I was surprised by the book Scoundrels in Law by Cait Murphy. It's about the trials of legal firm Howe and Hummel in the last half of nineteenth century New York City and the beginning of the twentieth. If you ever wondered what was going on during the architectural evolution, this explains some of the social activity. It includes the highly public trial of Harry Thaw, Stanford White's murderer, since they represented the defendant. (Stanford White was an architect and partner in the prestigious New York firm McKim, Mead and White.)
It you ever wondered what the word "tenement" actually meant during those times, this book paints a picture you will remember.