- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 10 hours and 3 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Mary Lou Locke
- Audible.com Release Date: August 6, 2012
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B008TSHWP6
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
Annie Fuller is a 26-year-old widow, owning and operating a b&b out of her Victorian home by day, and working as Madam Sybil by night (no, not a harlot!). She's not exactly psychic, and definitely not interested in a seance or a crystal ball; she's a financial wizard who helps people make money by reading their astrology and horoscopes. As a woman in a man's world, nearly 150 years ago, she had to pretend she was just clairvoyant in order to build her client portfolio and be successful. But when her favorite customer appears to commit suicide, she's just not having it. With all the protocols of 1879 in tow, she disguises herself as a maid in her former client's house to discover which member of his family killed him for the money he had just made in the stock market. Along the way, she stumbles upon a second death and is able to convince the police that her former client's death wasn't suicide. But she's also earned a few enemies who don't believe she's a real maid. With a cast of friends and clients helping her keep up the ruse, Annie investigates using good ole' fashioned wit and gossip, given there are no computers, cars or cell phones. But she's got another problem to deal with too... her late husband, that buffoon, left her with an enormous debt and the loan shark is trying to steal her b&b out from under her in order to even the score. Who knew the 70's... the 1870's... had so much murderous fun!?!?!
1. The plot is strong and full of red herrings. The struggle to find the killer without any modern technology or transportation provides an entirely different (and long forgotten) mode of investigation: using yours words, your eyes and your ears.
2. The Victorian setting is charming and offers a much needed change of pace for the cozy murder mystery. Readers will flock to Agatha Christie's quaint English villages, but here's a perfect setting for historical American heritage. And who doesn't love San Francisco... especially in the 1870s... Gold Rush! Publishing! Horse-drawn carriages!
1. The pace is a little slow. It's not at all bad or painful, but I think it could use a little extra spice. It fits with the time period, but I think with a bit of panache, the story would jump even further off the page. Cover a little more about what's happening in SF at the time. Add some history to the founding families. Relate it to a modern reader so they invest a little more for the whole series.
2. Explore more about Madam Sybil. She's great... I want to see her in action and understand how she works!
There is something different here... something worth giving a chance. If you're a historical fiction fan, with a potential interest in mystery, pick it up and read it. There is a lot of description about life in the 1870s, which will appeal to traditional readers.
If you love cozies, the "small, cozy little town" isn't part of this series; however, the mindset and the relationships are absolutely one on the same: gossip is abound and people know exactly what to say. I look forward to the next book in this series.
Firstly, it is one of the well written novels I've read in a long while. The protagonist, Annie, is an admirable woman in the stuffy, old world of Victorian Times, but with the mind and the determinations of the modern days. She would fit right in with all of us in the present 21st century. Difficult for the women to be of that mind set and behavior, in the late 1800s San Francisco. However, Annie manages beautifully, and with tact, and sensibility of feminine wiles. Using both her intelligence, which is looked down upon in those days, as we all know, and her beauty and "smarts" to achieve her goals and survival in the man's world. Quite an accomplishment. And as I've said, admirable.
All of that also used to solve the mystery of her "friend" and a client's murder.
Annie also finds love too, and discovers that not all of opposite species are as the likes of her loser husband who'd left her in destitute. No good s.o.b.
Anyway, the characters in this mystery and romantic novel is well and fully developed. One cannot help getting into the story.
I doubt that the readers will be able to put it down once start to read it.
Finally, Yes, I do recommend it highly to all, especially to the female readers. There's nothing negative about this book in my opinion. Go for it. I guarantee you'll enjoy it fully.
One more thing. It's very satisfying to not contend with misspellings and the poor vocabularies. I am of a person who prefers to look up a word, rather than deal with childish usage of words. The writers are after all the masters, are they not?
So, kudos to M. Louisa Locke. A wonderful author. I am a new fan.