The Lace Widow (An Eliza Hamilton Mystery) (Hardcover)
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Could Alexander Hamilton be at the center of a vast murder plot engulfing Old New York? As his widow, Eliza, pieces together the puzzle, she unearths a heartbreaking secret that threatens to tear her family apart.
Perfect for fans of Sherry Thomas and Deanna Raybourn, taking us from the city’s gilded mansions to its meanest streets, Mollie Ann Cox’s debut historical mystery transports readers to center stage in a time of grave political danger.
New York, 1804. America’s beloved Alexander Hamilton lies dead after a duel with Aaron Burr. Meanwhile, Eliza Hamilton’s eighteen-year-old son, Alexander Jr., was seen fighting with a man in a tavern the night before his father’s duel and quickly comes under suspicion for murder when the man turns up dead.
Eliza searches for ways to clear her son’s name, even as she is grieving, but as she combs through her late husband’s papers, she finds evidence of a plot to steal money from the government during his tenure as secretary of state. Hamilton was accused of stealing that money, and it was a scandal that almost broke the family—but is Eliza now holding proof of Alexander’s innocence?
Deep in debt and despair, with eight children to support, Eliza turns to selling her handmade lace—and is drawn into a mysterious network of widow lacemakers who are intimately connected to New York’s high-society families. They know their dead husbands’ secrets—and soon, Eliza begins to piece together the truth.
There’s a dark plot connected with the duel, as one by one, witnesses to the bout are being killed. Now, Eliza must not only clear her husband’s and son’s names but keep herself out of the killer’s sights.
About the Author
Mollie Ann Cox is the author of several popular mystery series, also writing under the pen name Maggie Blackburn. Her books have been selected as finalists for an Agatha Award and a Daphne du Maurier Award and as a Top 10 Beach Reads by Woman's World. The Lace Widow is the first time she’s combined her passion for history and mystery. She makes her home at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Crozet, V.A.
Praise for The Lace Widow:
“Brilliant . . . Cox plausibly recreates 19th-century New York without freezing it in amber, and wrings real emotion out of Eliza’s investigation.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Wish there was a sequel starring the Founding Father’s widow? Cox has you covered . . . You’ll cheer the righteous heroine through thick and thin.”
“A good mystery . . . Provide[s] a window into the precarious plight of widows and single women in the early years of the new republic.”
“Rich with historical detail, and full of brave and clever women, The Lace Widow is a worthy tribute.”
—Shelf Awareness, Best Book of the Week
“[Cox] masterfully re-creates a New York in its infancy . . . A treat for lovers of American history and connoisseurs of tightly paced, well-written mysteries.”
—Historical Novels Review
“Wonderfully steeped in the sights and sounds of early 1800s New York City, this novel places the newly widowed Eliza Schuyler Hamilton and her clever friend Alice at the center of a compelling mystery with its roots in a conspiracy to blame Hamilton for money missing from the Treasury . . . The talented, courageous Eliza is a heroine to root for!”
—Karen Odden, USA Today bestseller and award-nominated author of the Inspector Corravan Mysteries
“It’s a constant frustration to historians that women’s lives are comparatively absent from the record, but here’s a silver lining! Mollie Ann Cox has fitted a deft murder mystery into the few weeks following the death of Eliza Hamilton’s famous husband. Delicious historical detail and a heroine of tremendous verve. What a treat.”
—Catriona McPherson, multi-award-winning author of the Dandy Gilver mysteries and In Place of Fear
“Molly Ann Cox deftly portrays Eliza Hamilton as an unexpected but resilient amateur sleuth determined to solve a murder in the aftermath of her husband’s untimely death. Eliza’s foray into the discreet upper-class lace-making world, to preserve her family’s wealth and reputation, offers a particularly unusual method for gaining access to society’s deepest secrets. Readers, especially those who enjoy early American history, will appreciate how this well-researched and plausible mystery unfolds against the backdrop of an emerging nation, with all its social and political complexities. An engaging and thoughtful read!”
—Susanna Calkins, author of the award-winning Lucy Campion mysteries and The Speakeasy Murders
“Cox reimagines the circumstances surrounding Founding Father Alexander Hamilton’s death in this charming murder mystery featuring his widow, Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, as a determined sleuth . . . Historical mystery fans will enjoy the indomitable Eliza’s passion for justice, her children, and, above all, her beloved Hamilton.”
—Christine Trent, author of St. Clement’s Bluff
“In this lively, emotionally rich mystery, Eliza Hamilton must protect her family as she works to expose a killer in 1804 New York. Aided by her sister Angelica, and her friend Alice, Eliza begins to see that she is far more than the widow of a great man. If you were miserable when the final note of Hamilton sounded—rejoice!”
—Mariah Fredericks, author of The Lindbergh Nanny