Letter to Readers from Victoria Thompson
If you’re a fan of the Gaslight Mysteries, you’ve already learned that the problems people faced in the 1890’s aren’t so very different from those we still face today, and that’s why I find doing research so fascinating.
My new book, Murder on Sisters’ Row, deals with the much-debated philosophy of how best to help the poor among us. When midwife Sarah Brandt is summoned to deliver a baby in a house on Sisters’ Row, she is surprised to discover it is a brothel. When the new mother begs Sarah to help her escape with her baby, Sarah turns to one of the charities of the New York Charitable Organization Society for help. An even bigger surprise than finding herself in a brothel is learning how difficult it is for the poor to receive help from one of these organizations. The do-gooders who run them believe that too much assistance will make poor people lazy and that people who caused their own problems because of weak character aren’t deserving of help at all.
In the Gaslight Mysteries, you can step back into a time period very different from our own, yet strangely similar. I think you’ll find it as fascinating as I do!