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Death at Hull House [Kindle Edition]

Frances McNamara
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $4.99
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Book Description

It’s Chicago in 1893 and Emily Cabot, an aspiring sociologist, finds work at Hull House, the famous settlement established by Jane Addams. There she quickly becomes involved in the political and social problems of the immigrant community. But when a man who works for a sweatshop owner is murdered in the Hull House parlor, Emily must determine whether one of her colleagues is responsible, or whether the real reason for the murder is revenge for a past tragedy in her own family. As a smallpox epidemic spreads through the impoverished West Side of Chicago, the very existence of the settlement is threatened and Emily finds herself in jeopardy from both the deadly disease and a killer. This is the exciting sequel to Death at the Fair.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In the late nineteenth century, after Emily Cabot is expelled from the University of Chicago for actions occurring while clearing a man unjustly accused of murder, she obtains a position at Hull House, assisting Jane Addams in the operation of the famous settlement house for immigrants on the West Side of Chicago. Soon after she moves in, a man who had come to see her is found bludgeoned to death. Concerned that her younger brother may be involved, Emily launches her own investigation. Meanwhile, her brother, convinced that the man who murdered their father has fled to Chicago, does some sleuthing of his own. Details concerning the operation and the people of Hull House, along with an overview of the deplorable living conditions faced by immigrants (and the lack of concern for the poor expressed by the city’s businessmen and politicians), give this novel a rich historical framework, made all the more poignant by the portrayal of the smallpox epidemic of 1893. McNamara’s historical mystery will appeal to those who enjoyed Ann Stamos’ Bitter Tide (2009), about the immigrant experience in New York City. --Sue O'Brien

Product Details

  • File Size: 333 KB
  • Print Length: 279 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0984067604
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Allium Press of Chicago (May 4, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003KVL1M2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #794,098 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death at Hull House January 19, 2010
Death at Hull House

In the second of the Emily Cabot Mystery Series, when Emily moves from the role of student at the University of Chicago to that of Social Worker at a settlement house she learns lessons that no text book could teach her.

Here is a murder mystery that is a lesson in history. Jane Adams the famous pioneer in the settlement house movement makes the western sheriffs look like boy scouts. She and her posse of dedicated women do what they can to protect workers in sweatshops and women who are struggling to keep their families together. Every chapter ends with a question mark, as a new clue is added to the unfolding mystery, which began with a murder in Boston. It manages to muddle things further just when we thought we had discovered the key to the mystery. A whole series of colorful characters from Chicago's high society to struggling families squashed into space challenged tenements. Yet each new person introduced into the narrative will turn out to be significant in the story.

When you begin turning the pages of the book, backing up the heroes and blasting the villains you know that you are hooked and have become a loyal fan of the author. I notice she is the daughter of a former police commissioner of Boston. I don't know whether he would be surprised that she was so good at solving murders. Ms. McNamara has managed to create a mythical map of Chicago, of people and places that no longer exist. I can imagine her fans at some future date calling up the local tourist office and asking to take a tour of the places mentioned in the Emily Cabot Mystery Stories.

For now we'll have to be contented with the pages of this latest book. I guarantee when you finish it like the satisfied traveler, you will promise yourself...I will come back for more next year.

Daniel McPhee
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emily Cabot, Hull House and a mysterious death July 7, 2011
Frances McNamara knows her Chicago, U of C where she is a librarian and the flavor, creative innovations and courage of Jane Addams and Hull House. At fourteen, I read Addams book "Twenty Years at Hull House" and went on to earn my master's degree in social work. After a forty year career that started at San Francisco settlement houses, I finally visited the original Hull House mansion. I am partial to this story for these reasons and more. The book is, to the best of my knowledge, truthful to the times, the mission of Hull House and is infused with a multitude of intriguing characters from all social strata of 1893.

The story has been described in earlier reviews and I will not repeat it here. The pace is strong tho' the ending felt a bit rushed or cut-off. The true black-guard is easily recognized by diligent readers of mystery and might have been made less transparent. These criticisms aside, "Death at Hull House" is an enjoyable, informative read that left me satisfied and eager to read McNamara's other books in the Emily Cabot series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death at Hull House February 12, 2010
Death at Hull House is a Historical Mystery set in the late 1800's in Chicago, at the infamous Hull house. Emily Cabot, Recently expelled from the University of Chicago is set to work at Hull house. Soon she is involved in a murder , when a man is found dead at Hull house. The residents are suspect along with her brother. Not only is she trying to solve this murder she is up against the small pox epidemic, trying to save and educate as many people as she can.

Well written, Murder at Hull House is not only a murder mystery, it shows the daily struggles with disease, poverty, over worked (immigrant) sweatshop workers, and what little rights women had at the time. Ms. McNamara writes with vivid detail pulling you back into a century past. I highly recommend to those who love a great mystery with a historical setting. I look forward to more work from Frances McNamara.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Empire in the Second City November 27, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Frances McNamara's new novel, "Death at Hull House," is presented from the point of view of Emily Cabot, a young, upper class woman from Boston, who was one of the few women accepted for study at the University of Chicago at the turn of the nineteenth century. Hull House, Jane Addams' attempt to help the down trodden poor of Chicago, both famous and infamous depending upon one's social perspective, involves ladies atempting to overturn the social order by defending the poorest of the poor in the sweatshop garment industry of the day. Their work is met by the fist of management-hired bullies determined to shield the owners from labor laws by thwarting the defenses of Hull House workers with clubs and bullets if need be. The narrator highlights the courage of these young women in their attempts to defend the defenseless.

The tension of the plot in "Death at Hull House" is further heightened by the outbreak of smallpox among the workers and their families in the filthy, rat-infested tenements which they are forced to share as shelter. In this, the government as well as its police, refuse to enforce basic laws about working conditions as well as vaccination and quarantine of diseased victims. According to author McNamara, the power of the owners is absolute, profit their only motive.

Add to that rich stew, the discovery of an assassinated body in a main parlor at Hull House -- a murder that frightens the residents (most of whom are women) with a perpetrator who continues to elude discovery. There are, of course, a smattering of high-minded men among the Hull House defendants, a doctor and university professors, etc. There is also Emily's troublesome brother to contend with.
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More About the Author

Death at Chinatown will be published September 2014! This is the 5th book in the Emily Cabot Mysteries. There series goes:

Death at the Fair. Set in summer 1893
Death at Hull House. Winter 1893-94
Death at Pullman. Spring and summer 1894
Death at Woods Hole. Late summer 1894.

Death at Chinatown. (Sept. 2014) Set in summer 1896.

Work in Progress is Death at the Paris Exposition. Set in Paris summer 1900. Emily and her family are hosted at the great exposition by Berthe Palmer in the city of lights.

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