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Thursday, December 19, 2013

"Woman of Ill Fame" by Erika Mailman~Gold Rush Romp!


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 grows uneasy 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.

This is an ebook
Found:  Amazon
Pages:  257
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Website:  http://www.erikamailman.com

*Isn't this cover awesome!?

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


I'm a historical fiction writer who is absolutely obsessed with the past. Many time periods draw me in: I'm most compelled by the 1800s in America, but also love medieval Europe, ancient Egypt, Revolution-era France...on and on.

I wanted to be an author since I was in fourth grade, and was thrilled to see it come to fruition when I was still cognizant enough to enjoy it. ;)

As of this writing, I have two novels out. The Witch's Trinity is about a medieval German woman accused of witchcraft by her own daughter-in-law, and was published by Crown/Random House in 2007. Woman of Ill Fame is about a Gold Rush prostitute who solves murders, published by Heyday Books in 2007.

I live in the gold country area of Northern California and enjoy the historic sites around me whenever I get a chance. http://www.erikamailman.com


Absolutely wild romp with this one!  There's magic and mystery, a feisty little prostitute who doesn't mind getting her hands AND feet dirty in her line of business, and a wild ride in the wild west, as well.  The book starts out a little bawdy for me, but then once I stayed with it for a couple of chapters, I could see the value in the story.  What a crazy whirlwind of a story Erika Mailman tells with hardly a breath to take in between!  I appreciated the scenes of early gold rush times in San Francisco very much.

Her minx of a character,  Nora, soon grabs your heart as she steps over corps and cons to find her way in the rough and tumble world of hard-necks and gold rush aficionados.  Nora is no wilting lily.  She's a fighter who knows how to get ahead in her business, although she employs some scathing ways that made me blush many a time.  Whores can be very resourceful and tough..like Nora!

The murder mystery here is strong and compelling as the basically good-hearted Nora works to stop a creep from destroying other "working girls."  You'll love her ingenious ways.

I don't know if I'd have picked this book up for a general read if I hadn't been recommended it by my favorite tour company, but I will tell you that it was a happy change from the ordinary!  It's a very quick read and one that kept me laughing and blushing at the risqué parts.

 A fun read and departure from the every day....3 stars.


*This review was brought to you in cooperation with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours...

Please find more reviews, interviews and guest posts here:  http://www.hfvirtualbooktours.com


Erika M

Deborah, many thanks for participating in the tour and for this nice review! I'm delighted the book made you blush! LOL. Have a wonderful holiday.


Another great review. Each one seems to get better. :)

THANKS for sharing your thoughts.

Silver's Reviews
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