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Lyndsay Faye

Seven for a Secret

Lyndsay Faye Seven For A Secret
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Series:

A Timothy Wilde Novel

Biographical note:

Lyndsay Faye is the author of The Gods of Gotham—nominated for an Edgar® Award for Best Novel—and the critically acclaimed Dust and Shadow and is featured in The Best American Mystery Stories 2010. Faye, a true New Yorker in the sense that she was born elsewhere, lives in Manhattan with her husband, Gabriel.

Excerpt from book:


One

The evil we complain of is increasing. Europe is flooding the country with emigrants—Great Britain has appropriated twenty-five million to deport to this country one million of Irish paupers, to compete with and destroy American labor.

—MR. LEVIN OF THE NATIVE AMERICAN PARTY, AS REPORTED IN THE NEW YORK HERALD, 1846

*

I have come to know my city too well. Not the pleasantest of afflictions. Presumably this wouldn't be a problem if I lived in a gorgeously crumbling stone wreck on the coast of Spain, casting my nets for sardines of a morning and catching strains of guitar music long into the night. Or if I kept a tavern in a melancholy little English town, pouring pints for wid­owers and reading poetry of an evening. I’ve never been away from here, so who can say? My knowledge of other places is bounded in books. It could be possible to know a city intimately and yet like it. I hope so.

No, the main trouble seems to be that I’m a policeman of Ward Six in Manhattan, the only copper star I know of assigned not to walk rounds but to solve crimes after the fact, and that so far I've not much cottoned to the content of the crimes. Not by half.

For instance, on the morning of St. Valentine’s Day, I awoke with the faintly sick sensation that a law had been broken by some­one or other in this city of near half a million, and I hadn't yet brainworked out who. The day before, Chief of Police George Washington Matsell—our unquestioned leader, the charging rhino of a man who set me up unraveling riddles—had appeared in my airless Tombs cave.

G. W. Matsell would already be impressive because he is enor­mous, over six feet tall and three hundred pounds if he’s an ounce. But it so happens he’s impressive because both his mind and will­power resemble a train running under full shrieking steam. He was a prominent justice before being appointed our chief, and thus already famous. Since we copper stars are a controversial band of ragtags to say the least, now he’s infamous. But infamy doesn't seem to chafe him overmuch.

I heard a scuff and looked up from my desktop. The previous instant, my doorway had seemed a reasonable size. Man-sized, anyhow. Now Chief Matsell stood within, and it had shrunk to a mouse hole. He stared at me placidly. Jowls furrowed into deep fleshy ditches and pale eyes gleaming. I’d used to walk my ward incircles as my colleagues did, on the lookout for trouble and finding it all too often. Since the end of the ghastly kinchin murderer business last August, when the chief decided my brains ought to be at his perennial disposal, I sit at the Tombs and trouble finds me either via notes from Matsell or in person. I’m damned if I know which is more disconcerting.

“A priceless miniature painting has been stolen from a private residence at One-oh-two Fifth Avenue, under unusual circumstances,” he announced.

A bead-sized but tightly worked knot formed in my stomach.

“You’re going to find it. Mr. and Mrs. Millington expect you to call round at nine.”

“Right,” I said, exhaling hard.

“Find the thief while you’re about it, Mr. Wilde,” he added over his shoulder, charg

“This is a series for the ages, it’s so spectacular.”—Gillian Flynn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl

Praise for Seven for a Secret:

“Faye once again skillfully evokes the early days of the NYPD in this gripping and moving sequel to 2012’s The Gods of Gotham, and Edgar finalist…Simple but effective prose, a brilliantly constructed plot, and three-dimensional characters add up to another winner for Faye.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[Faye’s] second novel is doubly impressive. Readers of historical and genre fiction will appreciate the twist and turns of this original series.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“Captures the tumult of its time and place in an action-packed plot with elements of tragedy and hope, featuring a protagonist who fights for what is right in the face of corruption. Superlative historical mystery.”—Booklist

“As was the case in The Gods of Gotham, Faye folds a blistering indictment of prejudice and persecution of the defenseless within a satisfyingly complex mystery...Vividly atmospheric; the thieves’ slang all by itself evokes 19th-century New York with wonderful specificity. Let’s hope Faye finds more dirty work for her intriguingly conflicted hero.”—Kirkus Reviews

Praise for The Gods of Gotham:

“[A] excellent historical about NYC in the 1840s and the establishment of the NYPD.”—Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“There’s enough excitement here to cause anyone’s veins to quiver.”—The Washington Post Book World

“A wonderful book.”—Michael Connelly, #1 New York Times author of the Harry Bosch novels

“Riveting.”—The New York Times

“One of the worthiest successors yet [to The Alienist].”—Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air

“Lyndsay Faye is a superstar-caliber writer…The Gods of Gotham is a gift to the genre that readers will surely relish while we wait for Faye’s next one.” —Matthew Pearl, bestselling author of The Dante Club
 


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