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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 Gruppe Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.”


  • “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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by Kathy | 2/3/2014

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

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About the Author
Author Ellen Horan

Ellen Horan, a photo editor for books and magazines, has worked on staff and in a freelance capacity for many publications, including Vanity Fair, Vogue, House & Garden, Forbes, and ARTnews, as well as for a number of book publishers.