Publisher: NAL
Released: August 4, 2015
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Rating: ★★★★

In this atmospheric historical mystery series debut, a courageous nurse and a war-scarred police detective in 1860s San Francisco champion the down-trodden and fight for justice…

After serving as a nurse in the Crimea, British-born Celia Davies left her privileged family for an impulsive marriage to a handsome Irishman. Patrick brought her to San Francisco’s bustling shores but then disappeared and is now presumed dead. Determined to carry on, Celia partnered with her half-Chinese cousin Barbara and her opinionated housekeeper Addie to open a free medical clinic for women who have nowhere else to turn. But Celia’s carefully constructed peace crumbles when one of her Chinese patients is found brutally murdered…and Celia’s hotheaded brother-in-law stands accused of the crime.

A veteran of America’s civil war, detective Nicholas Greaves is intent on discovering the killer of the girl, whose ethnicity and gender render her as powerless in death as they did in life. Nicholas’s efforts are complicated by Celia, who has a knack for walking into dangerous situations that may lead to answers…or get them both killed. For as their inquiries take them from Chinatown’s squalid back alleys to the Barbary Coast’s violent shipping docks to the city’s gilded parlors, Celia and Nicholas begin to suspect that someone very close to them holds the key to a murderous conspiracy.

Hi, everyone! I’m back from my blogging break. Of course, the planned one-week break turned into two. So much going on. My husband and I had a fantastic time during our Santa Fe getaway! I read three books on my vacation, one of them being NO COMFORT FOR THE LOST by Nancy Herriman.

NO COMFORT FOR THE LOST is a historical mystery set in 1860s San Francisco, during the rise of anti-Chinese sentiments among whites in the city. Celia Davies is a nurse who runs a clinic for disadvantaged women. Celia is shaken when one of her patients is murdered, a young Chinese woman struggling to escape a life of prostitution. Celia forms an alliance with Nick Greaves, a Civil War vet turned police detective. Both Celia and Nick have troubled pasts and emotional baggage, and in a way they’re lost themselves. It makes sense that they would devote themselves to solving the murder of another lost one.

The murder mystery is complex, with more going on underneath the surface. At the same time, the book presents a vivid picture of San Francisco during this turbulent time in history, with much corruption, racial tension, and violence. It made me shake my head at how poorly people treat each other, and of course, similar problems continue today. This was an enjoyable and enlightening read that I’d recommend to fans of strong female protagonists and detailed historical mysteries. A great start to a new series!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.