09 December 2009

Short Review: The Russian Hill Murders by Shirley Tallman

The Russian Hill Murders is the second Sarah Woolson Mystery by Shirley Tallman. The novels take place in San Francisco in the late nineteenth century and touch on a number of topics besides the current murders. For example, Sarah is one of the few female lawyers in the country, placing the changing opportunities for women at the core of the books.

By time the second novel opens, Sarah has managed to find a place in a law firm. Of course, her colleagues give her the worst, most meaningless tasks, and even her own mother thinks Sarah should find a man and get married. Here's a bit more from the publisher's summary:

When a woman whose husband has died in a sweatshop fire asks for Sarah's help in finding the culprit, she insists on taking the case against her boss's wishes. Even more scandalously, when several people affiliated with a charity hospital die within a few days of each other, Sarah puts herself in the middle of the puzzle, racing against time to find the killer and defend a Chinese man accused of murder. Imagine, a woman lawyer in court!
Tallman's novels are not only well-constructed cozy mysteries but are filled with interesting details about San Francisco in the 1880s. The series would appeal to anyone who likes historical novels; cozy mysteries; and headstrong, independent women.

I've been listening to the series, read by Anna Fields, who is on my list top narrators. The third book is also out in audio, and I'm looking forward to listening to it in 2010.

The cover is from the 2005 St. Martin's edition. (Source: Bought; see review policy)

Reading at the Beach is the host for this meme: Each week she invites us to spotlight a book whose title begins with the featured letter. This week it's R.


Kristen 12/9/09, 6:46 AM  

I love it when genre books go the extra mile and use fascinating, authentic, historical detail.

Julie P. 12/9/09, 7:25 AM  

Once again you bring a new series of books to my attention. These look like I'd love them!

JoAnn 12/9/09, 7:36 AM  

Anna Fields is on my list of favorite narrators, too! Haven't heard of this but, as long as she's reading it, will look it up.

Sandy Nawrot 12/9/09, 7:53 AM  

I'm liking the sound of this lady! This is a series that I think I would like. I just checked my library though, and no audios. Bummer.

Dorte H 12/9/09, 9:35 AM  

A woman lawyer indeed!

This series sounds good.

Lisa 12/9/09, 10:18 AM  

I love to listen to cozy mysteries on CD and haven't heard of this series.

Sherrie 12/9/09, 10:54 AM  

Hi Beth,
Sounds like a great book! Thanks for sharing. Have a great day!

Just Books

Aarti 12/9/09, 11:49 AM  

This series sounds fantastic! I really like the edge of women's rights coming into it, too. Thanks for putting it on my radar.

Margot at Joyfully Retired 12/9/09, 12:33 PM  

I remember when you read and reviewed the first book in this series. This one sounds just as good. I went to the library's web site and they have three of the Sarah Woolson books. I have a feeling I'm going to be thanking you for hours of good reading.

bermudaonion 12/9/09, 1:20 PM  

The book sounds good! I'm making a note of Anna Fields names because the narrator can make or break a book.

Beth 12/9/09, 2:47 PM  

This book sounds very interesting! Here is my "R" book.

Vicki 12/9/09, 2:57 PM  

I love out of the ordinary scenarios!

Thanks for playing!

me again 12/9/09, 3:57 PM  

I definitely think I'd like this...thanks!
If you want to take a peek, here's my R book.

Steph 12/9/09, 6:14 PM  

This sounds good! I usually lean to hard core mysteries rather than cozies. :-D But this strong heroine and interesting historical setting sound too good to pass up.

Nise' 12/9/09, 8:38 PM  

Maybe I should join the series challenges as I keep discovering series that interest me.

Veens 12/10/09, 2:10 AM  

SOunds like a great series, I will look out for this one here!

Joyful 12/10/09, 10:26 AM  

This series sounds interesting.
Thanks for posting.

My `R` is here:

stacybuckeye 12/12/09, 1:19 AM  

This is my favirite new series! I love Sarah and her exploits.

Alice Teh 12/15/09, 1:14 AM  

This series sounds good!

S. Krishna 12/22/09, 10:11 AM  

I'll have to check out this series, thanks for the review!

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