Murder On Nob Hill

Written by Shirley Tallman
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0312328567

To read Chapter One CLICK HERE 

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About The Book:

The year is 1880, the place San Francisco. Intelligent, outspoken Sarah Woolson is a young woman with a goal and the fortitude to achieve it. The fourth child, and only daughter, of a Superior Court Judge for the County of San Francisco, she has always dreamed of becoming a lawyer. The trouble is, everyone believes women belong in the home, that it is not only unnatural, but against God's will for them to seek a career.

When Sarah finagles an interview with one of the city's most prestigious law firms, no one thinks she has a prayer of being hired. Except Sarah. Using her brains, and a little subterfuge, she not only manages to be taken on as the firm's newest (and only female) associate attorney, she also acquires her first client - a lovely young society matron suspected of brutally stabbing to death her wealthy but abusive husband. When Sarah agrees to represent the woman, she discovers that her beautiful client has a secret lover, and that they both had ample reason to want to see hubby dead. Everyone is convinced the two are cold-blooded killers, including the handsome, burly Scottish attorney who becomes Sarah's nemesis at the firm. But Sarah is undeterred. She's sure her client is innocent, and no matter what, she's determined to prove it!

When four more victims fall prey to the killer's knife - and her client is arrested for the crimes - Sarah fears she's bitten off more than she can chew. Without Sarah's help, the young woman will almost certainly be put to death, but proving her innocent will be an uphill battle. Bucking her boorish employer, the judicial system and the gruff Scot, Sarah finds herself embroiled in shady legal maneuvers, a daring Chinatown raid, a secret and very scandalous sex club, a mysterious tontine agreement, and the most powerful and dangerous Tong Lord in the city's Chinese District. Not to mention her arrogant brother Frederick's ambitious run for state senate.

Utilizing her keen mind and ready wits, Sarah takes on all adversaries. One hard-earned clue at a time, she bravely tracks a ruthless killer, constantly thwarted by the very people who should be on her side. When the murderer threatens to kill his sixth, and loveliest victim, Sarah is forced to run a desperate race against a ticking clock.

Single-handedly she fights not only to free her client, but to discover the killer's real identity. But when she finally corners the Nob Hill murderer, Sarah discovers that she is in grave danger of becoming victim number seven.

The Russian Hill Murders

Written by Shirley Tallman
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0312328583

To read Chapter One CLICK HERE

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About The Book:

Though her own San Francisco law firm barely tolerates her, gutsy young attorney Sarah Woolson flouts proper feminine behavior in this exciting nineteenth-century whodunit. While her mother begs her to settle down, her chauvinistic boss tries to come up with ever more spiteful ways to pressure his only female associate into quitting. Naturally, Sarah digs in her heels and vows to retain her position at any cost. Besides, she has no intention of straying too far from the action.

When the wife of wealthy society entrepreneur Leonard Godfrey drops dead of an apparent heart attack at a charity dinner for the new Women and Children's Hospital, Sarah's curiosity gets the better of her. But no one will believe in her theory that Caroline Godfrey's death was not natural - until several more people affiliated with the hospital die of inexplicable causes.

Meanwhile, when a pregnant widow whose husband has died in a sweatshop fire asks for Sarah's help in finding the owner so that she can sue for recompense, our feisty heroine insists on taking the case against her boss's orders. With the help of her colleague Robert Campbell and an eager young hansom cabdriver named Eddie, Sarah goes on a manhunt for Killy Doyle, the menacing head of the factory underworld. But she can't ignore the mysterious deaths at the Women and Children's Hospital - especially when the hospital's Chinese chef is arrested for the murders and the Chinese community's most powerful Tong Lord asks her to defend him.

Faced with her first criminal trial, Sarah stops at nothing to determine the killer's identity. But in trying to exonerate her client, she places her own life in danger. Will Sarah figure out who the murderer is, or will she be the final victim?

The Cliff House Strangler

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0-312-35756-7

To reach Chapter One CLICK HERE

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About The Book:

Against her family’s wishes, nineteenth-century attorney Sarah Woolson opens her own San Francisco law firm, only to find that clients – paying clients, that is – are wary of allowing a woman to manage their legal affairs. Just when her patience, as well as her money, is about to run out, Sarah and her friend and former colleague, Robert Campbell, attend a séance at San Francisco’s famous Cliff House.

After a dramatic display of spirit apparitions, flying trumpets, and phantom music, Madame Olga Karpova – a renowned Russian clairvoyant -- and her guests make a grisly discovery: One of the twelve people seated at the table has been brutally strangled.

Later, when two more séance participants are found slain, Sarah is pressed into defending the accused murderer. Working on her client’s case, she quickly finds herself at the center of a complicated murder plot involving ghosts, gypsies, and City Hall, all the while facing off with Robert in a volatile legal battle and investigating her brother Frederick’s shady political dealings. Hardly proper behavior for a nineteenth-century woman, but Sarah wouldn’t have it any other way.

Check out Shirley's current releases!

Scandal On Rincon Hill

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN 978-0-312-38697-9

To read Chapter One CLICK HERE

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About The Book:

Nineteenth-century attorney Sarah Woolson is accustomed to dealing with murder and mayhem. But never before has she been called upon to view a body in the middle of the night, nor one lying practically in her own backyard!

But that’s not even close to the end of the scandal. Within a week of the first murder, two more victims are found slain in Sarah’s Rincon Hill neighborhood, and the residents – indeed, all of San Francisco – are in an uproar. Under public and political pressure to find the killer, the police arrest two young Chinese men, and Sarah’s powerful friend Li Ying, a tong leader, asks her to defend his countrymen.

When Pierce Godfrey, the handsome shipping magnate, returns to San Francisco to ask for Sarah’s hand in marriage, she has little time to sort out her feelings. Yet another victim has been found dead on Rincon Hill, and the police refuse to admit that this proves her clients’ innocence. Sarah resolves that the only way to free the two Chinese men is to find the Rincon Hill killer herself, and do it while helping a beautiful young prostitute sue her newspaper-mogul lover for breach of contract and support for their child.

Engaging in a life-or-death battle to save her clients, Sarah finds herself embroiled in San Francisco’s high-end brothels, amid debates on Charles Darwin’s shocking theory of evolution, and entangled with a vicious killer who will stop at nothing to achieve a violent objective.

Learn more about Shirley's lastest release!

Death On Telegraph Hill

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
ISBN 978-1-250-01043-8

To reach Chapter One CLICK HERE

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About The Book:

Fiercely independent Sarah Woolson is a rare find in 1882 San Francisco – a female attorney with her own law practice. Defying a woman’s “proper” role in society, Sarah is more likely to be found in the courtroom than in the drawing room. She is used to murder and mayhem, and will go to any lengths to stand up for what’s right – especially when family is involved.

After enjoying an evening listening to the young Oscar Wilde, who is visiting the city, Sarah and her aspiring novelist brother, Samuel, make their cautious way down the rugged hillside with only a single lantern to light their way through the darkness. Suddenly, the sound of a gunshot shatters the quiet night! A bullet strikes Samuel, throwing him to the ground, and Sarah’s world is sent reeling! Who could possibly want to hurt him? And was he even the intended victim?

Sarah sets out on a furious investigation to uncover the truth, but instead of discovering answers, she only succeeds in stirring up even more questions – and multiple murders. Even worse, it seems that she may have added her own name to the killer’s list.

After the police arrest a local newspaperman whom Sarah believes to be innocent, she agrees to act as his attorney and ends up facing the most difficult case of her career. And, inevitably, the worse scare of her life!