This short story, set in 1879 San Francisco, features two elderly dressmakers, Miss Minnie and Miss Millie Moffet, who face a moral dilemma of no small dimensions. They turn for advice to Annie Fuller, a widowed boardinghouse owner who supplements her income as a clairvoyant, Madam Sibyl.
For those who have read Locke's full-length Victorian San Francisco mysteries, Maids of Misfortune, Uneasy Spirits, and Bloody Lessons, or her other short story, "Dandy Detects", this is an amusing glimpse into the lives of Annie Fuller's two most eccentric boarders. For those unfamiliar with Locke's mysteries and the late 19th century world they portray, this is just a taste of things to come. Enjoy.
©2012 M. Louisa Locke (P)2014 M. Louisa Locke
Yes, I really enjoy the Victorian San Fransisco series by M.Louisa Locke and this is another winner. It's only about 45 minutes long and keeps your interest the entire time.
Miss Millie is my favorite because she's so quiet but she seems to be the one who comes up with the solutions.
Her voice is very pleasant to listen to.
Miss Millie and Miss Minnie are the most memorable characters. I love them in the other books as well. They are 2 older ladies who just seem like they would be wonderful to sit and visit with.
I am a big fan of M Louisa Locke's books and of all the short stories she has written to accompany her Victorian San Francisco Mystery series, this is my favorite. The Misses Moffets are two of my favorite supporting players, and this story really gives them a chance to shine in their quirky intuitiveness. And it gives us a little more insight into who they are as characters, along with their personal history. Like all her other entries in this series, she skillfully delivers a rich historical context without it feeling like an information dump or veering off from the main focus of the narrative. Very likeable, interesting characters throughout.
I would compare this particular story to something akin to a Miss Marple story. The mystery is not gruesome or bloody and its solving relies more on the keen intelligence, abilities of observation and a good dose of intuition on the part of the Misses. It also concerns itself with the everyday type of activities of women, which, as a social history buff, I love insight into those things.
As I said I really enjoy Locke's writing, and I don't at all want to say anything negative because her story is terrific. But, in the interest of constructive criticism, I have to say the narrator's style is not my favorite. She does a good job with voice acting and portraying the different characters, but when she falls into the narrative bits, her voice is flat and very detached. Almost robotic. It didn't appeal to me much, and I felt it sort of intruded on the narrative writing as it almost signaled that it was less important than the dialogue. Which it isn't. I feel like someone who could fully embrace the narrative voice as a character as well, and not mere stage directions, would be better suited for reading.
Looking forward to more great entries in this terrific series!
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