eBook Publication Date: November 11, 2013
Looking for a better life, Nora Simms sails from the East Coast to gold rush San Francisco with a plan for success: to strike it rich by trading on her good looks. But when a string of murders claims several of her fellow “women of ill fame,” Nora growsuneasy with how closely linked all of the victims are to her. Even her rise to the top of her profession and a move to the fashionable part of town don’t shelter her from the danger, and she must distinguish friend from foe in a race to discover the identity of the killer.
Praise for Woman of Ill Fame
“I LOVED Woman of Ill Fame! Nora Simms is hilarious, heartbreaking, tough, perceptive…and one of the most engaging characters I’ve ever met between the pages of a book. Wonderful story, great setting and really good writing made this one of the best books I’ve read in a long time!” -Diana Gabaldon, internationally-bestselling author of the Outlander series
“The whodunit aspect makes Woman of Ill Fame a page-turner, and Mailman manages to keep the reader guessing. Yet it’s the depiction of early San Francisco that propels this thriller above its genre, in the manner of historical fiction such as Caleb Carr’s The Alienist.” -Kemble Scott, San Francisco Bay Guardian
“Mailman serves up vivid description, sparkling prose and a Gold Rush prostitute as scrappy as Scarlett O’Hara.” -Kathleen Grant Gelb, Oakland Tribune
About the Author
Erika Mailman is the author of The Witch’s Trinity, a Bram Stoker finalist and a San Francisco Chronicle Notable Book, and Woman of Ill Fame, a Pushcart Press Editor’s Book Award nominee. While writing The Witch’s Trinity, she learned she was the descendant of a woman accused twice of witchcraft in the decades predating Salem.
“Woman of Ill Fame” by Erika Mailman is the best book that I have read in quite some time. I was completely drawn in by Nora’s character, and I struggled to put the book down once I started it! I absolutely loved Nora’s character. The novel is written from her perspective, and though she is a prostitute, she is savvy, witty, and hilarious! She is the type of character that you really are rooting for as a reader. I became attached to her immediately, and I really cared about her success in this novel. The author really brought Nora to life, and created a novel that made it impossible for me to put down, so much so that I finished this book in two days!
I also loved the fact that I was kept guessing throughout the novel. It is a great ‘whodunit’ novel, and I loved the twists and surprises. The ending was completely unexpected, and had me on the edge of my seat as I read it. Who doesn’t love a great book that keeps you guessing until the end?
I recommend this novel to any and all lovers of historical fiction, or even just lovers of fiction in general. While it doesn’t go into depth with factual information regarding the gold rush in San Francisco, it does represent the era very well. I was definitely able to imagine, through the author’s great descriptions, the streets of San Francisco and the people visiting Nora’s ‘crib’ at the Cowyard where she was employed. It’s a fantastic novel for anyone looking for a good mystery novel with some sex, drugs, and prostitution thrown in!
I am so glad I was asked to review this novel for my blog. I am definitely looking forward to reading any future novels by Erika Mailman.
This novel definitely receives a FIVE out of FIVE star rating from me!