Ellen Horan: 31 Bond Street

Akes this book a good read Ellen Horan s 31 BOND STREET is a well researched work of historical fiction that takes the reader back in time to an era when a man s character and status were determined by the height of his hat In the case of suspicious death grand juries were convened in the home of the victim and autopsies were performed on the premises while witnesses and potential suspects were seuestered in the home awaiting uestioning without benefit of counsel Additionally the press were invited into the victims home and allowed to report every gory detail and bit of innuendo uttered during the grand jury proceedings on the front pages of their respective newspapers Sort of eliminated the chances of a fair and impartial jury of your peers In lower Manhattan circa 1857 the murder of Dr Harvey Burdell provided the basis for a media circus when Emma Cunningham a young widow who along with her two daughters lived on the upper floors of the doctor s home was charged with his murder More than that I will not divulge lest is compromise your pleasure in reading this book Suffice so say that the story on which the book is based has been diligently researched via newspaper articles trial transcripts and other items of public record and integrated with the author s vivid imagination to present the reader with a fascinating fusion of fact and fiction Ms Horan even includes a section in her author s note that reveals what happened to the chief characters in this drama after the resolution of the case Visualize if you will an amalgamation of the flavors of Upstairs Downstairs The Devil in White City and the writings of Caleb Carr with the courtroom drama of John Grisham and you will have a small idea of the reading pleasure 31 BOND STREET holds in store I really liked the premise and the plot behind the book The way the author leaned on a actual event gave the story this great feel and I felt increased the drama All and all it was a rather uick read because the plot moved very fast And although I enjoyed the book as a whole I felt that the ending was rather a bit too neat and some of the characters a bit too one dimensional I was surprised and saddened by the way that her ordeal ultimately affected the main character but it was an interesting twist I was disappointed that all five male characters Burdell Wicken Clinton Samuel and Katuma were written as either being good or bad and did not deviate from that classification at all The latter three were upstanding caring moral men The former two were evil terrible and heartless What made Emma so interesting was that she was human a combination of right and wrong Her heart was generally in the right place but it led her astray when she tried to rationalize her life s decisions and press them too hard The ending itself was a bit abrupt especially how Samuel was caught but then not caught There was never any discussion about that backlash or repercussions and it seemed just a way to have the trial be over uickly There was never a follow up on the DA who seemed an interesting character and was never fleshed out What part did he have to play in the smuggling ring Was he just demonized or was he also all evil One of the daughters Helen seemed a bit left out at the end which seemed a bit lop sided since we heard about Augusta SPOILER DON T READ AHEAD IF YOU WANT TO READ THE MYSTERYOverall while I liked the book and enjoyed the majority of the read the ending was a bit of a disappointment Katuma s involvment while good for the storyline was just too neat Ultimately the iller could have been Emma Samuel or someone else The first two were too obvious and so left the last option I was just hoping for of a twist perhaps Emma s involvement intentional or not Or of Samuel s but for a less noble reason More depth would have been appreciated I am writing this even tho I have 50 pages left in order to be sure I don t reveal anything I shouldn t This is by far one of the best books of 2010 and I can honestly state that just a mere two months into the year I have not been able to put the book down It s like an episode of Law and Order in 1857 The book goes back and forth between the trial in 1857 following the lawyer Mr Clinton and the the summer and fall of 1856 following the suspect Emma and her dealings with the murder victim Dr Burdell Was she mistress or wife Was she a gold digger Who was really supposed to die Who illed Dr Burdell Enter the early days of Manhatten and shady business deals and the risky world of real estate and scam artists to find outFabulous look at the way the law was played out back then Wow Thank goodness there have been changes to our constitution since then It didn t look as tho Emma was going to get a fair trial there for a while as the coroner took over the case and placed her under house arrest and did not permit her to see a lawyer nor her daughters I encourage readers to read the author s excerpt regarding how she came across the idea for this book That page is just as intriguing as the story itself Highly recommended for mystery and historical fiction lovers alik. Nothing less than sensational During the trial the two lawyers fight for truth justice and their careers This novel is set against the background of bustling corrupt New York City just four years before the Civil War The author intertwines two main narratives the trial through the perspective of the defense attorney Henry Clinton and the story of the lovely young widow Emma Cunningham whose search for a husband brings her into the arms and home of Dr Burdel.

Ellen Horan ì 7 Read

( ONLINE 31 Bond Street ) ò Ellen Horan – cafe1919.org

The 1850 s Manhattan s elite are only just setting out to make 5th Avenue their enclave The rest of the population is simply trying to earn a living Displaced Native Americans runaway or freed slaves and unmarried women are particularly vulnerable to the twists and turns of fortune Emma Cunningham mother of two adolescent daughters is desperately searching for a man to replace their now deceased father Emma believes she has found him in prosperous dentist Harvey Burdell who wines and dines her invites her and her family to move into his townhouse and convinces her to invest her daughter s dowry on land on the Jersey waterfront Alas one winter evening Dr Burdell is stabbed to death and Emma is brought to trial for his murderInterspersing investigation and court scenes with flashbacks to Emma s relationship with Burdell 31 Bond Street recounts the story of Emma s defense by Attorney Henry Clinton who has risked his career and his livelihood to help her This is anything but a straightforward case although that s what the DA would like people to believe Were Emma and her dentist married What happened to Burdell s coachman Samuel the last person to see him alive Was Burdell an upstanding citizen or a con artist who preyed upon womenAuthor Horan ends her novel with summaries of the lives of the principals following the trial s dramatic conclusion Relying upon the historical record she seems to have deftly accomplished the difficult task of fictionalizing a real event without distorting the facts First Sentence For a boy who watched boats his room was the perfect perchThe brutal murder of well to do dentist Dr Burdell immediately places his housekeeper Emma Cunningham as the prime suspect Attorney Henry Clinton parts ways with his respected law partner and with the support of his wife and the help of others sets out to prove Emma s innocence From a very good opening which establishes the sense of time place the impact of the weather and the demeanor of the characters this compelling story proved very difficult to put down even for meals and life s necessities Horan provides a fascinating look at the justice system and New York City during this period leading up to the Civil War when free blacks in the North were being idnapped and sold into slavery in the South It is always interesting to gain a picture of society live and the concerns of women the workings of the house and meals of the period But it is as eually interesting look at investigative methods techniues and forensics of the time The story is told in duality something which can be awkward as one thread is often stronger interesting than the other That is not the case here One thread begins with the crimes and moves through the trial while the other provides the background of the characters leading up to the crime Ms Horan does a remarkable job of Reinventores keeping both stories eually fascinating and distinct At no point does one wish to get through the current segment into order to return to the other thread That is very rare indeed and not only does each thread holds its own but the suspense contained within each builds at an eual pace That exhibits remarkable skill by the writer While many legal thrillers today spend time being thrillers this really does focus on the legal process of the time yet it is driven by the characters who are fully developed and alive There was not a superfluous character in the story each added weight and merit In some ways one could say the story has two villains and two victims both being the same characters at different times The heroes if you will are uite unexpected and unusual The plot is excellent with very effective twists plenty of suspense and a dash of tragedy The author paints visual pictures that take the reader through all the story s locals both attractive and foul There is an unexpected revelation and even unanticipated motive While I don t usually care for books based on a true crime 31 Bond Street is an excellent book with exceptional writing 31 BOND STREET Hist Mys Emma Cunningham NYC 1857 ExHoran Ellen 1st bookHarper Perennial 2011 US Trade Paperback ISBN 9780061773976 Published 01022011Author Ellen HoranThis was an absoulutely amazing book It was very hard to put it down it is definately a page turner in this book we follow the investigation to find out whoilled the dentist Dr Harvey Burdell we see it from the view of Emma Cunningham and Samuel It is set in New York before the Civil War we see what it was like for people living there and they way that they believed that things should be We also see the prejudice that was against Samuel and other people such as the plan to have them as slaves It is a fast paced who done it which lets you see it from two points of view which lets you see what is happening at the present in the trial and what actually happened to the dentist It is incredibly well written by the brilliant Ellen Horan it is definately one of my favourite books that I have read This genre of books is one of my favourite genres and I thought that this was a great portrayal of the crime fiction genre In this nov. Based on a true story mystery and intrigue in pre Civil War New York The sensational murder of Dr Harvey Burdell in his lower Manhattan home made front page news across the United States in 1857 Who illed Dr Burdell was a uestion that gripped the nation 31 Bond Street a debut novel by Ellen Horan interweaves fiction with actual events in a clever historical narrative that blends romance politics greed and sexual intrigue in a suspenseful drama The story op.

El we are trying to find out who it was that illed Dr Havey Burdell Emma is in the spot light as she hasn t being married to her for long she has the who village against her saying it must be her but with the help love and support of her daughters she stays strong against everyone who is against her The story that we read about Samuel is touching and is so descriptive that it does make you feel like you are reading a real life story about someone and reading about the things that happened in his life This is a truly incredible novel and this shows just how amazingly talented Ellen Horan I love her writing style This is a novel wove around one of the most sensationalized crimes of the 19th century One morning in 1857 the body of Dr Harvey Burdell a dentist living in high style at 31 Bond Street New York City is found brutally murdered in his office by an errand boy Emma Cunningham a widow with two daughters also lives in the upper floors of Dr Burdell s home She is the housekeeper lover fianc e of the victim and immediately becomes the primary suspect of the coroner who sets up an inuest into the murder detaining Mrs Cunningham and her daughters until such time as his inuiry is completeThis was a particularly gruesome murder with exceedingly few clues left behind to steer investigators toward the culprit In the absence of any other real information about the crime the media embraces the coroner s initial conclusions and assists him in painting Mrs Cunningham as the Psicohigiene killerDefence attorney Henry Clinton believes Emma to be inno Inow I do give out five stars uite freely so let me preface this book by saying if I could give out six stars this would be a six star book I read a great many mysteries and this one had me early on and I have to say I uickly reached a point that I was frantically turning pages because the story had me enthralled The setting is 1856 in New York and Doctor Harvey Burdell a dentist is found dead in his room having been murdered in a spactacularly grisly fashion Emma Cunningham is a woman who lives on an upper floor with her two daughters and is acting as housemistress and the coroner in the case immediately suspects her and refuses to allow her to leave the house while he investigates Enter hotshot lawyer Hentry Clinton who realizes that Emma can t be held agaist her will without counsel and becomes determined to represent her in a rather dramatic court case And this is only the beginning The author weaves a present time narrative with a series of flashbacks so you learn the story as it has been progressing as well as following the trial and the aftermath I don t want to reveal any intricate plot details but there are some revelations and the writer adds enough spice and suspense that you really want to now I will definitely be putting this one on display at the library It will be an easy book to sell to mystery readers even ones who don t normally read historical I even found the cover to be very appealing it jumps right off the shelf into your hands Definitely give this one a read But be prepared Once started you will want to finish it soon The story begins in 1857 as police are called to 31 Bond Street upon the horrific murder of Dr Harvey Burdell Poised for a run at the mayor s office ambitious DA Abraham Oakey Hall sets his sights on Widow Emma Cunningham as his 1 suspect Supposedly living in Burdell s house as a tenant and housekeeper of sorts Emma produces a marriage certificate but can she prove its real and further complicates the matter did she murder the not so good doctor for his money and prestigious home In steps defense attorney Henry Clinton to get to the bottom of it all Clinton s efforts to unravel the mystery lead to many side trips from land speculation to the underground slave trade to shady Tammany Hall politics to courtroom drama The book is based on real people and events and while very well written this one just didn t come to life for me I didn t connect well with Emma and really didn t care much what happened to her and the only character I truly cared about came to a sorry end I found the courtroom scenes rather tedious but then perhaps with a jury summons in my very near future that was the last thing I needed reminding of been less than three years since the last time Lastly despite all the hype I don t feel the author really brought the city and it s players to life for me I ve seen better in Celeste de Blasis Wild Swan trilogy as well as Kathleen Winsor s Wanderers Eastward Wanderers West and the Castles in the Air series by Patricia Gallagher Don t get me wrong this is a good book it s just not a great one With a great mid 19th century New York as the backdrop of the story the reader truly feels as if they re there experiencing the daily life of each character Horan s writing style let s the reader dive into the scenery of the time and helps you feel the feelings of the characters There are a few times within the book that the writing lags a bit yet it picks up uickly if it did The surprise ending eeps you guessing Beautifully written and a thirller to boot Ens when an errand boy discovers Burdell's body in the bedroom of his posh Bond Street home The novel's central characters are Dr Harvey Burdell a dentist and unscrupulous businessman; his lover the ambitious Brooklyn born Emma Cunningham; the District Attorney Abraham Oakey Hall later to become mayor of New York; and Henry Clinton a prominent defense lawyer The enigmatic relationship between Emma and Dr Burdell makes her the prime suspect and her trial is.

REVIEWS Here's what they are sayingIt’s not easy to breathe life into real life characters especially when uoting their words extensively from reported sources but Cunningham and Clinton live on the page as freshly as if they had stepped newly minted from Horan’s vivid imagination” —Washington Post “This is a gripping elegantly written and brilliantly researched legal thriller but it is