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Extended Audio Sample 31 Bond Street: A Novel, by Ellen Horan Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (854 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ellen Horan Narrator: Adam Grupper Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2010 ISBN: 9780061953743
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Who killed Dr. Harvey Burdell?

Though there are no witnesses and no clues, fingers point to Emma Cunningham, the refined, pale-skinned widow who managed Burdell’s house and his servants. Rumored to be a black-hearted gold digger with designs on the doctor’s name andfortune, Emma is immediately put under house arrest during a murder investigation. A swift conviction is sure to catapult flamboyant district attorney Abraham Oakey Hall into the mayor’s seat. But one formidable obstacle stands in his way: the defense attorney Henry Clinton. Committed to justice and the law, Clinton will aid the vulnerable widow in her desperate fight to save herself from the gallows.

Set in 1857 New York, this gripping mystery is also a richly detailed excavation of a lost age. Horan vividly re-creates a tumultuous era characterized by a sensationalist press, aggressive new wealth, a booming real-estate market, corruption, racial conflict, economic inequality between men and women, and the erosion of the old codes of behavior. A tale of murder, sex, greed, and politics, this spellbinding narrative transports readers to a time that eerily echoes our own.

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Quotes & Awards

  • 31 Bond Street is an impressive blend of imagination and history as it vividly brings to life one of New York’s City’s most notorious crimes. Ellen Horan has written a novel that, once begun, will be difficult for any reader to put down.”

    Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of Serena 

  • “This is a gripping, elegantly written, and brilliantly researched legal thriller…31 Bond Street illuminates a critical period of our history with sharp insights into sex, class and politics.”

    Joe Conason, New York Times bestselling author of The Hunting of the President

  • “This unique look at history and the private lives of those affected by it makes for captivating reading.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “The skill with which Ellen Horan has braided true crime with thoughtful novelizing is pure pleasure. The mystery tantalizes until that satisfying aha! moment and the evocation of the period is breathtakingly immediate.”

    Beverly Swerling, author of City of God

  • “This thrilling book becomes not only a murder mystery, but a Wharton-esque examination of the mores and customs of antebellum New York society…Rich with historical detail, 31 Bond Street is one of the best debut novels in a long while.”

    BookPage

  • “Horan brings to life a sensational 19th-century New York City murder trial in which a woman is accused of viciously killing her husband…An engaging mix of fact and fiction, with a juicy trial, sensationalistic reporters, and lots of local urban color.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Selected for the April 2010 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily M | 2/12/2014

    " A piece of NYC history I found captivating. While the book sometimes felt a little tedious to get through, the story held my attention enough to make it through to the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 2/9/2014

    " A novel hung on the bones of a real muder case that happened in NYC in a time prior to the Civil war. Dr. Burdell has been murder in his home and the prime suspect is the womnan who kept house for him. It's hard to seperate fact and fiction and the ending got a little muddy. Interesting how the rights of women have changed since then. It is also the story of the young lawyer that signs on to defend Emma Cunningham. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caitlin | 2/4/2014

    " Not exactly sensational, but a solid story. It concentrates more on the trial than the murder and I think a little more suspense around that event would have juiced the tale up more. Still, the writing provides a vivid sense of pre-Civil War New York (with sinister Jack-the-Ripper-esque overtones) and the characters are engaging and intriguingly opaque. Plus, I am a sucker for fiction based on fact, and I think the author made a pretty admirable attempt at imagining a true historical event. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 2/3/2014

    " Great story, well written with just enough NYC history included. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet | 1/12/2014

    " Good historically based mystery takes place in NYC in 1850's just prior to civil war. Not only interesting array of characters, but gives a great feeling for city and politics of the era. Get a feel for how the area developed, especially having lived in NY metropolitan area for long time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ti-Leigh Telford | 1/7/2014

    " This does take a few chapters to get going, but then I ripped though it. It's based on truth, but the author has taken lots of liberties to "solve" the case which was never solved. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maureen Lelaidier | 1/5/2014

    " A good mystery with great pictures of downtown NYC in the mid 1800s. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Louise | 12/26/2013

    " Liked it better than I expected. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Msbossy | 11/27/2013

    " A murder mystery, based on an actual case in old NY. What's not to like. Well written. A good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liza | 7/19/2013

    " I really enjoyed the twists and turns of this book--as well as not knowing who to trust as the reader. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 6/9/2013

    " This story was very intriguing. I don't often read murder mysteries, but since one of the main character's was a dentist, I thought I would give it a try. I enjoyed most of the book until the end. I didn't enjoy the way it played out. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon | 4/3/2013

    " I really like historical mysteries. The back cover has "It's Caleb Carr meets Scott Turow." and I had really enjoyed Caleb Carr's The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leslie | 1/19/2013

    " sort of boring. hoped for more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kodiaksm | 9/30/2012

    " This was a fast read historical fiction. It was hard to put down. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura Stone Johnson | 8/27/2012

    " This historic mystery starts off strong, weakens mid-way and then fizzles at the end. At first the author kept me guessing about whether the protagonist was completely evil or utterly innocent, but later I simply didn't care. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 reed | 8/20/2012

    " Ok, I only got 60 pages in and I have to return it to the library. I'd pick it up again I think. When I'm in the mood for a slow, detailed, historical novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anndee | 2/16/2012

    " The author did a really great job of building suspense. I enjoyed this historical novel very much. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alison | 1/22/2012

    " I enjoyed this historical mystery, which is a novel based on a real 19th C murder case in NYC. The setting and characters are compelling, though aspects of the plot proved a bit mysterious...even after finishing it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 B.j. | 5/27/2011

    " A book I picked off the shelf at the library. Just a "read" while at the cottage. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 5/3/2011

    " I really enjoyed this book until about the last 60 pages, and then it seemed like it was in such a rush to wrap everything up. And at the same time as wrapping everything up, leaving everything a little unfinished. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 4/27/2011

    " A wonderful book. Well written and a can't put it down read. Would highly recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy | 4/18/2011

    " Ok book...not as good as The Alienist.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bill | 4/17/2011

    "
    This was suggested by my wife. A good historical mystery, well researched. A little bit like Erik Larson's work. A good escape for a lazy weekend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michfont | 4/17/2011

    " Good read, realistic. Everything is not tied up perfectly with everyone having a happy ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephen | 3/20/2011

    " interesting crime mystery based on the actual murder of Dr harvey burdell in 1850's New York at 31 Bond Street and the author gives us the background leading up to the events to the murder and also the trial of Emma the widowed suspect.. well worth reading though "

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