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31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan

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Based on a true story of mystery and intrigue in pre-Civil War New York. This novel is set against the background of bustling but corrupt New York City, just four years before the Civil War. The author intertwines two main narratives: the trial through the perspective of the defense attorney Henry Clinton, and the story of the lovely young widow Emma Cunningham whose search for a husband brings her into the arms and home of Dr. Burdell. 31 Bond Street, a debut novel by Ellen Horan, interweaves fiction with actual events in a clever historical narrative that blends romance, politics, greed and sexual intrigue in a suspenseful drama...

If you like Ellen Horan you might also like to read books by Caleb Carr, Kate Summerscale and Jed Rubenfield.


31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan

Based on a true story, mystery and intrigue in pre-Civil War New York The sensational murder of Dr. Harvey Burdell in his lower Manhattan home made front-page news across the United States in 1857. Who killed Dr. Burdell? was a question that gripped the nation. The story opens when an errand boy discovers Burdell's body in the bedroom of his lavish Bond Street home. The novel's central characters are Dr. Harvey Burdell, a dentist and unscrupulous businessman; his lover, the ambitious, Brooklyn-born Emma Cunningham; the District Attorney, Abraham Oakey Hall (later to become mayor of New York); and Henry Clinton, a prominent defense lawyer. The enigmatic relationship between Emma and Dr. Burdell makes her the prime suspect, and her trial is nothing less than sensational. Will she hang? Were her teenaged daughters involved? What did the servants know? Who was the last person to see Burdell alive? During the trial, the two lawyers fight for truth, justice and their careers.


'A blend of historical evidence and fictional imagining, an engrossing read' WASHINGTON POST

'This is a deft and highly readable book, much recommended for those who enjoyed The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.' DAILY MAIL

'A gripping recreation of this true life crime.' THE INDEPENDENT

'Mystery and romance galore.' THE SUN

'An enthralling page-turner to the very end.' SUNDAY HERALD

About the Author

Ellen Horan has worked as a studio artist and as a photo editor for magazines and books in New York City. She currently lives in downtown Manhattan, the setting of her first novel, 31 Bond Street.

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd February 2011


Ellen Horan

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The Borough Press an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


320 pages


Historical Fiction
eBook Favourites

Historical mysteries



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