Wednesday, the 9th of January, and time again for Shelf Control!!! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and appears every Wednesday. This feature celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR. So pick a book, and write a post about it and link back to Lisa’s page, if you’d like to participate. I’d also love to read your posts if you do participate, so do share your links below.
Today, the book that I’ve chosen to feature is Maids of Misfortune by M. Louisa Locke. This is the first in a series, Victorian San Francisco Mystery series (Yes, a historical mystery yet again 🙂 ) which currently has five full books and a few short stories/novellas.
The story: Annie Fuller runs a boarding house in San Francisco as her husband had squandered her fortune and then committed suicide five years ago. Alongside she is also secretly Madam Sybil, a clairvoyant, giving advice to San Francisco’s wealthy. When one of her clients, Mathew Voss dies, the police believe it to be a suicide because of bankruptcy, but Annie thinks it’s murder, and that Voss’ fortune has been stolen. This means having to work with Nate Dawson, the Voss family lawyer, who finds Annie infuriating as she challenges every stereotype of “proper” ladylike behaviour.
Where I got it: This was (and is) a free book on kindle which is where I picked it up over a year ago as I can see. In fact I also have a couple of other titles in the series waiting on my TBR.
What makes me want to read it: In this one, I find both the plot description and setting interesting. When I read Victorian era books/mysteries, they’ve usually been in England–I don’t think I’ve read any set in San Francisco (though of course, the American connection always pops up in Sherlock Holmes). The plot description also makes it sound like a light-hearted, cosy mystery which I certainly like to read. So let’s see how this (and the others in the series) turn out.
The author: M Louisa Locke has been a professor of history for over thirty years, and is now retired and a full time writer. Her Victorian San Francisco Mystery series is based in part on her dissertation research on nineteenth-century Western working women. Each of the books in the series takes us to a different setting in Victorian San Francisco–domestic service, public school teaching, the printing industry, and a modern department store among them. Find out more about her books on her blog here.
Have you read this one or any others in the series before? Or is one on your TBR pile? How did you find it/them? Looking forward to hearing all about them!