“What was the main reason?” Sarah asked, mystified.

“To keep me from questioning Blackwell’s patients.”

“Clients,” Sarah corrected automatically. “Why on earth would he care about that?”

“Because he wanted to continue Blackwell’s business. If I offended the clients by accusing them of murder, they wouldn’t be likely to seek out Amos Potter’s services.”

“They wouldn’t have been likely to do that anyway,” Sarah reasoned, but Malloy just smiled sadly.

“Amos Potter didn’t know that. He also didn’t know who had killed Blackwell, but he wanted the case settled quietly and with no unpleasantness that would harm his future business.”

“But surely he was also trying to protect Letitia,” she argued.

“That’s another thing we were wrong about,” Malloy told her.

“Don’t tell me he’s not in love with Letitia!” she exclaimed.

“Oh, yes, very much so, but he wasn’t concerned about a scandal ruining her. He lied about that. In fact, he was the one who sent Calvin’s mother the poster of Blackwell’s lecture and the train ticket so Calvin could come to New York and find his father. Potter was hoping for a scandal that would ruin Blackwell and drive his clients away and ruin Letitia’s reputation. It seems he was more realistic than either of us realized. Potter knew she’d never be interested in him if she had any other choice, and he also knew Blackwell’s patients would never come to him unless Blackwell was discredited. He hoped the bigamy scandal would bring him both things at once.”

Sarah stared at him in amazement. “It does sound logical in a strange way,” she admitted. “But then you were going to offend the clients with your investigation, so he had to put a quick end to it by killing Calvin. How awful.”

“I’ll never forgive myself for not sending him home when I had the chance.”

“You couldn’t have known,” Sarah reminded him. “And you didn’t hurt him, Potter did.”

He didn’t look convinced. Sarah knew the guilt of having needlessly caused another’s death, so she didn’t press him on the subject. “How’s Dudley doing?” she asked instead to change the subject.

“Still alive, last I heard. You might want to stop in and see him while you’re here. I doubt his lady love bothers to visit him in a place like this.”

“I still can’t believe they sent him to the hospital,” Sarah said in disgust.

“Did you expect Letitia to take him into her house?” Malloy asked with a grin.

“No, but she could have made arrangements for a private nurse in a better lodging house or something. Anything would be better than lying in a charity ward.”

“I figured Symington put him in the hospital hoping he’d die. You saw how disappointed he was when I told him Dudley was still alive.”

“Letitia wasn’t exactly happy, either,” Sarah said. “Apparently, her father had convinced her that protecting her reputation after Blackwell’s murder was the most important thing she could do, and a dead Dudley could never embarrass her. Do you think she’ll ever marry him now?”

“You’re the one who understands female reasoning,” he reminded her with a smirk. “You tell me.”

“I don’t understand this,” she admitted, “but I have a feeling Mr. Dudley will be retiring to the country with a broken heart.”

“He should be thankful it’s still beating, at least. He got off a lot luckier than the other men who were involved with Letitia.”

“I got a letter from Mrs. Brown,” Sarah told him. “She appreciated the nice things I said about Calvin. Poor woman. What will she do now?”

“She’ll make out somehow,” Malloy said. “What other choice does she have?”

Sarah didn’t feel like being philosophical today, so she let that pass as well. They sat in silence for a few minutes, waiting as people do when they have no other choice. Sarah thought about the sad things that had happened to so many people as a result of Edmund Blackwell’s lies and wondered what kind of a life Letitia’s baby would have without either of his fathers and a mother who was more interested in her morphine than in him.

Malloy interrupted her thoughts. “Doc Woomer knew your husband.”

“Yes,” she said, a little surprised by the change of subject. “Tom knew most of the other doctors in the city, I suppose.”

“I asked him what Dr. Brandt was like,” he said, and cleared his throat. “It sounds like he was a good man.”

For a moment Sarah remembered Tom completely- his deep voice, his laughing eyes, his big, gentle hands, but most of all his kindness to even the most unworthy or unlovable. The memory was so real it took her breath with the bittersweet shock of love and loss. Then, just as quickly, it was gone, and she was alone again with Frank Malloy.

And Malloy was even more real, solid with his strength and his determination and his unbreakable will. Different from Tom in so many ways she could hardly count them all, but still, somehow, the same.

She reached out and laid her hand on his. His skin was warm and alive beneath her palm. “You’re a good man, too, Malloy.”


I hope you enjoyed Murder on Gramercy Park. The more I learn about the turn of the last century, the more I understand how little things have changed in the past hundred years. The wonders of technology have improved our quality of life, but they haven’t changed the things people care about and are willing to live-and die-for. In spite of all the advances in medicine, people are still searching for something that works better through alternative, herbal, and holistic medicine and are still seeking to escape the problems of this world through the use of narcotic drugs.

Please let me know what you thought of this book and the others in the Gaslight Mystery Series, Murder on Astor Place and Murder on St. Mark’s Place. Please write to me at the address below or send me e-mail through my Web page:

Victoria Thompson

PO Box 638

Duncansville, PA 16635

Victoria Thompson

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