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A Death of No Importance  By  cover art

A Death of No Importance

By: Mariah Fredericks
Narrated by: Stephanie Willis
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Publisher's Summary

Through her exquisite prose, sharp observation and deft plotting, Mariah Fredericks invites listeners into the heart of a changing New York in her remarkable debut adult audiobook.

New York City, 1910. Invisible until she’s needed, Jane Prescott has perfected the art of serving as a ladies’ maid to the city’s upper echelons. When she takes up a position with the Benchley family, dismissed by the city’s elite as “new money”, Jane realizes that while she may not have financial privilege, she has a power they do not - she understands the rules of high society. The Benchleys cause further outrage when their daughter Charlotte becomes engaged to notorious playboy Norrie, the son of the eminent Newsome family.

But when Norrie is found murdered at a party, Jane discovers she is uniquely positioned - she’s a woman no one sees, but who witnesses everything; who possesses no social power, but that of fierce intellect - and therefore has the tools to solve his murder. There are many with grudges to bear: from the family Norrie was supposed to marry into, to the survivors of a tragic accident in a mine owned by the Newsomes, to the rising anarchists who are sick of those born into wealth getting away with anything they want. Jane also knows that in both high society and the city’s underbelly, morals can become cheap in the wrong hands: scandal and violence simmer just beneath the surface - and can break out at any time.

A Death of No Importance has such rich historic detail that you feel as if you’ve been transported to early 20th century New York. Mariah Fredericks is the best at creating compulsively addictive, fresh, twisty reads.” (Meg Cabot)

©2018 Mariah Fredericks (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about A Death of No Importance

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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    4 out of 5 stars

Solid

This was my first experience reading/listening to a book by Mariah Fredericks, and I’m impressed. Ms. Fredericks avoids the pitfalls common in this genre: rudimentary or overwrought characters, foolish plot lines, and inaccurate period detail.
She has written a story with an almost perfect balance between main character and secondary character development; none of the characters feel superfluous. The plot is well paced, and the historical details do not weigh down the story.
The narrator also performed well. The best narrators create seamless transitions between characters, and Stephanie Willis manages this through almost the entire story.
I will certainly listen to the next in the series.

9 people found this helpful

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Outstanding.

History so often repeats its self. I can't wait to read/hear the next one of the series.

4 people found this helpful

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Involving upstairs downstairs mystery

Are there more of these? I really would love to know what happens next. Well narrated, dark but with a lighter moments, this was a good one.

1 person found this helpful

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save the history lessons for elsewhere

promising, but the last hour was brutal to get through. i didn't care who did what by that point. the stories at the end about the elephant and the factory was brutal and unnecessary. especially the elephant story....her analogy to what was happening in the book was non-existent. i chose a fictional period mystery to be entertained, not depressed.

1 person found this helpful

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Enjoyable

A cozy mystery that deals with some serious matters. I thoroughly enjoyed it and loved the narrative.

1 person found this helpful

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Average

Average in every respect. There was nothing that stood out in either the story, characters, or narration. It wasn't bad, but I kept thinking that there were so many others books to listen to instead.

1 person found this helpful

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good story but not a cozy mystery by any means

The story was rich in period details, well written with good pace and attention to social class problems, and there were a lot of good historical tie ins. However, the story is horribly sad, justice isn't really done, and innocents get harmed a lot with no resolution. Sadly, that is all very accurate to the time (and even today where social class and skin color make the difference between justice and nothing for victims), but this was recommended to me by audible as a cozy mystery which it most definitely is not. If you like historical fiction, it's a great listen. If you were expecting miscreants brought to justice and a happy ending, you will be sadly disappointed.

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Classy Gilded Age Mystery

The POV character, Jane, is refreshingly practical and empathetic. Historical mysteries often struggle to portray female characters only as rebels or unrealistically forward thinking. Jane is plucky and quick witted but never jarring or out of period. I enjoyed sharing her headspace. The characters were definitely the strongest draw of the book. Those looking for a thriller may not find this story tense enough but if you’re a fan of good historical novels and fairly deft examinations of the social injustices of the past, then this is a terrific read. The narrator was excellent at all the different characters, although her Irish brogue could use some brushing up.

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Excellent story & perspective!

Love reading historically based fiction that brings compelling perspectives. This tale highlights many things about American history that I appreciate contemplating!

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I love love love this book

The main character, Jane, is relatable. The plot is engaging and unpredictable. The secondary characters are well-developed and interesting. I loved it!