Maids of Misfortune by M. Louisa Locke was a free download on AmazonKindle that I found out about through BookBub. It is the first in the series A Victorian San Francisco Story.
It’s the summer of 1879, and Annie Fuller, a young San Francisco widow, is in trouble. Annie’s husband squandered her fortune before committing suicide five years earlier, and one of his creditors is now threatening to take the boardinghouse she owns to pay off a debt.
Annie Fuller also has a secret. She supplements her income by giving domestic and business advice as Madam Sibyl, one of San Francisco’s most exclusive clairvoyants, and one of Madam Sibyl’s clients, Matthew Voss, has died. The police believe his death was suicide brought upon by bankruptcy, but Annie believes Voss has been murdered and that his assets have been stolen.
Nate Dawson has a problem. As the Voss family lawyer, he would love to believe that Matthew Voss didn’t leave his grieving family destitute. But that would mean working with Annie Fuller, a woman who alternatively attracts and infuriates him as she shatters every notion he ever had of proper ladylike behavior. . . .
I enjoy reading historical romance novels occasionally and Maids of Misfortune was a great find on BookBub to fulfill that need. It is light and comical with an interesting murder mystery. I enjoyed that Annie Fuller has some autonomy only because she is a widower and owns a business. There was nothing blatantly out of character for that historical time even if there is some ridiculousness surrounding Fuller’s alternate personality Madam Sibyl.
Dawson and Fuller’s romance was quaint and predictable, but a sweet and engaging read. I also liked that Dawson was competent and interesting and not some sort of smarmy stereotyped lawyer. Plus, he is actually invested in his client and goes the extra mile to help Fuller solve the mystery. The side characters were decently developed and helped keep the story moving forward in a fun manner.
If you like historical romance novels with women who are slightly ahead of their times and romantic interests that try, but don’t always succeed, in being supportive check out Maids of Misfortune.