an 11am Zoom meeting
This month we are reading Second Street Station: A Mary Handley Mystery by Lawrence H. Levy. At age 12, Mary Handley observes a tall man leaving the railroad compartment of a murdered Frenchman. Although the conductor rules the death a suicide, Mary decides to become a detective, much to her mother’s bewilderment. Never mind it was 1876, and careers for women were few. Twelve years later, while visiting her policeman brother at Brooklyn’s Second Street station, Mary saves another cop from a knifing; her acumen in spotting the weapon is observed by police chief Patrick Campbell, who also admires her spirit, humor, and intelligence. After Charles Goodrich, the brother of a prominent Brooklyn alderman, is murdered, Campbell hires Mary as the city’s first policewoman. Based on an actual incident and featuring real people involved in the case, Levy offers a thought-provoking look at life for women in the late 19th century as well as a perplexing murder investigation.