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Victorian San Francisco Mystery Books In Order

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Publication Order of Victorian San Francisco Mystery Books

Maids of Misfortune (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Uneasy Spirits (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bloody Lessons (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Deadly Proof (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pilfered Promises (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Scholarly Pursuits (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lethal Remedies (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Entangled Threads (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Victorian San Francisco Mystery Short Stories/Novellas

Dandy Detects (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Misses Moffet Mend a Marriage (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Victorian San Francisco Stories (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mr. Wong Rights a Wrong (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Madam Sibyl's First Client (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Violet Vanquishes a Villain (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Kathleen Catches a Killer (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dandy Delivers (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Beatrice Bests the Burglars (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dandy's Discovery (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mrs. O'Malley's Midnight Mystery (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tilly Tracks a Thief (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mrs. Stein Solves a Crime (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dandy and the Dognappers (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Victorian San Francisco Mystery is a series of cozy mystery novels by M. Louisa Locke, the American author from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Since she was a child, she always wanted to grow up to become a History teacher and author. Her favorite authors were suspense novelist Mary Stewart and historical romance writer Georgette Heyer that she always wanted to emulate. She got a degree in history from Oberlin College and another from Kent State University, which made her ready to teach history. But she was not done yet as she went on to graduate with a Ph.D. in history at the University of California San Diego. During this time, she was still reading a lot of science fiction mystery and history and dreaming of becoming an author at some time in the future. She got her idea for her debut cozy mystery “Maids of Fortune”, when she read the diary of a domestic servant, who drew the perfect locked-room mystery setting. But it would take a decade before she finished the draft of the novel in 1989. But it was at this time that she got a job lecturing women’s history at the San Diego Mesa Community College, where she worked for two decades while her writing career took a backseat.

She semi-retired from teaching in 2009 and set out to achieve her dreams of writing suspenseful and light romantic fiction, which she published in both print and ebook format. “Maids of Fortune” went on to become a bestseller, spawn several sequels and since then she has been writing fulltime. The series now has more than five novels and also includes three novellas. It has also won several awards including the Chanticleer Mystery and Mayhem Award in 2018. She is also the author of the “Caelestis” series an anthology. She lives with her husband and a variety of pets in San Diego.

“The Victorian San Francisco Mystery” series is about the life of women who worked in the west during the tail end of the 19th century. It tells these stories through the eyes of pretend clairvoyant and boarding house owner Annie Fuller and San Francisco lawyer Nate Dawson who investigate homicides and other crimes. They work with friends and family many of which are boarders at the O’Farrell Street boarding house. Annie Fuller is a twenty-six-year-old widow that has been mistreated, pushed around and gone from privilege right down to destitution but managed to claw her way back. Now as the owner of an independent and respectable boarding house she is living the life she always wanted. She does whatever she likes including making her own money and pursuing romantic relationships that she chooses. Nonetheless, this being a highly misogynistic society and so she needs to be creative in her other less than legal business of providing domestic and business advice. She masquerades as a clairvoyant to dispense business advice to men that would never take her advice seriously otherwise. It was a difficult time when women lived with the pressure of working hard and had to put in more than men to keep up. They also needed to be very careful to ensure that their reputations would not be ruined which would have been catastrophic for their social lives not to mention family prestige. Nonetheless, there is happiness, laughter, and love even as the characters change, grow and become better and the villains are unmasked.

“Maids of Misfortune” the first novel of the series is set in 1879, where a young San Francisco widow named Annie finds herself in a lot of trouble. Her husband had gone through her fortune and then committed suicide leaving her all alone, with creditors threatening to auction her boarding house to pay off the debts. But she has a secret in that she has been supplementing her income by giving business and domestic advice as a psychic under the pseudonym Madam Sibyl. She is one of the foremost and exclusive clairvoyants in San Francisco and the moneyed all come to her when they have problems. Matthew Voss one of her clients just died in an apparent suicide that had been brought about by a bankruptcy. Ann thinks someone stole his wealth and then had her client murdered. Nate Dawson the family lawyer of the Voss family does not believe that his client would die and leave nothing to his family. But that means that he has to work with Ann Fuller, a woman that infuriates as well as attracts him. She breaks very mold of a proper lady he has always held. But sparks fly as Nate and Anne go on a quest to find the truth about the murder of their client in the foggy glass lit world that is 19th century San Francisco.

“Uneasy Spirits” the second novel of the series is set in 1879 San Francisco, where Annie Fuller has been tasked with investigating a suspected fraudulent medium. Annie has had a lot of success as Madam Sibyl the clairvoyant practitioner, but she is increasingly feeling guilty as she does not believe in the palmistry and astrology that she pretends she uses to dispense her advice. Annie’s young maid Kathleen has a plan to help her mistress in her investigations, since she has been reading a lot about the subject. The up and coming lawyer Nate Dawson is in a dilemma. He wants to propose to Ann but feels that he does not yet have enough money to support her and hence keeps his feelings under wraps. With Nate Dawson and Kathleen’s help, Annie dives into the fascinating world of spiritualism, where she encounters baffling paranormal phenomena, clever frauds, naive dupes, and true believers. Sure enough, he finds that the spirit world is not as superficial as she thought it was but something very real. Some of the secrets she unearths may threaten her alter ego of Madam Sybil, and also her romantic involvement with lawyer Nate Dawson. They may also come to threaten her own life.

“Bloody Lessons” the third novel of the Victorian San Francisco Mystery series sees Nate Dawson and Annie Fuller spending a lot of time together. Nate’s sister Laura is a guest at the boarding house run by Annie and works as a high school teacher in a nearby school. She is dreaming of going to college and becoming a big shot lawyer, inspired by her brother. But then she gets attacked by unknown people in an alley close to home and her confidence is totally destroyed. Her pride will not let her tell her brother or her friends about her ordeal. Laura soon learns that her friend and colleague Hattie abandoned all her dreams and hopes to pursue a relationship with an administrator and teacher at the school. Things get interesting when someone starts sending accusatory and threatening letters to the teachers. Hattie gets into a nasty accident and it seems that the worst that Laura had feared may just be coming true. She needs to trust Nate and Annie enough to let them help her with someone who is threatening her life. Annie is thrilled but she cannot show how happy she is to work with Nate yet again. She thinks she can get more from her relationship with Nate but can she trust him enough with her dreams and fears?

Book Series In Order » Characters » Victorian San Francisco Mystery

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