I discovered the idea for this book one Saturday afternoon, years ago, while idly flipping through the bins in a print shop. I found a yellowed newspaper page with an etching of townhouses on a tree-lined street in New York City. At closer look, a crowd was assembled on the cobblestones before one of the homes. The caption said the address was 31 Bond Street and the date was 1857.
The print shop was on Houston Street, just blocks away from Bond Street, which is a short street nestled between Soho and the Bowery. It was puzzling, because I knew of no townhouses on that single block. Not yet trendy or gentrified, there were only warehouses, car parks and the type of business that sells rusting scrap metal. Examining the page further, the story mentioned a crime at 31 Bond Street — a wealthy dentist had been brutally murdered inside his home.