Frances McNamara takes place during the 1893 Columbian Exposition, known as The White City, in Chicago.
When a wealthy Southern gentleman named Charles Larrimer is shot in the back at the Fair, Emily's friend, Dr. Chapman is found standing over the body. Chapman is a lecturer at the University of Chicago and he saved Emily's life last year. She is deeply indebted to him and knows he did not kill Larrimer. When his past association with Larrimer's wife Marguerite is revealed, the police arrest Chapman.
Lynchings, gambling, big city corruption and cronyism complicate Emily's search for the real killer. She enlists the aid of a Chicago Police Detective with a spotless reputation and black activist Ida B. Wells to clear Dr. Chapman.
Wells has written a pamphlet The Reason Why the Colored American is Not in the Columbian Exposition, and it contains a chapter on recent lynchings. The account of a lynching in Kentucky catches Emily's interest, particularly because that is where Larrimer is from.
Emily's investigation is thwarted by Southern reticence to discuss anything unpleasant and by the victim's ties to the Mayor of Chicago.
I enjoyed this book very much especially for the detail of the 1893 Columbian Exposition. I hate to admit I hardly knew anything about the spectacular architecture and design of the Exposition.
To stroll The White City, click here.
For more books in this series click on Frances McNamara.