Scandal on Rincon Hill (Sarah Woolson Series #4) by Shirley Tallman, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Scandal on Rincon Hill (Sarah Woolson Series #4)

Scandal on Rincon Hill (Sarah Woolson Series #4)

5.0 9
by Shirley Tallman

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“Bringing Victorian San Francisco to colorful life, Tallman offers an entertaining mystery…will appeal to fans of Anne Perry and Rhys Bowen.” —Library Journal

A body is found just blocks from attorney Sarah Woolson’s home on Rincon Hill. Sarah is on the case, but 19th-century San Francisco is soon thrown into a state of panic


“Bringing Victorian San Francisco to colorful life, Tallman offers an entertaining mystery…will appeal to fans of Anne Perry and Rhys Bowen.” —Library Journal

A body is found just blocks from attorney Sarah Woolson’s home on Rincon Hill. Sarah is on the case, but 19th-century San Francisco is soon thrown into a state of panic as a gruesome crime spree begins to take hold of the city.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The lack of a satisfying solution to the whodunit at the heart of Tallman's fourth historical set in 19th-century San Francisco (after 2007's The Cliff House Strangler) is the only real flaw in an otherwise solid read. Idealistic and iconoclastic attorney Sarah Woolson investigates the bludgeoning murder of botanist Nigel Logan, who was at a party with Woolson's judge father only the night before and whose body was found near the Woolson home. Several days later, a friend of Logan's, a church deacon, apparently falls victim to the same killer. When the police latch onto some Chinese immigrants as the culprits, despite the absence of any real evidence, Woolson bravely takes on their defense. Convincing period detail supports an engaging lead who's a more plausible character than, say, Rhys Bowen's Molly Murphy, a PI in early 20th-century New York City. The romantic subplots don't overwhelm the mystery, but the ending will surprise few. (Mar.)
Library Journal
It is 1881, and Sarah Woolson (The Cliff House Strangler) struggles to keep her law practice afloat by finding bits and pieces of work where she can. A murder takes place a few blocks from her home on Rincon Hill in San Francisco. Another murder and the arrest of two young Chinese men who have just arrived in the States finds Sarah acting as their attorney. VERDICT Anti-Chinese prejudice and the plight of young women from good families who are encouraged or bullied into marriage are themes explored in Tallman's fourth series historical, which also brings the charming city of San Francisco to life. For readers who like Rhys Bowen's historicals.
Kirkus Reviews
Multiple murders and a maltreated mistress are all in a day's work for 19th-century San Francisco attorney Sarah Woolson. Sarah is that rara avis in 1881, an unmarried professional woman. Her brother Samuel, a crime reporter who writes under an assumed name in order to conceal his job from their judge father, is covering a case that claims her attention. When several respected members of the community are murdered in the Woolsons' Rincon Hill neighborhood, the police arrest some young Chinese men. Under the auspices of powerful Tong leader Li Ying, for whom she has previously worked, Sarah takes their case. At the same time, she seeks justice for lovely Brielle Bouchard, mistress of holier-than-thou publisher Gerald Knight, who casts her off when she bears his child. Bigotry against the Chinese population makes her criminal case difficult for Sarah. And she's puzzled by her feelings for handsome shipping-company owner Pierce Godfrey, who's asked her to marry him, and the fresh romantic overtures of her friend and colleague Robert Campbell. To top it all off, she gets involved in promoting a career for lovely and talented singer Melody Tremaine, whose parents are appalled at the thought. When her projects turn out to be intertwined in complex ways, she finds herself fighting for both justice and her reputation. Sarah's fourth (The Cliff House Strangler, 2007, etc.) neatly marries mystery, romance and historic San Francisco in an enjoyable tale of the stubbornly independent career woman.

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Sarah Woolson Mysteries Series, #4
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
5.88(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.24(d)

Meet the Author

SHIRLE Y TA LLMAN lives in Eugene, Oregon and Incline Village, Nevada.

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Scandal on Rincon Hill 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
terrica37 More than 1 year ago
Once again the intelligent ,fiesty and obviously lovely lady that is Sarah Woolson finds herself right in the middle of murder and mayhem in Victorian San Francisco. What is so much fun for me in these stories (besides the plots, of course) is the birds eye view of the politics, and mores of the time. Shirley Tallman has obviously done her homework in researching the history of San Francisco, and as a native of "the city", I enjoy these books immensely. Woven among the foreboding romance of Chinatown , the suffering of the Chinese immigrants; the rigidity of the role of women in those Victorian times, and of course the corrupt ruling political class and their methods of "entertainment", Ms Tallman has created an intelligent mystery, all the while treating us to Sarah's romantic "coming of age". Thoroughly enjoyable! I can't wait for the next mystery with Sarah, her family, friends, and old San Francisco.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In the year of our Lord 1881 in San Francisco someone stabs to death botanist Nigel Logan. The corpse is found on Rincon Hill, a couple blocks from the Woolson family home. Adding to the connection is that the night before the homicide, Nigel and Judge Horace T. Woolson attended the same party. SFPD Police Sargeant George Lewis accompanied by the Judge's son crime reporter Samuel investigate. Also looking into the murder is the Judge's other offspring Sarah the attorney. A few days later, Logan's friend Deacon Hume is killed; seemingly by the same culprit. The police arrest Chinese immigrants as the case is going nowhere so they need suspects even if there is not one drop of evidence. Sarah defends the Asians although many on Rincon Hill including a predator want her to lose the case. The latest Woolson historical mystery is a superb San Francisco Victorian tale (see The Cliff House Strangler) that is a great period piece legal thriller. The story line is fast-paced from the moment George wakes up Sarah by tossing pebbles at her window and never slows down. Although the climax can be seen from the top of Nob Hill to the Tenderloin, fans will enjoy this exhilarating Americana novel. Harriet Klausner
JOANN84 More than 1 year ago
SCANDAL ON RINCON HILL by Shirley Tallman Shirley Tallman's "Sarah Woolson" books rank at the top of historical mystery. Tallman's latest is no exception. SCANDAL ON RINCON HILL opens with a bang. Sarah is rousted out of bed in the middle of the night by the news that a body has been found just two blocks from the Woolson family home. Not one to be left out of things, the intrepid Sarah grabs a lantern and rushes to the murder scene along with her humorous brother, Samuel, who secretly writes crime articles under the nom de plume, Ian Fearless. They are horrified to find a young man in elegant dinner dress savagely beaten to death. Two more identical murders quickly take place on Rincon Hill. All of San Francisco clamors for police to make an arrest. Prejudice against the Chinese is rampant in Sarah's world of 1880. Two badly frightened Chinese boys who cannot even speak English, are arrested and thrown into jail, certain to go to the gallows. Having endured her own share of prejudice in daring to invade a man's world and become a "lady" lawyer, the compassionate Sarah takes their case. She knows no jury of white men will acquit her clients. Therefore the only way she can save them is to uncover the real murderer. Her investigation plunges her into peril and leads her into the seamy underbelly of the city where no "lady" should go. As always, Tallman's research is impeccable, the plot clever and immensely satisfying, the writing fast-paced and vivid, and the climax a huge but believable surprise that will stun readers. Colorful characters abound. Fans of the series will shout, "Hurrah," as the tall, dark and devastatingly handsome Pierce Godfrey, whom they met in an earlier book, reappears in Sarah's life, turning it upside down. SCANDAL ON RINCON HILL is a winner. Don't miss it! JoAnn Wendt
Lovetoreadmysteries More than 1 year ago
I was fortunate to obtain an advanced copy of SCANDAL ON RINCON HILL to preview, and I'm happy to say that I loved every word of it! Tallman just seems to get better and better with each new book in the Sarah Woolson series. This time a body is found close to Sarah's Rincon Hill home, and she and her brother Samuel sneak out of their house in the middle of the night to view the scene of the crime for themselves. When a second body is discovered in the same quiet neighborhood just a few days later, San Francisco goes into a panic thinking a serial killer is on the loose. Not only was the mystery fast paced and compelling, but I loved the way Tallman gave us a peek inside the city's high class brothels -- the scene where Robert Campbell is ogled by a number of scantily-clad "ladies of the night", is hysterical! I also appreciated visiting San Francisco's theater district, it must have been a lot of fun. I loved seeing the wonderful character of Pierce Godfrey make an appearance again, even if poor Robert isn't at all amused. All in all, a wonderful, exciting read. The problem with Tallman's books, however, is that I don't want to put them down once I've started. So, a friendly warning: don't start one right before you go to bed. I highly recommend SCANDAL ON RINCON HILL!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great mystery from Shirley Tallman. Her characters, setting details, and plot twists never fail to amaze me. Each book in the series just seem to get better and better. Can't wait for the next one! A mystery fan from Sacramento, California
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