Oooh, just got turned on to Victoria Thompson's Gaslight Mystery books, a series of murder mysteries set in turn-of-the-century New York. There is incredible wealth and power and incredible poverty and suffering in the city; the law and the press are considered to be the lowest of the low, and nursing is just a step above the stage (all actresses are considered whores) in terms of prestige for women.
Main character is Sarah Brandt, a woman who defied her wealthy society upbringing to marry a physician and live and work in Greenwich Village / Lower East Side as a midwife. He has been murdered three years before the series begins, and she lives alone (scandalous!) and supports herself, a bold and very iconoclastic move for the times. The other main character is Frank Malloy, a NY cop.
Through the first three or four books they alternately loathe, fear, and admire each other's talents; he is Irish Catholic, and she knows Teddy Roosevelt (the corruption-busting new police commissioner out to get rid of payoffs and bad behavior in the department) personally, since her debutante year. He sees horrible things, but freaks out when she matter-of-factly understands something like the vaginal sponge for contraception found in a dead prostitute; women aren't supposed to talk like that, and he could barely get the words out after the coroner found it in place. Yay, nursing!
They are complete society opposites and have a lot to learn about each other's lives, although Sarah knows a good deal more about life in the tenements than he knows about life in high society. Money is no guarantee of easy life; there is plenty of suffering in Marble Row, where women live on opioid patent medicines to dull the pain of society pressure.
Nobody's murder gets solved unless the family pays off the cops to do it; will Frank, who uses the "third degree" to elicit confessions as convenient, has a witchy mother, a wife who died in childbirth (!), and a deaf child with a clubfoot (Sarah has a connection to get surgery for him!), come around to respecting an independent woman in a society that treats them as brainless chattel? Even though she has, through her feminine debutante society training, found out critical information to solve cases? Will the rich widower her family sets her up with take her out of the village and back to a life of luxury? Will Frank overcome his instinctive reserve and let himself move past his wife's tragic death so young Brian can have a new mother? And who is killing the "Charity Girls"? Will Sarah be able to get Frank to care? Stay tuned!
I am losing a lot of sleep on these page-turners.