MURDER ON NOB HILL
This novel launches a series featuring spunky, intelligent San Francisco attorney Sarah Woolson, who battles late-19th-century prejudice against female attorneys. She applies to a prominent law firm, where she lends a sympathetic ear to wealthy widow Annjenett Hannaford, who wants to settle her murdered husband's estate. Agreeing to help, Sarah becomes a temporary employee of the firm, much to the dismay of gruff new associate Robert Campbell.
When Mrs. Hannaford is arrested for the murder, Sarah sets out to prove her innocence, despite learning that Annjenett's lover was at her home the night of her husband's murder. Sarah's investigation takes her into the underbelly of Chinatown, where she discovers sinister doings. More murders are committed, and Sarah's search for the culprit endangers her life, even with help from the surly Campbell.
Engaging and unique, Tallman's novel sparkles with wit and suspense, as it explores discrimination faced by Chinese immigrants. Readers will warm to Sarah and this series. (Jun., 304 pp., $23.95)