I am on a roll in reading Victoria Thompson whose mysteries provide hours of entertainment. In this caper, we descend into the Bowery, an unsavory section of New York where ladies do not venture. Victoria Thompson enjoys throwing a little history into her stories and we learn of the newsboys strike in 1899 when newsboys refused to sell newspapers in order to get better wages and the plight of Orphan Trains where orphans in New York were transported to farms in Minnesota, Iowa, and others farming states. Victoria Thompson also mentions that the wealthy citizens would seek guides to lead them into special places in the Bowery so these wealthy could see how the slums looked, hence the term “slumming”. We also see that wealth does not mean respectability and those in the Bowery may act better than their wealthy peers.

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