Friday, November 26, 2010

Maids of Misfortune by M. Louisa Locke

Review by Laurie Rae Rezanoff

This Victorian San Francisco mystery, set in 1879, features a financially struggling widow who must supplement her boardinghouse income by using her clairvoyant tendencies to help advise her clients with domestic and business advice.

When one of her male business clients ends up dead, it is Annie Fuller (aka Madame Sibyl) who must find evidence that he was indeed murdered for the assets he accrued through her financial advice, not death by suicide as the police believed.

It is interesting to see the struggles women went through in the Victorian era, having to hide their quick and brilliant brains in order to conform to societal expectations of proper ladylike behaviour. This includes male expectations of business affairs, and taking any such advice from a mere woman!

To add to this mix is the family lawyer, Nate Dawson, who must work with Annie, not knowing her Madame Sibyl identity, nor the education she received from her father about all things financial. He is in for a rude awakening, as well as the opening of his heart.

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