A Day in the Life with Celia Davies by Nancy Herriman

No Pity for the DeadI do not often speak about myself, so it is rather odd to be here today. But since I’ve been asked, I shall most certainly comply.

My name is Celia Davies. I operate a free women’s clinic out of the home I share with my cousin and ward, Barbara, as well as our housekeeper, Addie. The house lies at the base of Telegraph Hill in San Francisco, which can be brown and scrubby during the dry summer months, looking nothing like the green hills where I grew up in England. Not long before the War of the Rebellion, I came to America with my husband, now perished in a mishap in Mexico. He was lured to California by the tales of riches, and we hoped to make our fortune. Instead, I find myself widowed, the guardian of an orphaned half-Chinese teenager, and a dedicated nurse to the needy women of this young city.

My plans did not ever include becoming a sleuth.

How did I become one, then? Some of you may have heard of the death of one of my Chinese patients, and the subsequent arrest of my brother-in-law as the culprit. As I felt that the police would not be interested in securing justice for a Chinese woman, given the dislike being stirred up against them, I felt it necessary to lend my hand to finding the true killer. I must admit the police detective placed in charge of the case, a Mr. Nicholas Greaves, did not initially appreciate my participation. After the successful resolution of that murder, I trust he has discovered my worth and changed his mind. Or at least he has recognized the futility in attempting to dissuade my involvement.

So it seems a day in my life now consists of two parts. One is, of course, attending to patients, those who come to the clinic I’ve carved out of one of the front parlors, as well as those whom I visit where they live. The second part is becoming entangled in the solution of crimes. Only recently, an Irish lad I’ve taken under my wing found a dead body in the basement of the establishment where he works. And just the other day, I was attending a fete when the young woman whose birthday we were celebrating fell ill and perished from poisoning. These events may cause you to believe I commonly associate with a criminal element, because what other respectable female is so unfortunate as to encounter murder on such a regular basis? I assure you, I do not. However, my housekeeper believes we are cursed, and my cousin frequently requests to move away from me for her own safety. Mr. Greaves suggests I am simply troublesome. I cannot argue with any of them.

Nonetheless, no matter how much the three of them scowl at me, I shall do my duty as I see fit. I would feel a coward to do anything less.


No Pity for the Dead is the second book in the Mystery of Old San Francisco mystery series, published by Penguin Random House, August 2016.

British-born nurse Celia Davies runs a free medical clinic to assist the poor women of San Francisco. Aided in her endeavors by her half-Chinese cousin Barbara and feisty housekeeper Addie, Celia has earned the trust and friendship of many of the city’s downtrodden, including a young orphan named Owen—who’s just confided to her that he’s stumbled upon a corpse.

Owen recently started working for the ruthless real estate and development group, Martin and Company, and discovered a dead body in the office’s basement. Celia turns to Detective Nick Greaves for help, only to learn that one of the main suspects—the husband of Celia’s dearest friend—is an old enemy of Nick’s.

Now, Celia and Nick must put aside their personal feelings about the case—and each other—if they’re going to bring a killer to justice.

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About the author
Nancy Herriman retired from an engineering career to take up the pen. She hasn’t looked back. Her work has won the RWA Daphne du Maurier award, and Library Journal has said that her ‘A Mystery of Old San Francisco’ series is “. . .just the ticket for anyone who misses Dianne Day’s ‘Fremont Jones’ series as well as readers of Rhys Bowen’s ‘Molly Murphy’ historicals.” Her latest release is No Pity for the Dead. When not writing, she enjoys singing, gabbing about writing, and eating dark chocolate. She currently lives in Central Ohio. Find out more at www.nancyherriman.com.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of No Comfort for the Lost or No Pity for the Dead – winner’s choice. U.S. residents only, please. The giveaway will end August 10, 2016 at 12 AM (midnight) EST. Good luck everyone!

49 responses to “A Day in the Life with Celia Davies by Nancy Herriman

  1. No Comfort for the Lost was one of the best books that I read last year, and I cannot wait to read No Pity for the Dead. Thank you for the chance to win.

  2. Linda Herold

    Love sleuth stories! Sign me up! Thanks!! lindaherold999@gmail.com

  3. Oh, this sounds wonderful. I wasn’t aware of this series before reading this introduction. I’m definitely putting this on my list to be read soon.

  4. I would like to start this series, if I am lucky enough to win!

  5. Marilyn Watson

    I love historical mysteries and this sounds like a good one. The Cover is reminiscent to me of some of the great Illustrators of Gothics. Please enter me and thank you for this Giveaway…
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

  6. Doward Wilson

    Sounds like an interesting series to read. Thanks for the chance to win.

  7. I enjoy reading historical mysteries. Thanks for a chance to win!

  8. Thanks to you I just added No Comfort for the Lost to my library want list.

  9. I’d love to add this series to my TBR pile. The reviews are so good, I know I would like them.

  10. Thank you for the chance to win this book. It looks like a fun book

  11. They sound very accomplished for women of that time. Thanks so much for the chance to win!

  12. Sounds like an exciting series. I love period stories that take you back to other times. I love strong women characters and the men that let them be strong!

  13. Definitely on my TBR list. Historical mysteries are such fun.

  14. I enjoy reading books that are set within certain time periods. The cover is enough to make me pick the book up and check it out and then the synopsis of the book would draw me right into buying it. Thanks for the giveaway. robeader53@yahoo.com

  15. ,I really enjoyed the first book NO COMFORT FOR THE LOST and look forward to the new book . Celia has a very interesting background , add Nick and even Owen in my favorite City in the world and I know it will be a page turner. I hope the author is writing a new book to add to the series, Celia and Nick have lots of stories left to tell.

  16. I’m currently reading No Comfort For The Lost and have No Pity For The Dead on my list.

  17. Celia Fowler

    I must admit that I read No Comfort for the Lost partially because the protagonist and I share the same name, and I’m glad I did because it was a wonderful book. I loved the setting of San Francisco of the 1860’s and was really transported there by Nancy Herriman’s wonderful writing. I’m looking forward to reading No Pity for the Dead, which I already have, so don’t sign me up for the giveaway–just wanted to write that I highly recommend this series!

  18. What a marvelous premise for a storyline.

  19. Pat Lafferty

    This seems like a must read series. I will be looking for the first title at my local bookstore. It would be nice to win the second. San Francisco is a favorite city of mine. I have vivid memories of visits many years ago.

  20. A captivating and fascinating series which I would enjoy. Thanks for this lovely feature and giveaway.

  21. A new-to-me author and series!! Can’t wait to try it out. Thank you for the giveaway, and either title is fine with me as I have read neither yet 😉

  22. Vicki Highley

    What an awesome sounding book. Thanks again for introducing me to a new author and her books. I hope I win a signed copy. I have added her to my TBR list.

  23. I’d like to try this series that I had heard of before. I enjoy historicals.

  24. Great time period and place for a book, would love to win, ty

  25. This is a new author and series to me. I love San Francisco and I really want to read “No Pity for the Dead”. Great setting for a book.

  26. Historical mysteries are such a wonderful genre. I would love the chance to read more of Celia!

  27. This would be a new series for me. Have never been to San Francisco so it would be interesting to learn some facts about the city while enjoying a good story.
    thanks.

  28. Sounds like a great series to read. Will be adding these 2 books to my wish list.

  29. I love historical mysteries……I know I will enjoy this book….

    Thank you for the giveaway…..

  30. I love San Francisco and reading books with that setting. Thanks for the contest.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

  31. Thank you for alerting me to a new author/read. It does look very interesting. So hoping I find out how Celia does sooner. Rather than later

  32. Jeanie Dannheim

    This sounds like an exciting, intriguing novel and series! Would love to read itm, especially the work she does with the women’s clinic.