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After serving as a nurse in the Crimea, British-born Celia Davies left her privileged family for an impulsive marriage to a handsome Irishman. Patrick brought her to San Francisco's bustling shores but then disappeared and is now presumed dead. Determined to carry on, Celia partners with her half-Chinese cousin, Barbara, and her opinionated housekeeper, Addie, to open a free medical clinic for women who have nowhere else to turn. But Celia's carefully constructed peace crumbles when one of her Chinese patients is found brutally murdered, and Celia's hotheaded brother-in-law stands accused of the crime.
A veteran of America's civil war, detective Nicholas Greaves is intent on discovering the killer of the girl, whose ethnicity and gender render her as powerless in death as they did in life. Nicholas' efforts are complicated by Celia, who has a knack for walking into dangerous situations that may lead to answers or get them both killed. For as their inquiries take them from Chinatown's squalid back alleys to the Barbary Coast's violent shipping docks to the city's gilded parlors, Celia and Nicholas begin to suspect that someone very close to them holds the key to a murderous conspiracy.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Lil M on 07-29-17
No Feel for San Francisco
This is an adequate mystery with stock characters and no sense of place. Aside from some street names and a couple of inaccurate landmark references, this story might have been set in any 19th Century American city with a Chinese population. There is barely a hint of San Francisco in this novel which is disappointing since it's billed as a story of old San Francisco.
By PattyQB on 11-26-16
This sounded like a story I'd enjoy, old San Francisco, medicine and nursing with a mystery driving the plot. It had the ingredients but failed miserably in narration and story. I couldn't finish! And I am practiced in sticking with a story until it grabs my attention. I can set something aside and return later when my mood is right to try it again. I wanted this to work, always looking for new series to get into. So I am sorry I didn't find it here.