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Lyndsay Faye

Seven for a Secret

Lyndsay Faye Seven For A Secret
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Biographical note:

Lyndsay Faye is the author of critically acclaimed Dust and Shadow and The Gods of Gotham, which was nominated by the Edgars for Best Novel—if you were to ask her, she would say she writes hero stories. Faye, a true New Yorker in the sense 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, charging quietly away as if he’d battalions that wanted commanding.

Easier said than done, I surm



Praise for Seven for a Secret:

"This is a series for the ages, it's so spectacular. Amazing." —Gillian Flynn

“As was the case in The Gods of Gotham, Faye folds a blistering indictment of prejudice and persecution of the defenseless within a satisfying 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

"Faye once again skillfully evokes the early days of the NYPD in this gripping and moving sequel to 2012's The Gods of Gotham, an 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

"Superlative historical mystery."—Booklist

"Faye's first novel won popular and critical success with its pairing of early police work and the criminal underworld of 19th-century New York. Her second novel is doubly impressive."—Library Journal, starred review 

Praise for Lyndsay Faye and The Gods of Gotham:

“The launch of a brilliant new mystery series, set in 1845 New York City: Irish Potato Famine, the birth of the police force, brothels and bedlam." —Gillian Flynn, #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Gone Girl



“A wonderful book. Lyndsay Faye’s command of historical detail is remarkable and her knowledge of human character even more so. I bought into this world in the opening pages and never once had the desire to leave. It’s a great read!” —Michael Connelly
 
“ New York has inspired lots of terrific thrillers, but I’ve just stumbled on one of the worthiest successors yet [to The Alienist]. Lyndsay Faye's novel, The Gods of Gotham.”—Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air



“If your concept of paradise is popping in a DVD of Gangs of New York while rereading Caleb Carr’s The Alienist, then put Lyndsay Faye’s The Gods of Gotham on your to-buy list.”—USA Today



“Riveting.”—The New York Times



“Lyndsay Faye is a superstar-caliber writer. She confidently and exquisitely re-creates the past while her characters live on with you in the present, the elusive gold standard for a historical novel. 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
 
“Intriguingly complex yet deliciously smooth, The Gods of Gotham is, in a word, stunning. The vivid characters and deft use of the historical setting read like the work of an established writer at the top of her (or indeed, his) career—that Faye is a newcomer is cause for an exuberance of fireworks, at the mere thought of so many superb novels yet to come.” —Laurie R. King, New York Times–bestselling author of The God of the Hive and Pirate King
 
“A revelation. Lyndsay Faye puts the drive and passion of a modern thriller onto the mean streets of 1840s New York. She brings a fascinating page of history to life with a gripping, twisty plot, vivid characters, and seamless research. This is historical fiction at its best.” —Daniel Stashower, two-time Edgar Award–winning author of Teller of Tales and The Beautiful Cigar Girl 
 
“Enthralling . . . immediat
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