31 Bond Street

31 Bond Street

A Novel

Book - 2010
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The sensational murder of Dr. Harvey Burdell in his lower Manhattan townhouse was the biggest news story in the United States before the Civil War; "Who killed Dr. Burdell?" was the question that gripped the nation. Deftly interweaving fiction and fact, 31 Bond Street is a clever historical narrative that blends romance, politics, greed and sexual intrigue in a suspenseful drama.

When an errand boy discovers Burdell's nearly decapitated body in the bedroom of his posh Bond Street home, there are no witnesses and virtually no clues. With the city up in arms over the vicious killing, District Attorney Abraham Oakey Hall immediately suspects Emma Cunningham, the striking young widow who has been living at 31 Bond Street with her two teenaged daughters, caring for Burdell's home in exchange for a marriage proposal. But Burdell's past is murky and his true intentions towards Emma Cunningham were questionable, leaving Emma with a plausible motive for murder. With the help of her defence attorney, Henry Clinton, Emma embarks on a legal drama to prove her innocence and spare herself from the gallows.

Set against the background of a bustling and corrupt New York City in 1857, 31 Bond Street is a fascinating archeological dig, taking the reader through the minutiae of a buried past, only to uncover circumstances that are shockingly contemporary: a sensationalist press, burgeoning new wealth, a booming real estate market, and race and gender conflicts. Ellen Horan's gripping novel vividly exposes a small slice of lost history as it explores New York City on the eve of the Civil War.

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, c2010
Edition: 1st Canadian ed. --
ISBN: 9781554684717
Branch Call Number: FIC Horan 6939
Characteristics: 352 p. :,ill
Alternative Title: Thirty-one Bond Street


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Jun 02, 2012

Very interesting lens through which to think about what it must have been like to live in different social strata in 19th century New York. My favorite bits were the legal arguments made in defense of the accused murderer. Fascinating!

ghovagimyan Feb 07, 2012

Gives a terrific view of 19th century New York life. Set in Lower Manhattan and the Village. It's based on a true story and has the some of the original testimony, Newspaper articles and illustrations.
Very entertaining.

Nov 01, 2010


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