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Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery | [M. Louisa Locke]

Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery

It's the summer of 1879, and Annie Fuller, a young San Francisco widow, is in trouble. Annie's husband squandered her fortune before committing suicide, and to pay off a debt, one of his creditors is now threatening to take the boardinghouse she owns. Annie also has a secret. She supplements her income by giving domestic and business advice as Madam Sibyl, one of San Francisco's most exclusive clairvoyants, and one of her clients has died. The police believe his death was suicide, but Annie believes he was murdered.
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Publisher's Summary

It's the summer of 1879, and Annie Fuller, a young San Francisco widow, is in trouble. Annie's husband squandered her fortune before committing suicide five years earlier, and to pay off a debt, one of his creditors is now threatening to take the boardinghouse she owns.

Annie Fuller also has a secret. She supplements her income by giving domestic and business advice as Madam Sibyl, one of San Francisco's most exclusive clairvoyants, and one of her clients, Matthew Voss, has died. The police believe his death was suicide brought about by bankruptcy, but Annie believes Voss has been murdered and that his assets have been stolen.

Nate Dawson has a problem. As the Voss family lawyer, he would love to believe that Matthew Voss didn't leave his grieving family destitute. But that would mean working with Annie Fuller, a woman who alternatively attracts and infuriates him as she shatters every notion he ever had of proper ladylike behavior.

Sparks fly as Anne and Nate pursue the truth about the murder of Matthew Voss in this light-hearted historical mystery set in the foggy gas-lit world of Victorian San Francisco.

©2009 M. Louisa Locke (P)2012 M. Louisa Locke

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (64 )
5 star
 (12)
4 star
 (19)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.6 (59 )
5 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
2.8 (60 )
5 star
 (11)
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (19)
Performance
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  •  
    KarenB Western NY 04-26-13
    KarenB Western NY 04-26-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    7
    3
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    Story
    "Enjoyable story, annoying narration"
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator used an extremely annoying and fake sounding voice for the main character and her attempts at accents were way short of the mark. I skipped the middle three hours of the narration because I could tolerate no more of it. I have never written a review, even though I listen to books all the time, but this one was so disappointing I felt I must.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna Tomball, TX, United States 10-14-12
    Anna Tomball, TX, United States 10-14-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
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    230
    28
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    2
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worth it!"

    I have been waiting for this series to become available on audible for a long time and it was worth the wait. A light hearted mystery series with typically modern female protagonist in a historical setting.
    The story keeps you guessing until the end and if you are a fan of the historical mystery genre this is definitely a must and I'll be waiting again for the next in the series to be released by audible (Uneasy Spirits - available now only in print).
    I would have given this 4 stars if it wasn't for the tired formula of a mystery with a Darcy/Elizabeth romance - he wants to protect her and she is torn between her love for him and her yearning for independence - (Lady Julia, Lady Emily, The Parasol Protectorate - to name a few) a tired blueprint but I can't fault the author considering it works every time.
    The narrator was good overall but not great or consistent with accents and probably wasn't given enough time to develop the main characters voice, was a bit breathy and off-pitch to be endearing - I really do think these faults are due to a lack of direction though, rather than talent.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simone Mountain View, US, Canada 02-22-13
    Simone Mountain View, US, Canada 02-22-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    108
    2
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    "Great story, but didn't like the narration"

    Living in San Francisco, I did enjoy listening to a victorian mystery that takes place in that amazing City. the story was very entertaining and it wasn't too obvious who did it. At some times, the author is trying to hard to emphasize the "independant woman" tag line.
    I only gave the performance three stars as I was very annoyed by the different voices the narrator tried to attempt. The main character, although strong and independant, has a very irritating breathy and high pitched voice. It reached a point where I almost stopped listening and switch over to the Kindle book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer imperial beach, ca United States 08-03-14
    Amazon Customer imperial beach, ca United States 08-03-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    "Terrible narrator!"
    What would have made Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery better?

    The narrator ruined this book for me. I will avoid any books in the future that Cynthia Wallace narrates. The story was enjoyable once I switched to reading it from my kindle.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Orlando, Florida 02-28-14
    Lisa Orlando, Florida 02-28-14 Member Since 2013

    Lisa

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    1
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    Story
    "Yikes! Not a good narrator!"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. Unfortunately, the narrator ruins the story.


    Has Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes


    Would you be willing to try another one of Cynthia Wallace’s performances?

    Absolutely not.


    Could you see Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Possibly but I wouldn't know actors.


    Any additional comments?

    I previously read the book and thought it a decent story. However, I couldn't listen to the narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Merritt Island, FL, United States 07-03-13
    A. Merritt Island, FL, United States 07-03-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
    ratings
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    96
    85
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    "Good book HORRIBLE reader"

    I stuck with this book because the story was worth it; however, the narrator was awful. She did a terrible job when changing characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen S. Garvin Maryland 05-31-13
    Karen S. Garvin Maryland 05-31-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
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    28
    6
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    "Disappointing protagonist"

    I wanted to enjoy this book because the era is interesting to me. But the protagonist starts out strong and then turns to jelly as soon as a handsome man appears on the scene. Too predictable; I don't mind the romance but this was a tepid as they come.

    I was expecting the Sybil character to have a main part in the story, but she's put away after the first few chapters. I thought that aspect of the story might have been a lot stronger. Annie became annoying and I found myself not really caring what happened to her. The only character I was curious about was Nate.

    There were too many descriptions of clothing and backstory and not enough real mystery. I don't care how So-and-so got their clothing unless it relates to the mystery. The epilogue was a poor excuse at wrapping up the book. I felt like several chapters were missing and the author just got tired of writing and filled in the blanks to get it over with.

    "Sparks fly?" Not really. There's plenty of tinder here, but no logs to keep the flames burning. The story's premise is sound but it just doesn't deliver.

    I haven't listened to any other narration by Cynthia Wallace, but this annoyed me. Sorry. I thought her attempt at doing the men's voices was pretty good, although there were a few glitches where she slid from one voice into another and it should have been edited out. The women's voices were all pipsqueaky or breathy and Southern-drawly. Cynthia's own voice, when she just read the narration, would have been fine for Annie's voice. I thought the gushiness was just too over-the-top.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori-Ann Westminster, MA, United States 10-29-12
    Lori-Ann Westminster, MA, United States 10-29-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "really enjoyed"

    I really enjoyed listening to this book. I loved the time period and the characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    FlyGirl AnyTown, USA 08-04-14
    FlyGirl AnyTown, USA 08-04-14 Member Since 2008

    Derby Princess

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    13
    4
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    "Yes to the book...NO to the narrator."
    What made the experience of listening to Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery the most enjoyable?

    Good story.


    Did Cynthia Wallace do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Really really dislike the narrator. Her voice is thin and very shrill when she does the voice of Annie the books main character. The voices of the men are kind of on the silly side...like she a women faking a man's voice....and sometimes she doesn't even bother to do a man's voice at all when a man is speaking. I like it better when the voice is so good you forget it's a women doing the voice.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann United States 01-31-14
    Ann United States 01-31-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What a hoot!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This was a good story, with interesting characters and a solid narration.


    What other book might you compare Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery to and why?

    It reminded me of a cross between "Faro's Daughter" by Georgette Heyer and "The Clairvoyant Countess" by Dorothy Gilman. To say more would require a spoiler alert.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When the protagonist recognized the strength and courage displayed by the Chinese butler.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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