I 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!