Deadly Love is the debut novel, in best-selling author Brenda Joyce’s new series. Set in turn-of-the-century New York City, we meet Francesca Cahill, a secret student of Barnard College, reformer, and reluctant debutante. We are also introduced to another member of the Bragg family, Rick Bragg, the new police commissioner of New York City.
During a dinner party given by her parents, Francesca meets Rick and the sparks fly. While taking a few minutes to collect herself in her father’s study, Francesca opens a letter marked urgent. The next day, when it is discovered that the infant son of her next door neighbor is kidnapped, she realizes what she has stumbled across is the first clue in the mystery of his disappearance.
With the help of a streetwise boy named Joel and the reluctant cooperation of Rick Bragg, Francesca sets out to solve the mystery and embark on an adventure that will change her life forever. While dodging angry suspects, evading her suspicious mother and still attend classes, Francesca and Bragg try to ignore the passion and tension that exists between them. It is fun to watch these two stubborn, intelligent people try to deny what is between them. Along with Francesca and Rick’s story, we also get a secondary story involving Connie and Neil Montrose, Francesca’s older sister and brother-in-law.
Ms. Joyce has written a story that gives us a look into the glamour and the grit of turn-of-the-century New York City. Whodunit is definitely a surprise. I for one didn’t have a clue. For all of you who have enjoyed Ms. Joyce’s work in the past you will not be disappointed. For anyone who has never read one, I would definitely recommend this one.