The lifeless Noah Bassette was discovered in his bathtub. On the same day, the body of the known financial advisor, Philip Munro, was found lying at his front house. The former has a slit on his wrist and the latter possibly jumped out from the fourth-floor window. Both were claimed to be suicide. The autopsy was conducted by Dr. William Hewitt but he had some doubts particularly at Munro’s case.
A day before these happened, there was a collapse in the gold market where countless investors were ruined. Nell Sweeney and William are going to investigate if the deaths are connected on this so-called Black Friday.
Murder on Black Friday is the fourth book of the Nell Sweeney Mystery. The Black Friday happened in 1869 where countless trading houses and investors went bankrupt, but the people behind the Gold Ring Conspiracy gained a lot (there’s a brief explanation of this in the book’s Author’s Note section).
The suicide angle is interesting as the author made one of the murders appear like a suicide. When you thought you know who did it, P.B. Ryan would slap in your face that ‘no you don’t’. She’s good at confusing the readers because she gave the characters enough motives to do a crime. I would also like to mention the well-researched autopsy procedures.
There’s a lot of growth in Will’s character. He accepted a professorship at Harvard University for research in forensic jurisprudence. His knowledge of autopsy is definitely a big help in solving the crimes. I also felt like Will has more exposure this time than Nell. Though, of course, the two are always together in the investigation phase. To be honest, I cried at the end of this book. It pains me that they can’t be together because of Nell’s situation with Duncan (her husband, currently in prison, who hurt her physically and emotionally in the past) and the restrictions of the Catholic Church regarding the divorce. As a reader, it can also be frustrating to see that the characters you already learned to love are suffering because of selfish people.
All the books can stand alone because the important details have been summarized in every installment like how Nell and Will met, the Hewitt Family, Gracie being the adopted daughter, etc. Although, if you really want to know the full detail of Nell and Will’s love story, it’s advisable to read from the beginning.
Do read this book if you like the combination of murder mystery, romance, and history. I won’t recommend this to readers below 18 as this contains violence, content about suicide and several adult elements.
I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars. Expect a lot of twists and turns. This is the first book in the series that made me cry. SPOILER ALERT! They kissed.