Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Boston Marriages

By special guest Victoria Thompson.

Have you ever heard of a Boston Marriage? In Nineteenth Century America, unmarried professional women (teachers, social workers) often shared living quarters.  Part of this was an economic necessity because, just like today, women were paid less than men. The other part of it was social.  
Women developed close friendships with their peers and enjoyed each other’s company.  The author Henry James (you probably studied him in high school) wrote about one of these relationships in his classic novel The Bostonians.  Although the phrase “Boston Marriage” never appears in his novel, people started calling these relationships between professional women who lived together Boston Marriages, no matter what city they lived in. This is the part I love most about writing historical—learning all this trivia!

In Murder in Morningside Heights, my protagonists Frank and Sarah Malloy have just opened a private detective agency.  They are hired to find out who killed a young woman who taught at a women’s college and lived with two of the female professors who had a Boston Marriage. They learn all kinds of fascinating things about life in a women’s college. They also learn some dangerous secrets, one of which got an unfortunate young woman murdered.

My fans have been thrilled that Frank and Sarah are finally married (after 18 books!), although one fan expressed concern that starting a detective agency would mean Sarah couldn’t participate in solving the crimes anymore.  Don’t worry about that!  Sarah is thoroughly involved in this investigation, along with Gino and even Maeve. And, as always, you’ll learn things you didn’t know about Old New York.

Edgar®  and Agatha Nominated author Victoria Thompson writes the Gaslight Mystery Series, set in turn-of-the-century New York City and featuring midwife Sarah Brandt. Her latest, Murder in Morningside Heights, is a May 2016 release from Berkley Prime Crime. She also contributed to the award-winning writing textbook Many Genres/One Craft

Victoria teaches in the Seton Hill University Master's program in writing popular fiction. She lives in Indiana with her husband and a very spoiled little dog.
You can find Victoria at www.victoriathompson.com. Follow her on Facebook at Victoria Thompson.Author or on Twitter @gaslightvt.

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