This is one of six mysteries in Thompsons gaslight series featuring wealthy Sarah Brandt. Sarah has shun her privileged background to become a midwife, a profession which brings her face to face with the seamy side of life. Early in the series she meets the intriguing Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy. Driven by her moral outrage against injustice, against his wishes she inserts herself into his criminal investigations. Any one of Thompsons gaslight books provides close details about urban America when basic sanitation and care for the poor were severely lacking, when ethnic tensions between immigrants were severe, when police and politician corruption was taken for granted. And when womens place and in society was changing.