Book Review: Little Girl Lost

By REGINA M. ANGELI

Books Writer

Wendy Corsi Staub, three-time nominee for the prestigious Mary Higgins Clark Award, has written the first installment in what promises to be an intriguing crimes series focusing on foundlings with the first entry, “Little Girl Lost.” (William Morrow 385 pages)

On Mother’s Day in 1968, a church janitor named Calvin makes an unusual find – someone has left a basket containing a newborn baby girl in his church in Harlem.

Given that Calvin and his wife, Bettina, had wanted children but were infertile, they considered this basket a gift from God and decided to keep the child, whom they named Amelia.

In 1987, Amelia, now a college student, is facing the death of her mother. As she surveys her mother’s medical charts she finds out that she was adopted.

The shock is so upsetting that she decides to leave New York City and travel upstate to track down a professor, an expert in human DNA, who has managed to reunite birth parents with their children.

The year 1987 promises to be a challenging one for the police on the East Coast.

Someone is tracking down and killing the surviving victims of the infamous Brooklyn Butcher, a man who, in 1968, slaughtered four families, sparing only the teenage girls, whom he had raped and impregnated.

Amelia’s quest for her birth parents seems to be running on a sinister course in this first chapter of a most unusual crime series which includes a preview of the next installment, “Little Boy Blue.”