Publisher's Note:  

In the summer of 1896, amateur sleuth Emily Cabot meets two young Chinese women who have recently received medical degrees. She is inspired to make an important decision about her own life when she learns about the difficult choices they have made in order to pursue their careers. When one of the women is accused of poisoning a Chinese herbalist, Emily once again finds herself in the midst of a murder investigation. But, before the case can be solved, she must first settle a serious quarrel with her husband, help quell a political uprising, and overcome threats against her family. Timeless issues, such as restrictions on immigration, the conflict between Western and Eastern medicine, and women’s struggle to balance family and work, are woven seamlessly throughout this riveting historical mystery. Rich with fascinating details of life in Chicago’s original Chinatown, this fifth book in the Emily Cabot Mysteries series will continue to delight history buffs and mystery lovers alike.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Cadence Group

Death at Chinatown

by Frances McNamara

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Overall Review:  

Death at Chinatown is the newest release in the Emily Cabot mystery series. Set in 1896 Chicago, the book provides a fascinating look into American-Chinese culture, as well as medical advances of the time. 


Death at Chinatown is billed as a mystery, yet the historical fiction elements make the book entertaining and delightful. With a large cast of characters, McNamara manages to keep the story moving and includes rich detail and a wealth of historical knowledge. Emily is a realistic and well-developed character as she struggles to balance her role as a wife and mother while investigating murder. Though McNamara provides some background information about Emily, it never felt like enough for someone just discovering this series. Readers would do best to read the Emily Cabot series in order. 

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  1 religious exclamation; 3 mild obscenities; 1 derogatory name.


Violence/Gore:  A few verbal threats; several secondhand reports of violence; a scene involving gunfire; a few non-detailed scenes of violent death. 


Sex/Nudity:  A few sexual references.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Racism, gender inequality, kidnapping, politics.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Characters drink; three men pretend to be drunks to rescue hostages.

Reviewed By Rachel
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