|Plot Summary of Murder on Nob Hill|
St. Martin's Jun 2004, 23.95, 304 pp.
In 1880, though females are not accepted as lawyers, twenty-seven years old Sarah Lorraine Woolson, who learned the law from her father, Superior Court Judge for the County of San Francisco, feels capable and ready. She pulls a name game ploy using her brother Samuel, which enables S.L. Woolson to gain entry into the firm of Shepherd, Shepherd, McNaughton and Hall, attorneys-at-law. Then she “steals” a wealthy client Annjennet Hannaford when the distraught widow decries a lack of legal service from the firm's lawyer Mr. Wylde. This presumptuous act forces fuming senior partner Joseph Shepherd to acknowledge Sarah as a junior associate.
Three weeks ago, someone murdered Cornelius, Annjennet's husband of seven years, leaving her as the prime suspect and without assets. Sarah immediately enables her client to obtain money while the estate remains in probate. Not long afterward, the police arrest Annjennet and her lover for the murder. While the law firm believes she is guilty, Sarah follows the money trail of how Hannaford and three partners made a fortune. When the partners are also killed as gruesomely as Hannaford, Sarah continues her inquiries while shaking up the male legal establishment.
MURDER ON NOB HILL is an entertaining historical legal thriller starring a courageous and charming champion. The story line brings to life the sexist glass ceiling that leaves competent females beneath the lowest rung of the food chain while also providing insight into laws such as the Married Woman's Property Act. Sarah is a wonderful protagonist and her firm's appointed shadow Robert, with his “wardrobe” and “courtside manner” problems, adds a touch of romantic frustration to a fine tale.
This synopsis report prepared by Harriet Klausner
|Chapter Analysis of Murder on Nob Hill|
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
descript. of violence and chases - 10%
Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 40%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 40%
How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) - 10%
Tone of story
- suspenseful (sophisticated fear)
How difficult to spot villain?
- Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues
Time/era of story:
- 19th century
What % of story relates directly
to the mystery, not the subplot?
Kind of investigator
- skilled citizen investigator
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Any non-mystery subplot?
- minority/women/homosexual issues
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
- a lawyer creature
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Amount of dialog
- significantly more dialog than descript
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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