by Matt Cole
Set on the harsh streets of New York in 1873, Coffin-Notice introduces private investigator Anson Priddle and his assistant, Flannery McKay, as they work to solve the murder of a young Protestant activist in New York’s gritty Five Points district. To make matters worse, found with the body is a coffin-notice, or a card with a coffin crudely drawn on it along with a death threat, as originally used by the Molly Maguires.
When the peculiar and mysterious Priddle takes the case, he must hire an assistant because his previous assistant is away in Sing Sing. And out of all who answer a sign for a position that states “No Irish Need Apply,” he chooses browbeaten and Irish Flannery McKay for the interview, an intrepid widow who dresses as a man in order to find a higher paying job.
As they inch closer to the shocking truth behind the murder, new assistant McKay is drawn deeper and deeper into Priddle’s eccentric world of numerous operatives, ranging from lowly street urchins to the city’s top politicians, as well as the heart of New York’s brimming underworld.
Teeming with bits of humor and unforgettable characters and steeped in authentic period detail and historic accuracy, Coffin-Notice is an enchanting page-turner that introduces an equally enchanting duo.