Thursday, September 21, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Murder on Nob Hill by Shirley Tallman

Author: Shirley Tallman
First publihsed in 2005 by Minatour Books

The year is 1880, the place San Francisco. Intelligent, outspoken Sarah Woolson is a young woman with a goal and the fortitude to achieve it. She has always dreamed of becoming a lawyer. The trouble is, everyone believes women belong in the home---that it is not only unnatural, but against God's will for them to seek a career.

When Sarah finagles an interview with one of the city's most prestigious law firms, no one thinks she has a prayer of being hired. Except Sarah. Using her brains and a little subterfuge, she not only manages to become the firm's newest (and only female) associate attorney, she also acquires her first client---a lovely young society matron suspected of brutally stabbing to death her wealthy but abusive husband. Sarah is sure of her client's innocence, but the revelation of the woman's secret lover may make that innocence impossible to prove. 
When four more victims fall prey to the killer's knife, Sarah fears she has bitten off more than she can chew. Bucking her boorish employer and the judicial system, Sarah finds herself embroiled in shady legal maneuvers, a daring Chinatown raid, and a secret and very scandalous sex club in this irresistible blend of history, romance, and murder.

I had never heard of this series before it was recently uploaded onto my Library's Overdrive site,  Murder on Nob Hill is the first in a series taking place in 1880.  Sarah is one of a handful of women to have earned their law degrees and passed the bar exam.  The law firm she applies to reluctantly hires her and she immediately gets involved in a murder case.  Her client is accused of aiding in killing her husband.  Sarah must proves she didn't do it.

This was enjoyable little mystery.   It was a real eye opener to see how women didn't have many rights in the late 19th century.  We have it so good right now! I liked Sarah's character. Sarah was a strong minded character and I admired her bravery in a time when men still thought women should be at home and seen, but not heard.. The peripheral characters were strong as well.  I loved the banter between Sarah and Robert.  He is probably going to be a love interest in later books, at least it looks like that way.  

My only complaint about the book was the amount of potential suspects.  I lost track of people at times, so when the reveal happened it took me a few minutes to figure out who the culprit was.  There were also a couple of red herrings in the story and I found those frustrating.  But in all, it was a fun read.  I might track down the next book and give it a try as well.

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