Tuesday, August 4, 2015

No Comfort for the Lost (Mystery of Old San Francisco, #1) by Nancy Herriman

Celia runs a clinic very close to Chinatown.  She's no doctor but she served as a nurse in the Crimea war so she has lots of experience.  Most people don't accept Chinese; they'd like to run them out for being different.  After all, they will work for less than a white man will.  That means they are "stealing" jobs from the white men.  (Even all these years later, I still hear that phrase where I live but it's the Mexican's "stealing the jobs" now.)  Celia is frowned upon because she will help anyone ill, even the Chinese.

Penguin Books sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published today, so you can grab a copy now.

Celia was expecting a Chinese girl to show up for dinner on their usual night together.  She never arrives.  When Celia finds out a young Chinese girl has been found dead, she's worried it might be her.  She goes to the recovery scene and asks to see the body.  It has already been taken to the coroner.  Since she may be able to identify her, she hopes the cop will let her see if it is her friend.  He doesn't want to, but Celia is very determined.  It is her friend and Celia is determined to find her killer.

Nicholas, the cop, is just as determined, but his boss doesn't seem to care.  One less Chinese is a good thing, not a bad thing.  Nicholas weasels out a few days to investigate but it's hard when no one wants to talk to him.  He also gets in trouble for asking questions of the upper class.  It seems his chief and many of the names mixed in this investigation are friends.  Every time he asks embarrassing questions, he's chastised by his chief.  He's relentless though.

You have a mix of politics, prostitutes, jealous wives, a missing husband, an abusive brother-in-law, and Chinese and white friends.  The tale is twisted and complex.  I really like Celia.  She's strong, determined, and will work hard to get the end of the mystery.  Nicholas is right alongside her and they are finding a romantic interest in each other.  Celia doesn't know where her husband is or if he's still alive so that's a complication.  

This was an excellent mystery and I can't wait to read the next book in this series.  I know that one will be complex too and I might even get to see the couple have a date.  You never know...

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