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Publisher's Summary

Clara Shortridge Foltz faces a patriarchal nemesis in 1884 San Francisco. When a white prostitute is murdered and flayed down to a skeleton, Clara is hired by the Six Companies of Chinatown to defend the 16 males who are swept up by the Chinatown Squad. This ragtag and corrupt group of sheriffs work for the mayor, Washington Bartlett. The mayor uses the nation's anti-Chinese sentiment in his quest to win the race for governor of California. 

Foltz, the first woman admitted to the California Bar, must learn fast to become a detective in order to prove that her client, journalist George Kwong, is not the killer but was set up by the mayor to take the fall. Along with Ah Toy, her trusted translator and best friend, she is instructed by the head of detectives, Captain Isaiah Lees. Lees becomes enamored with Clara, who is having personal problems with sexual commitment due to her first marriage with Jeremiah Foltz. He was a Union vet who deserted Clara and their five children for a younger woman. 

Captain Lees has personal problems of his own, as he has devoted all his time to fighting the corrupt politicians and the Chinatown Squad for 20 years and has not even made time for female relations. Theirs is a very special kind of romance. 

Clara brings a national spotlight to bear on her case, as thousands of women flock to the City by the Bay to support her effort to win against these patriarchal forces. The Chinese are also oppressed, and Clara and Ah Toy become embroiled in a deadly came of cat and mouse to trap the real killer and save George Kwong.

©2018 James Musgrave (P)2018 James Musgrave

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Engrossed from beginning to end!

I am not normally a fiction reader, but this was an outstanding read! It was a wonderful journey into the mind of a very interesting woman. The time period is thoroughly and realistically described, so the reader the reader is transported back in time. The chapters concerning the court scene are my favorite. A woman pushing her way through prejudices and status quo thinking, to intellectually convey her side.
The book was read with the feeling for each character.
I would recommend this audio book to anyone that wants to take a great leap into a great mystery.