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The Russian Hill Murders (Sarah Woolson Mysteries) Hardcover – June 16, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (June 16, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312328575
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312328573
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #958,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Tallman's top-drawer second mystery set in late 19th-century San Francisco (after 2004's The Nob Hill Murders), attorney Sarah Woolson takes on a couple of cases that draw a torrent of protests from her law firm: the widow of a man killed in a multiple-fatality fire in a sweatshop seeks her help, as does a Chinese tong leader who asks her to defend a fellow countryman accused of murdering an accountant. In addition, a handsome, well-to-do bachelor wants her to handle his business negotiations. When all three clients' situations begin to intersect, Sarah realizes she has waded into dangerous, if not lethal, waters. Judge Woolson, Sarah's father, and Robert Campbell, her sole supporter among her law firm's associates, both lend their assistance, but neither is prepared when Sarah's investigations implicate members of San Francisco's high society in the crimes. Credible characters, cleverly subtle clues and a highly satisfying conclusion mark this intriguing tale as a superior example of its subgenre.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Attorney Sarah Woolson, daughter of a judge in San Francisco in the 1880s, is determined to practice her profession despite the contempt of the firm that reluctantly hired her. Her first-person voice is engaging if melodramatic as she relates her hostess' succumbing to poison at a dinner party and the subsequent deaths, also by poisoning, of several others connected to a charity hospital. When the irascible Chinese cook at the hospital is accused, Sarah becomes his defense attorney. Her various family members and an associate (two brothers, a doctor and a reporter, and the one lawyer at her firm who supports her) along with sundry other admirers are rich in interest if not depth of characterization. Still, Woolson's role as a protofeminist in the nineteenth century is a sympathetic one, and readers will empathize strongly with the obstacles she faces and the triumphs she achieves. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

ABOUT SHIRLEY


Even as a small child, Shirley Tallman dreamed of being a writer. Born in Los Angeles, California, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area as a teenager, where she attended junior high and high school. She obtained her BA degree in Radio and Television at San Jose State University, while working as Traffic Manager, script writer and director for KNTV, a local ABC affiliate station.

After college, Shirley flew to the Orient and the South Pacific as a flight attendant for Pan American World Airlines. Never one to waste a great opportunity, she used her travels to fill notebooks with ideas, story-lines and snap shots for future novels.

Juggling marriage, children and her new writing career, Shirley wrote a syndicated newspaper column while working up the courage to tackle that first novel. To her surprise when she finally did write it, it actually sold! To date she's written fifteen books, including ten contemporary Harlequin/Silhouette romances published under the pseudonym Erin Ross. During her "romance" years, she placed #6 on Waldenbooks' national bestseller list, and was nominated as "Best Desire of the Year," by "Romantic Times"!

Currently, Shirley is writing an historical mystery series for St. Martin's Press. The books -- MURDER ON NOB HILL, THE RUSSIAN HILL MURDERS, and the THE CLIFF HOUSE STRANGLER -- feature Sarah Woolson, a feisty nineteenth-century female attorney who squares off against an all-male legal establishment. The fourth book in the series, SCANDAL ON RINCON HILL, will be released on January 5, 2010.

Together with her screenwriting partner, Nancy Hersage, Shirley has written and sold television scripts to NBC, CBS, and ABC. Their movie, "THE BABYSITTER'S SEDUCTION", originally aired on NBC and continues to play regularly on the Lifetime Channel. Their current project, "THE WAR MAGICIAN", was bought for Tom Cruise by Paramount Studios and their story, "LILI", is being produced for the Canadian Broadcast Corporation.

Among other groups, Shirley is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Novelist's Inc., Sisters In Crime, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers' Association, Willamette Valley Writers and the Oregon Writer's Colony.

Shirley welcomes visitors to her website: www.shirleytallman.com. Check it out for great monthly giveaways, plus some exciting contests coming up to celebrate the release of SCANDAL ON RINCON HILL!!

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I am so enjoying this series. The story moved right along, kept me interested and wanting to know what was coming. The final courtroom scene was a bit melodramatic, but didn't put me off the book. Tallman has created a smart, feisty character supported by her family but fighting society's norms, and the supporting characters are equally interesting. I definitely want to know what happens to them and eagerly await the next book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. James on July 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series,I had high hopes for The Russian Hill Murders,and Ms Tallman met and surpassed my expectations. The characters are well developed (and delightful, I might add),and the plot is just intricate enough to keep you guessing. I had a lot of fun trying to come up with "whodunnit" before Sarah Woolson.The writing is articulate, and there is a sense of excitement at all times. Highly recommended
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By tregatt on June 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Shirley Tallman delivers a splendidly intriguing and suspenseful follow-up to "The Nob Hill Murders" in this second Sarah Woolson mystery novel, "The Russian Hill Murders." Definitely, this is a series to look out for!

When first a member of the new Women's and Children's Hospital, and then someone else who vehemently opposed the hospital's existence suddenly die, Sarah Woolson, San Francisco's first female lawyer, is intrigued and perplexed. The authorities dismiss both deaths as accidental, but Sarah has a feeling that there is something more to both deaths. However, she's too busy trying to help a client collect damages for a wrongful death suit, as well as having to put up with the bad tempered crochets of her hostile employer. And then the hospital's accountant dies under highly suspicious circumstances. This time there is evidence that the man was poisoned. And because he had had a very acrimonious relationship with the hospital's hot tempered Chinese cook, the police immediately jump to the conclusion that the cook is guilty of poisoning the accountant. And when they find the poison in the kitchen, they immediately arrest the man for murder. Sarah cannot believe that the cook has been arrested on such a slender piece of evidence, and fears that racial prejudice may at the root of the cook's arrest. So that when Li Ying, San Francisco's most powerful Tong lord whom Sarah met in "The Nob Hill Murders" requests that she defend the cook during the criminal trial, Sarah readily agrees.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By I love mysteries! on January 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Super mystery! Well written and full of suspense. I couldn't put it down until the very end. I thought I'd figured out whodunit, but turns out I was wrong. Kept me guessing until the last chapter.

Sarah Woolson is an out-spoken, fun, funny, well-developed and intelligent heroine. I love the way she takes charge of a situation and sticks with it until the end. I also loved Pierce Godfrey, and hope we'll see him again soon. What a hunk!!!

Keep 'em coming! Can't wait until the next book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Tassotto VINE VOICE on July 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is the second volume of the Sarah Woolson series set in 1880's San Francisco, following just a few months after the events of MURDER ON NOB HILL. Sarah, one of the first women to be admited to the California Bar, had managed to gain a position in one of most prestigious law firms in San Francisco. Although she had managed to represent her clients well and managed to uncover a murderer Sarah was not a valued, or even welcome member of the law firm.

As the RUSSIAN HILL MURDERS begins she has managed to further enrage her employers by first accepting the widow of a sweatshop worker as a client and then agreeing to defend a Chinese cook who has been charged with murder. Poor Sarah cannot even seem to get a rest in her private life as first one and then another member of her social set die under mysterious circumstances, one right in front of her.

Sarah, along with fellow attorney Robert Campbell follow the trail of clues through the varied levels of late Victorian San Francisco society. Despite the cosmopolitan setting this series is very much in the cozy style, the true attraction here is on the characters and subplots rather than the actual mystery. The mysteries here are moderately challenging, with perhaps a twist or two to keep the reader guessing but what really holds the reader's interest here are the subplots....especially those concerning Sarah's love life (or lack thereof) now that a second (and perhaps even a third) potential suitor has been introduced into the series.

This series will appeal to those cozy mystery fans who also enjoy a historical setting. In many ways Sarah is reminiscient of Elizabeth Peter's AMELIA PEABODY. The two both share outspoken opinions at odds with Victorian ideas on women's rights and social classes. THE RUSSIAN HILL MURDERS could be enjoyed by itself but beginning with MURDER ON NOB HILL would probably be preferred.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Son on March 11, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love this book/cd. The Russian Hill Murders are just as great as the Nob Hill Murders. I love how it's set in the 1800's. I listen to the CD's in the car to and from work. They are entertaining and make the traffic go so much faster (haha).
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