Monday, September 28, 2015

Review: No Comfort for the Lost By Nancy Herriman

Description (from cover):

'In this atmospheric historical mystery series debut, a courageous nurse and a war-scarred police detective in 1860's San Francisco champion the down-trodden and fight for justice...

After serving as a nurse in the Crimea, British-born Celia Davies left her privileged family for an impulsive marriage to a handsome Irishman. Patrick brought her to San Francisco's bustling shores but then disappeared and is now presumed dead. Determined to carry on, Celia partnered with her half-Chinese cousin Barbara and her opinionated housekeeper Addie to open a free medical clinic for woman who have nowhere else to turn. But Celia's carefully constructed peace crumbles when one of her Chinese patients is found brutally murdered...and Celia's hotheaded brother-in-law stands accused of the crime.

A veteran of American's civil war, detective Nicholas Greaves is intent on discovering the killer of the girl, whose ethnicity and gender render her as powerless in death as they did in life. Nicholas's efforts are complicated by Celia, who has a knock for walking into dangerous situations that may lead to answers...or get them both killed. For as their inquiries take them from Chinatown's squalid back alleys to the Barbary Coast's violent shipping docks to the city's gilded parlors, Celia and Nicholas begin to suspect that someone very close to them holds the key to a murderous conspiracy...'

My thoughts:

San Francisco in the 1860's was a melting pot of different cultures and ethnicities. Everyone in San Francisco has emigrated from a different country or a different part of the United States. This wasn't a very old city, but it is rich in its cultures and its people. There was an intense hatred of the Chinese during this time period because business owners could pay them less and get more work out of them. Therefore others were being laid off and turned their anger to the Chinese as a way to take out their frustrations. There were clubs and associations that fueled this hatred and helped to incite riots and chaos. It is at this point that this book opens and sets the scene for the reader.

Celia Davies is a nurse who runs a free clinic for the poor of San Francisco. She is willing to help anyone no matter their race, background or profession. She has helped numerous prostitutes with their medical needs and doesn't judge them. When one of her Chinese clients ends up murdered, Celia is determined to seek out justice for this young lady because no one else will. Or so she thinks. She comes into the path of Detective Nicholas Greaves who is on the San Francisco police force. He is going against his superiors for investigating a death of a Chinese woman, but he feels that justice should be for all no matter a person's race or background. Together, Celia and Nicholas make a formidable team.

This book was a little slow at the beginning and towards the middle, it started getting really good. It was a good story, it just felt like something I have read before. It wasn't really all the unique, but towards the end I felt my views change a little. It was a good debut. Not a strong one, but I think it will lead to a good series. I will have to read the next book in this series to see if this is something that I would like to stick with, but this series does have a lot of potential. I really liked that the author did her historical homework and it showed in the story. I learned a lot from reading this book and hope that the next book in this series will build upon that and make this a series that I come to love.

Overall Rating: 3.5

Title:  No Comfort for the Lost
Author:  Nancy Herriman
Series:  Mystery of Old San Francisco #1
Publisher:  NAL
Publication Date:  August 4, 2015
Pages:  384
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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