Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Review: No Comfort for the Lost by Nancy Herriman

In 1860s San Francisco, gold buys the best life has to offer. Without it, not even justice is guaranteed.

After serving as a nurse in the Crimea, British-born Celia Davies left her privileged family for an impulsive marriage to a handsome Irishman. Patrick brought her to San Francisco's bustling shores but then disappeared and is now presumed dead. Determined to carry on, Celia partnered with her half-Chinese cousin Barbara and her opinionated housekeeper Addie to open a free medical clinic for women who have nowhere else to turn. But Celia's carefully constructed peace crumbles when one of her Chinese patients is found brutally murdered...and Celia's hotheaded brother-in-law stands accused of the crime.

A veteran of America's civil war, detective Nicholas Greaves is intent on discovering the killer of the girl, whose ethnicity and gender render her as powerless in death as they did in life. Nicholas's efforts are complicated by Celia, who has a knack for walking into dangerous situations that may lead to answers...or get them both killed. For as their inquiries take them from Chinatown's squalid back alleys to the Barbary Coast's violent shipping docks to the city's gilded parlors, Celia and Nicholas begin to suspect that someone very close to them holds the key to a murderous conspiracy...

Received for review

I wanted to like this but I really couldn't. It's essentially a cozy mystery set in late 1860s San Francisco which sounded good but the reality was a just a mess of a feminist rant about racial discrimination disguised as a mystery.

The author seems to believe that Chinese immigrants were treated very poorly in San Francisco (because all immigrants were treated so well) and that the Irish were completely to blame for this. So she enjoys free reign in her racial discrimination was against the Irish, but according to her that's not discrimination because all Irish are charming but abusive drunks. Of course! Who knew?! While the Chinese are innocent, lovely people who were at the mercy of the big bad Irish. This alone made my stomach turn.

The horror continued with the author's feminist agenda. The characters act extremely out of character for the time period and were just frankly annoying rather than rousing any girl power feelings in me. I just outright did not like them.

The mystery itself was acceptable, but I frankly didn't even care at that point because I hated the characters so much. I found myself rather hoping that it was a murder spree and someone would go all Dexter on one of them.

Overall this was a barely acceptable read and if you enjoy reading about Irish hating feminists this would make a lovely read for you but otherwise I really cannot recommend it at all.

★★☆☆☆ = Just Okay

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