Maids of Misfortune is set in the Victorian age and also based in San Francisco – a lovely changed to Victorian age novels that are usually based in either England or the UK – the focus is around Mrs Anne Fuller, a widower who runs a boarding house and also acts as a clarivoyant Madame Sybil, giving out domestic and business advice on the pretence of gathering the information from another realm.
The story moves forward when one of Madame Sybil’s clients is found dead, believed by the police to be suicide, while other’s believe he must have been murdered. Anne Fuller is one of those people, and is determined to see that justice is done in any way she can.
Having a young lawyer, who unwittingly aids her to begin with in getting more information about the circumstances of her clients death, she is more determined than ever to prove that not only that the gentleman did not commit suicide, but that it was someone close to him that did it.
The story is interesting, the plot basic, but the characters and the guess work that goes into solving the case keeps everything going, and it’s never really dull. We get to know Anne Fuller, her reason for having an alter-ego and see how in a Victorian era a woman can be steadfast and yet also have moments of weakness, it makes her a more rounded character.
The side characters are all charming, although I did always forget the other boarders in the house that Anne runs if they are not relevant to the plot in any way. There is also the young lawyer Nate, who was more there to keep everything going and giving Anne the extra information she needed to work out a plan – although I was surprised that he didn’t press her to not do anything in relation to it because the police needed evidence rather than hearsay.
Over all though it was a brilliant read, one that would delight any readers who want a mystery novel, with a bit of Victorian era and a dash of romance on top.