Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Reviewing Maids of Misfortune

A Victorian Mystery Taking Place In San Francisco

victorian houses san francisco
Victorian Houses In San Francisco Pixabay.com
As I have started to read the book Maids of Misfortune, I thought it might be fun to review the book here on Review This. M. Louisa Locke wrote this book as the first in a mystery series that seems pretty promising for those of us who like a good mystery and enjoy historical fiction. 

In this first book of the series, we find ourselves in San Francisco, California during the Victorian Era. Our main protagonist is Annie Fuller who isn't exactly like most ladies of her time. She isn't amoral or anything but not quite up to those strict standards of social behavior of her time. Instead of doing needlework and delicate hobbies, Annie has to make a living on her own. Having been raised by her father she has skills in business and finance that just isn't deemed proper for females in the 1870's. 

Annie inherited a house in San Francisco from her aunt and has made it into a boarding house. Her husband left her penniless after having committed suicide and so the house was really a godsend. In order to make ends meet and to keep the boarding house in business Annie has a side job. Because she is a woman she can not open a business as a financial adviser, men just would not support her business. So, to get past that she disguises herself as a gypsy and pretends to be a clairvoyant. She calls herself Madame Sibyl and wears a dark wig and pale makeup to hide her true identity. Oddly, men and woman take her business advice (especially for the stock market) as a psychic but wouldn't consider taking the same advice if she offered it as a business woman. Oh the Victorians!

Annie has built up a pretty steady clientele as a psychic and has become fond of several of her regular patrons. Matthew Voss has been a weekly client for quite a long time and has done well with the advice that Annie/Madame Sybil has given him. Annie feels that he has also become a friend. So, when Mr. Voss is found dead in his home from poisoning something doesn't seem right. The police have deemed it a suicide but Annie just knows that can not be right. When Annie as Madame Sybil is questioned by Matthew's attorney she finds out that it seems that Matthew was pretty close to insolvent. 

Annie knows that the information about Mr. Voss is incorrect and that something is very wrong. She knows that he owned several successful stocks and had just sold quite a few of them in order to buy his partner's share of the furniture business that they owned together. Where are the stocks? Why is there no money in the bank or cash to be found? Annie and Nate the attorney begin to try to figure out who killed dear Mr. Voss.

This has been a delightful book to read. Annie is a woman before her time and I love how she and Nate work together under the Victorian social restrictions. I definitely will read more books in the series.

You can purchase this book in paperback form but you can also order it in digital form. Currently, the digital version is free for the reading. That may change in the near future but right now you can download it at no expense. Fun, huh?

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Because of the contributors of Review This, and their book recommendations, I have come to appreciate a great mystery. I am sure this will be another one that I thoroughly enjoy. Not only because of the intrigue, but because it takes place in the Victorian era. I do love historical fiction, especially when it is factually correct.

  2. Another book on my must read list...thank you Bev for a great review. It sounds like I would really enjoy this one.

  3. A perfect book for me to enjoy! A lover of mystery series, the Maids of Misfortune sounds great. Frankly, I never have enough mysteries to read. This is perfect, so I'm looking forward to it.

  4. Wow Maids of Misfortune sounds really good. I love Historical fiction. Will have to download it. Thanks!

    1. This sounds great. My favorite genre's are historical fiction and mysteries so it sounds like I can't go wrong with this book. Thanks for the recommend. I have downloaded it to my Kindle.

  5. I'm a huge mystery fan, so this book is a perfect one to add to my list to read. Without your wonderful review, Bev, I would have completely missed it.

  6. I do love a good mystery, and anything historical. Sounds like a must read Bev, thanks for a great review.

  7. This is a good add to my steampunk book recommendations. Thanks for this great review Bev!

  8. Another book to add to my "to read" list. AND it's Free! I love free books.

  9. You sold me. It sounds right up my alley. When I went to buy it, I found out I already had it on my Kindle but hadn't got around to reading it yet. I'll try to read it soon.

  10. You sold me. It sounds right up my alley. When I went to buy it, I found out I already had it on my Kindle but hadn't got around to reading it yet. I'll try to read it soon.

  11. What a delightful-sounding story! I love mysteries with clever heroines and I love Annie already.

  12. I've just read this thanks to your recommendation and I absolutely loved it.


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