Brooklyn Wars (Erica Donato Mysteries) by Triss Stein

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair
Brooklyn Wars
Erica Donato is student a mother and has a full time job working as a historian. Often it is her job which leads her to research interesting places or things in her Brooklyn neighborhood, but in Brooklyn Wars, it is writing her thesis which has Erica prowling around the old Naval Yards. And once again, her research lands her smack in the middle of a crime.

After attending a public hearing on a redevelopment plan for the former shipbuilding site, Erica decides to walk over to the part in question and look around. It is dark, deserted and frankly a bit spooky. Readers may quibble with whether it was a smart move on her part to walk down that path, but she did and that is where the story begins. While she stands looking at one of the old row houses, she hears a noise, catches a glimpse of someone running and finds a man critically injured. Erica immediately recognizes the man from the meeting she just left. The man dies and the police understandably want to talk with Erica, but they are not the only ones. Before long, what started as research for a chapter in her dissertation has morphed into a murder investigation and Erica immersed in the past life of the victim.

What I like best about this series is that her setting is absolutely real. Readers are right there in Brooklyn learning the history of the various landmarks. The characters though for the most part are fictional, are very true to the place and times. Reading one of the Erica Donato’s books is truly a trip to Brooklyn, New York and a fascinating mini history lesson.

This is the fourth book in the series, though each of the books stands alone quite nicely with the mysteries contained to that book. Erica and her daughter’s lives of course move on throughout the series so if you are a stickler for character progression, then you should start with the first book, Brooklyn Bones.

As aside from this book specifically, the series is published by Poisoned Pen Press. In the past their paperbacks have tended to be very tightly bound making it hard to keep the book open. This book seems to be much looser making it easier to read.