Nancy Herriman has written a mystery of Old San Francisco titles “No Comfort for the Lost”. This novel is about post-Civil War San Francisco and the Chinese immigrant situation. Chinese girls’ parents were paid a certain amount so that those girls could come to America. However, once they were on U.S. soil, they were made to prostitute themselves in order to “pay back their loan”. Chinatown at this time was a very dangerous place. There was smuggling, slave trafficking, murder and other atrocities taking place daily. It was no place for a lady. However Celia Davies, British-born wife of an Irishman and a nurse, takes it upon herself to minister to the women of the area. Celia’s husband is presumed missing at sea and she uses her inheritance to serve these poor women. She becomes involved in the murder of a former prostitute when her brother-in-law is the prime suspect. She and Civil War veteran, Nicholas Greaves work together, sort of, to solve the murder. Of course Celia is usually in the way, but keeps on looking for the answers to who committed the crime.
I enjoyed this book because of the fast pace and interesting characters that were introduced in the novel. I also enjoyed getting a glimpse of life as it probably was lived in San Francisco at this time in history. It is interesting to me that we are still in the midst of intense immigration policy questions. Then it was the Chinese, now it is other nationalities. History does, in fact, repeat itself.
I was sent a print copy of this book by Night Owl Reviews in return for my honest review.