Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

31 Bond Street - Ellen Horan

31 Bond Street recreates the events around the 1857 murder of Dr. Blundell. Set in New York, just 4 years before the Civil War, the novel offers a fascinating view of society at this time. Dr. Blundell's murder was a sensation, causing a media frenzy and resulting in his housekeeper, Mrs. Emma Cunningham, being charged with his murder.

The young, but prominent lawyer, Henry Clinton, takes on her case, which pits him against the well known public defender Oakley Hall. In the courtroom, both men argue their cases with passion and belief. All the while, the media storm around the enigmatic Emma Cunningham continues.

This is Horan's debut novel, and for the most part, she has written an intriguing and captivating tale. She cleverly mixes timelines to produce a clever whodunnit. However, it does fall apart a little towards the end as the greater plot and story is revealed. 
This is definitely one of the better efforts at a historical mystery and is deserving of a read. However, it also has a slight feel of storytelling by rote - resulting in what is overall a good read, but not a great read.

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