Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Cathy Reviews: No Comfort for the Lost

My mother-law-Cathy is back with another review today! With BEA all last week, I'm of course behind on my reading, so she stepped up once again. I fail. :( Thanks so much Cathy!

NO COMFORT FOR THE LOST
Mystery of Old San Francisco #1
Nancy Herriman
Mystery/Historical
384 pages
NAL
Available Now
Source: Bought

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
In this historical mystery series, a courageous nurse and a war-scarred police detective in 1860s San Francisco champion the down-trodden and fight for justice …

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 partnered 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’s 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…


CATHY'S THOUGHTS
My reading weaknesses are mysteries and historical fiction, so No Comfort for the Lost does a marvelous job of sating both of these loves. This is the first in a series and is set in the late 1800's in San Francisco. Ms. Herriman has a gift for painting an accurate and descriptive picture of the era. We can easily place ourselves into this setting.
 

Celia is a nurse and active in bettering the lives of Chinese prostitutes. A very courageous and forward-thinking venture in those times. When a friend is murdered, Celia is compelled to investigate. She steps on lots of toes including those of Detective Nick Greaves. At first the duo are not on the best of terms, but there is a warming up and a collaboration becomes apparent.
 

This is a well-conceived mystery because of the extensive research that must have been done to make the plot so convincing. Much of the mystery and investigation touches on actual events of the times.  The characters are fully fleshed out and we are drawn to them and care about their well being. We are rewarded in embracing the characters because we know we will meet them again in the next mystery.
 

On a personal side note, Ms. Herriman lives in our hometown and she attended our book club the evening we were discussing this novel. It was so much fun and interesting to get an inside look into this story and the author.

Rating: 4/5


Find Nancy:

19 comments:

  1. Oh I love both these things as well and I really think I would love this too. Have you tried Deanna Raybourn by chance? She has some of the best historical mysteries I have read.

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    1. I think you will enjoy this book. Thanks for the book suggestions. I will look up that author.

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  2. It looks really interesting and I really love when books are set in other period, always fascinating!

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    1. So glad you think this book looks interesting. I certainly enjoyed it.

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  3. I can do mystery if they are historical :)

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    1. Then this one fits the bill! Enjoy!

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  4. Ooooh, historical fiction mystery?? This one sounds totally up my alley! Thank you so much for such a great review Cathy!

    And it must have been fantastic to have the author there with you at book club to discuss the book with!

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    1. Pili if you love an historical fiction you will enjoy this book. It was so much fun having the author at our meeting. Just so interesting to hear how she does research and comes up with ideas. Hope my review puts this book on your list

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  5. I love it when you really get a feel for the time period when reading historical fiction. I love historical fiction and since I need to read mysteries more often, I'm going to check this one out. Thanks, Cathy!

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    1. So glad you are going to check out this book. Besides a good mystery I gained some historical knowledge. Win all around!

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  6. Oh, I love the local connection, Cathy! I'm a fan of historical fiction as well, but it has to have an actual historical significance. Does that make sense? I haven't heard of this book before, but I'm compelled to check it out.

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    1. I am so glad the review interested you enough to add this book to your list. You will learn about life in San Francisco in the 1800's but in s fun way!

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  7. I hope you ladies had fun at BEA! :)
    Historical fiction and mysteries are two of my favorite things in books as well, so I would thoroughly enjoy this one, in my opinion. And how wonderful that the author visited the book club discussion. It must have been lovely getting inside info!
    I'll check this author out.
    Lovely review, Cathy! :)

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  8. We did have fun at BEA and I have got to get reading to work through the books. I am glad you are going to check out Nancys books. Enjoy

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  9. I have a weakness for mysteries and historicals (with a little romance, of course) too, Cathy! I've actually read a historical romance set in San Francisco in the early 1900's and the author did a wonderful job with research, as well. I've visited San Francisco many times recently because a close family member is living up there temporarily and I always picture the stories I've read as I'm around about town.

    This sounds like a lovely story. I do enjoy an antagonistic relationship that turns into an alliance or romance. Wonderful review, Cathy! :)

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  10. Welcome back from BEA, ladies! I hope everyone had a great time. I also enjoy mysteries and historicals and this sounds wonderful with its San Francisco setting. That's fantastic that the author came to the local book club and spoke about her book :)

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  11. Great review, Cathy. Celia sounds like a wonderful character. I love books set in CA (my home state).

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  12. I have a weakness for mysteries and historical fiction too Cathy. This is one I will add to my wishlist!

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