A Death of No Importance by Mariah Fredericks

A Death of No Importance

Mariah Fredericks’ compelling adult debut novel follows Jane Prescott, a ladies’ maid in an upper-crust 1910 NYC household, after her mistress’s playboy fiancé is gruesomely murdered.Jane Prescott has perfected the art of serving as a ladies’ maid in the upper-most echelons of 1910 New York City society. Invisible until she’s needed, Jane has a deft hand and a sharp, observant mind. Which means she sees a lot more than the wealthy, gla...

Details A Death of No Importance

TitleA Death of No Importance
Release DateApr 10th, 2018
PublisherMinotaur Books
GenreMystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Fiction

Reviews A Death of No Importance

  • Meg Cabot
    I love mysteries but finding one that really keeps you guessing is difficult these days. This one not only does that, but features a smart heroine who just happens to be living in NYC during one of its most interesting time periods (early 1900s)! The attention to historical detail - down to the flounces on the skirts - really sucked me in, and I actually cared about the characters. Can’t wait for more from Mariah!
  • Cindy Burnett
    4.5 starsI really enjoyed A Death of No Importance. Set in New York City in the early part of the 1900’s, the book follows Jane Prescott, a lady’s maid to a wealthy family trying to ingratiate themselves into New York City high society. Her mistress, Charlotte Benchley, claims she is engaged to a wealthy and sought after bachelor who is subsequently murdered on the night that Charlotte believes their engagement will be announced. Jane works w...
  • Patricia
    I did not enjoy A DEATH OF NO IMPORTANCE nearly as much as I anticipated. Not written quite as tightly as I would have liked, the novel concerns a lady's maid named Jane Prescott who is quite observant.
  • Karen
    I received this from netgalley.com in exchange for a review. "New York City, 1910. Invisible until she’s needed, Jane Prescott has perfected the art of serving as a ladies’ maid to the city’s upper echelons." Jane investigates the murder of playboy Norrie Newburg with the help of a handsome newspaper reporter.This book was all over the place, chunky and blocky reading. There were several mentions of historical happenings in New York at that...
  • Sarah
    I really enjoyed this historical mystery set in early 1900s New York, and I hope it's the beginning of a series, because I'd love to read more like this. I love historical mysteries, which are usually about the upper classes. While it's fun to get lost in the glitz and glamor of another era, I do wonder about the lives of people who are rarely depicted in those books, or who are only there to prop up the plot, like the servants. So I was excited ...
  • Aura
    Enjoyable mystery set in the 1900 NYC. The story is told from the perspective of the maid who sees everything. I liked it a lot and it kept me interested the entire book.
  • Bertha
    This is a great period mystery told by lady's maid Jane Prescott. She is the one who does the investigation into a murder. The story flowed and the characters were well developed. The reader also learns a bit about the behind the scenes life in a wealthy household.There was a line from Jane that said she had more stories to tell. I'm hoping that it's the author's way of telling us there may be another book in the works.
  • Lesa
    If you like compelling historical mysteries that portray social and class inequities, you might want to try Mariah Fredericks' A Death of No Importance. Set during the Gilded Age, the story includes mining disasters, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, the execution of an immigrant, anarchism, and murder. And, yet, the author manages to vividly describe the excesses of the rich as the story is told by a lady's maid, an orphan who came from the ...
  • Moe's Book Blog
    A Death of No Importance by Mariah Fredericks is a historical fiction murder mystery set in New York City in 1910 involving one of high society's most affluent and notable families, the Benchleys. This intriguing story is told by Jane Prescott, a ladies’ maid to the Benchley family, who understands the rules of high society, and is very discreet. When Charlotte, the youngest Benchley daughter, becomes engaged to the notorious and roguish playbo...
  • Kristina
    The beginning of A Death of No Importance is good, but then it slows down. I felt the book became too political. It was showing the differences in the classes between the rich and the poor who work in factories. The mystery was too simple. The killer can be identified right away. I wish it had been harder to solve. There is little action or investigation. The book is an elderly Jane Prescott telling the story of what happened when she worked as a...
  • Jamie Canaves
    In 1910 New York, Jane Prescott, raised by a religious uncle with a home for rescued women, is a ladies’ maid for the rich. Prescott’s voice grabbed me immediately and kept me invested throughout, even before the mystery is presented: the fiancé of Prescott’s mistress is murdered. Prescott begins to investigate mostly out of concern for the possibility that she may know two people who may be suspected in the murder: her mistress, and a chi...
  • Alina
    I am a huge fan of historical fiction, mystery, and suspense. You have no idea how happy I was to come upon this gem! This story takes place in 1920s New York City. An elderly employee of Jane Prescott passed away and our charming lady's maid is on a lookout for a new job. And she lands a great employment with Benchley "new money" family that recently relocated to New York City. Jane is being appointed as a lady's maid to Benchley's two young dau...
  • Kathy Martin
    Jane Prescott has decided to write about the events that happened on Christmas Eve 1910 now that all of the relevant players have passed away. Jane was a lady's maid who worked for a newly rich family in New York City. She was hired to guide the daughters - Charlotte and Louise - as they took part in the annual husband hunt. Charlotte was the younger sister but was the one who attracted the men. She was pretty, bubbly, and very socially ambitious...
  • Joyce
    The setting is NYC in the early 1900’s. Jane Prescott is a lady’s maid for thetwo Benchley girls. Charlotte the oldest becomes engaged to a notoriousplayboy named Norrie Newsome. Norrie is murdered and Jane and a reporterTry to solve the murder. The story is told from Jane’s point of view-a womanno one sees but who witnesses everything. It is well written with a good plot.There are secrets kept, as well as mystery,intrigue, rivalries, lies,...
  • Doreen
    3/31/18 Full review tk. And yes, that's a 5-star rating. This book was phenomenal.
  • Ami
    A gripping history mystery that will transport you to 1910 New York City!A Death of No Importance by Mariah Fredericks takes us to the world of pep pills and hobble skirts, where society rules and things are left unsaid. With a murder, the historical setting, and the upper crust, you’ve got one of my favorite types of books to read, so I was really looking forward to this title. And it didn’t disappoint!Our main character is Jane Prescott, a ...
  • Carin
    In full disclosure, I should mention I'm friends with the author. Some people are excited to read a book by a friend. But I'm nervous. I'm pretty critical (a recovering editor) and have high standards. And I'm not a very good liar. So I was hugely relieved when I read this book! I liked it! I really liked it!Jane is a ladies maid in New York City in the 1910s, but the family is new money, so they need more help from their staff, and they are unde...
  • Eva
    PlotI enjoyed this murder set in the early 1900s. The setting was realistic and believable, and I was really suckered in to the mystery surrounding Norrie Newsome's death. While I anticipated an ending that might suggest more books to come, Mariah Fredericks put a refreshing twist on her book by closing with a scene of Jane at an advanced age, narrating her story as if it had really happened during her childhood. It was a real "Rose" moment, if ...
  • Leah Leatherbee
    I loved this book!A death of no importance is a thrillingly smart and suspenseful murder mystery set in the early 20th century and narrated by Jane Prescott, maid to one of the prime suspects, and self-appointed investigator of the crime.Jane, abandoned by her father as a little girl, is taken in by her uncle who provides a safe house for prostitutes. Her forced launch into premature semi-independence - combined with her exposure both to the poor...
  • Susan
    I'm glad I started reading A Death of No Importance on a weekend because that gave me the ability to read it in one sitting. Historical mysteries are my favorites and this didn't disappoint. Set in 1910 New York, Jane Prescott is a ladies maid for a newly rich family trying to break into high society. Jane knows how to move through the ins and outs and is hired to assist them gain entry. The family consists of two daughters, both searching for a ...
  • Jill Elizabeth
    I really enjoyed this one... I like above-stairs/below-stairs stories, and have long been a firm believer in the old adage that "servants see everything" (or, more aptly put, "those who go largely ignored in society see more than they are given credit for"). There were just enough twists to keep things interesting, particularly when coupled with the behind-the-scenes social dynamics and interactions of early twentieth century New York. Jane is a ...
  • Debbie
    "A Death of No Importance" is a mystery set in 1910 in New York City. I loved that the lady's maid was able to solve the mystery because of her skill set. Jane knew a wine stain from a blood stain, how different stain patterns might happen (jostled elbow, etc.), and noticed things that were out of place, all because it's her job to clean these things up. She was wise in how she gathered clues and intelligent in her ability to put the clues togeth...
  • Jessie
    NegGalley ARC.I read the description of this books months ago and new I wanted to read it as soon as it came out. I was so excited to get an advanced copy from NetGalley. I've been looking for a good historic mystery series since Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation series came to an end. While it appears A Death of No Importance will be a stand alone, I'm still very glad I gave it a chance.Our Heroine, ladies maid Jane, is quiet, mature and thoughtful...
  • Bethany Swafford
    Jane Prescott, a competent, practical lady's maid, has a clear-eyed view of the world around her. When the society playboy supposedly engaged to her mistress is murdered and her friend may come under suspicion, Jane must follow the clues to the real murderer.What I liked about this novel was the viewpoint. From how she grew up and her work, Jane had a foot in both worlds and was able to see when something wasn't right. She was able to follow the ...
  • Sandy
    Just finished this book in the wee hours last night. Totally loved it. Historical fiction is my favorite genre, and I wasn't disappointed. The characters are appealing and well-done. The narrator is wonderful. I want so much to talk about her, but to do so would give away too much. (Always hard to review mysteries.) For some reason, I've always gravitated toward fiction that features weirdly rigid and often hypocritical turn-of-the-century (and 1...
  • Susan
    Jane's wealthy employer has died, so she takes a job for a nouveau riche family as lady's maid to the two eligible daughters of the house. The younger girl, Charlotte, is on the verge of a triumphant engagement to wealthy, good-looking Norrie Newsome when Jane finds his bludgeoned body in the Newsome library. It's the crime of the (early 20th) century! Journalists gather round, especially the good-looking Irish reporter for the infamous Town Topi...
  • Libby
    Smooth is an unusual adjective for a mystery, but it's what I keep coming back to. The narrator's voice rang true to character throughout. The occasional rough-edges, where I felt like information or descriptions were repeated, only served to make the narrator real. Most of us repeat ourselves when telling long complex stories.The mystery itself wasn't overly difficult to figure out, in spite of plenteous red herrings (which were occasionally rat...
  • Regan
    Super historical mystery. Fredericks has a great voice for story telling -- told from the perspective of a house maid who not only saw one of the murders happen, but took part in solving it, it is one of those "now it can be told" stories. I really liked the Jane Prescott character. She is smart, decisive and multi-dimensional. Her relationship with Behan develops through various stages in the story. The ending ties together the ends with one big...
  • Kathleen Gray
    Nicely done historical mystery featuring Jane, a lady's maid, working with Michael, a journalist to prove that her employer Charlotte is not responsible for the murder of her kind-of-a-rat fiancé Norrie on Christmas Eve. Whew. Fredericks has used 1910 New York and the machinations of new money to good effect. There are any number of people who have a grudge against Norris and his mine-owning family but who actually did it? There's some good twis...
  • Sydney
    Interesting and engaging mystery with well-drawn characters and a great setting. This should appeal to readers who liked watching Downton Abbey and are interested in exploring the similar time period in America. I liked the way the author incorporates the changes in society that were taking place at the time--with our character working as a servant to a "new money" family that has recently risen to the upper class, while also having friends worki...