Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Undertakers by Nicole Glover
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on November 9, 2021
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
Nothing bothers Hetty and Benjy Rhodes more than a case where the answers, motives, and the murder itself feel a bit too neat. Raimond Duval, a victim of one of the many fires that have erupted recently in Philadelphia, is officially declared dead after the accident, but Hetty and Benjy’s investigation points to a powerful Fire Company known to let homes in the Black community burn to the ground. Before long, another death breathes new life into the Duval investigation: Raimond’s son, Valentine, is also found dead.
Finding themselves with the dubious honor of taking on Valentine Duval as their first major funeral, it becomes clear that his passing was intentional. Valentine and his father’s deaths are connected, and the recent fires plaguing the city might be more linked to recent community events than Hetty and Benji originally thought.
I really enjoyed The Conductors. I have always loved stories about the Civil War and the Underground Railroad. I would read these books in order as The Undertakers continues the story.
The main character and point of view is Hetty (Henrietta). She and her husband, Benjy, are magic users. They are settled in Philadelphia. She used to be a dressmaker and he, a blacksmith. Now they have opened a funeral home with their friend, Oliver, assisting. But really what they want to do is solve mysteries and murders.
There are plenty of murders happening. I felt a little disjointed both by so many characters, and the flashes of scenes from the past. Eventually, it does all tie together; the murders are related to a family they saved.
The Murder and Magic series has much to offer with its unique point in history, right after the Civil War, and the complex magic systems. I love the relationship of Benjy and Hetty. The two of them love their adventures and solving mysteries and setting things right for others.