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City of Light

The year is 1901. Buffalo, New York, is poised for glory. With its booming industry and newly electrified streets, Buffalo is a model for the century just beginning.

Louisa Barrett has made this dazzling city her home. Headmistress of Buffalo's most prestigious school, Louisa is at ease in a world of men, protected by the titans of her city. But nothing prepares her for a startling discovery: evidence of a murder tied to the city's cathedral-like power plant at nearby Niagara Falls. This shocking crime--followed by another mysterious death--will ignite an explosive chain of events. For in this city of seething intrigue and dazzling progress, a battle rages among politicians, power brokers, and industrialists for control of Niagara. And one extraordinary woman in their midst must protect a dark secret that implicates them all

Praise for City of Light

"Impressive. . . . A stereopticon of a novel, sepia-tinged at the edges, yet bursting with color at its center. . . . [A] vivid sense of the time and place. . . . [A] powerfully atmospheric book."
 - New York Times


"An ingenious first novel. . . . Alive with historical figures who mingle seamlessly with the fictional characters. . . . A huge, sprawling portrait of the United States at the turn of the last century."
 - New York Times Book Review


"Like Niagra Falls itself, it's breathtaking in its achievement. Lauren Belfer's first novel is a remarkable blend of murder mystery, love story, political intrigue, and tragedy of manners. . . .

Belfer handles it all-large cast, big themes-with uncommon assurance."
 - USA Today


"Ambitious, original, and timely. . . . Enormous creative energy in research and plot development. . . . A complicated and imaginative story with many daring subplots and colorful secondary characters."
 - Washington Post Book World


"A full-to-the-brim first novel. . . . A straight-through, sleepless read."
 - Time magazine


"Vibrant characters and a riveting plot will keep your eyes glued to the pages."
 - Glamour


"Suspenseful. . . . A historical novel of high intrigue."
 - People


"Delicious melodrama. . . . Belfer shows off a masterful ability to keep pages turning. . . . Brilliant skill."
 - San Francisco Chronicle Book Review


"Belfer's microscopic attention to details of the period . . . give[s] the book's fabric the dense quality of tapestry."
 - Chicago Tribune


"A gift for social nuance . . . shapes this compelling debut. . . . [A] rich mix of fictional and historical figures. . . . With the assurance of an established writer, Belfer delivers a work of depth and polish. . . . Irresistible to the last page."
 - Publishers Weekly


"Swift and graceful reading. . . . Exceptionally well-crafted."
 - Library Journal


"An ambitious, vividly detailed, and stirring debut novel offering a panorama of American life at the beginning of the 20th century. . . . Very gripping. A remarkably assured and satisfying first novel."
 - Kirkus Reviews


"Quite simply electrifying. . . . [A] rich novel. . . . [Belfer] creates a fascinating, disquieting world in which nothing is what it seems. . . . To Lauren Belfer's endless credit, City of Light is panoramic, subtle, and very physical."
 - Amazon.com




Lauren Belfer

Lauren Belfer grew up in Buffalo, New York, the setting of her acclaimed debut novel City of Light (The Dial Press 1999). Since its publication the book has earned praise from critics around the country...

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