Shirley Tallman’s Death on Telegraph Hill is an opportunity to once again (after four previous stories) spend time with the brilliant and unstoppable Sarah Woolson. As a female attorney in Victorian-era San Francicso, Sarah undermines male prejudice about women working in a profession just as deftly as she solves complicated mysteries.
Tallman’s descriptions of late 19th century San Francisco are vibrant and the mysteries that Sarah Woolson finds herself in the middle of have enough twists and turns to keep you turning the page. Most endearing is Sarah herself as we see the characters, the time period, and the mystery unfold through her eyes. She is fearless, ready to take on any challenge, yet her greatest strength is how much she cares--about her family, justice, and uncovering the truth. I look forward to the next Sarah Woolson mystery. I’m sure it will bring more Victorian atmosphere, another cast of colorful suspects, and an intriguing mystery for brave and dynamic sleuth Sarah to solve.
In Death on Telegraph Hill, Sarah and her brother Samuel attend a poetry reading by none other than infamous Irish poet Oscar Wilde. Beyond the controversial author, the evening also allows Sarah to meet an interesting cast of characters on Telegraph Hill with their own personal mysteries and resentments aplenty. But the night ends in near tragedy when her brother is shot during their walk home. With the help of fellow attorney Robert Campbell and her soon-on-the-mend brother, Sarah sets about discovering which of Telegraph Hill’s residents might have had a motive for shooting Samuel. At the same time, ever the reformer, Sarah also takes on a difficult legal case against a powerful developer who seeks to open a bullring in the heart of San Francisco.
San Francisco, 1882. After enjoying an evening listening to the young Oscar Wilde, crusading young lawyer Sarah Woolson and her brother, Samuel, are making their way home when a gunshot sounds and a bullet pierces the fog, striking Samuel. Who could want to hurt Samuel? Was he even the intended target? Determined to find answers, Sarah discovers more murder and mayhem on Telegraph Hill.
With Death on Telegraph Hill, Shirley Tallman delivers an exciting whodunit with a trailblazing heroine in a time and place when a nice young woman was supposed to be found in the drawing room instead of the courtroom.