A Death of No Importance has such rich historic detail that you feel as if you’ve been transported to early twentieth century New York. Mariah Fredericks is the best at creating compulsively addictive, fresh, twisty reads.”—Meg Cabot
"Mariah Fredericks’ A Death of No Importance is told by a young and reticent—but gimlet-eyed—ladies’ maid. She’s employed by an Edith Wharton-esque New York City family, but after the murder of a young cad who was engaged to her mistress, she’s drawn into the police investigation. Crossing social class lines and making tart observations, she succeeds at both finding the murderer and keeping secrets. Fredericks has written a taut, suspenseful, and complex murder mystery with gorgeous period detail."—Susan Elia MacNeal
“A sharp, engaging, and intimate treat of a historical mystery. Jane Prescott is a smart detective and a keen observer of both the upper crust and the dark underbelly of early twentieth century New York society.”—Laura Joh Rowland
“The simmering tensions among New York City's wealthiest families—the rivalries, lies, and even the criminal acts—come to a boil in A Death of No Importance, and Jane, a highly intelligent young maid, is the one who sees more than she should the night that someone from the smart set is viciously murdered. A suspenseful, moving, sharply observed mystery that illuminates a fascinating time in America's history, when there was indeed ugliness beneath the beauty of the Gilded Age.”—Nancy Bilyeau
"A compelling story of a maid in 910 New York City. A murder in the Gilded Age circle reverberates in ways no one could have imagined."—The Big Thrill
"Honed by years of service to the wealthy, Jane [Prescott] has a talent for staying unnoticed while noticing everything. This appealing series debut is the first adult mystery by the Edgar-nominated Young Adult author."—Stop You're Killing Me
"Told with exquisite details of the city and life among the rich and their hired help. I heartily recommend this book."—Historical Novel Society