About loulocke

For over twenty years, I was known by students taking U.S. History classes at San Diego Mesa College as Dr. Locke, an enthusiastic and amusing teller of stories about the past. Now semi-retired, I have taken my story telling in a new direction with the publication of the historical mystery, Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco mystery. I am currently living in San Diego with my husband and assorted animals, where I am working on Uneasy Spirits, the sequel to Maids of Misfortune.

Dandy Delivers: A new novella

Dandy, the Boston Terrier in my Victorian San Francisco Mysteries series, modeled on the Bostons in my own life, has always been one of my favorite characters. He was the first to get his own short story, Dandy Detects, and he always makes sure to show up in my longer books, if only for a cameo appearance. For some time, however, he has wanted to have another starring role, and I found that before I could get serious about writing the next novel in the series (title Scholarly Pursuits, estimated publication date some time this fall), I had to write this story, which became Dandy Delivers.

As with Kathleen Catches a Killer (my most recent story in this series), this started out to be a short story and turned into a short novella, which means that I will price it at $2.99. However, I want all the fans of the series to get a chance to get it first at a discount. So for a limited time it will be only 99 cents.

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It’s January, 1881, and while the adults in Annie and Nate Dawson’s San Francisco O’Farrell Street boardinghouse are busy with their own affairs, two boys and a dog find their own adventure. Ian Hennessey, a poor boy from South of Market, who is trying to shoulder a man’s responsibilities, gets in trouble, and his best friend, Jamie Hewitt, does what he can to help. But it is Jamie’s young Boston Terrier, Dandy, who saves the day.

This short novella comes right after the events in Pilfered Promises and Kathleen Catches a Killer but can act as an introduction to the late gas-lit world of Locke’s historical mystery series.

For a limited time only, 99 cents on Kindle  iTunes  Nook  Kobo  GooglePlay

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In addition, Deadly Proof, the fourth book in the series, just won the 2017 Chanticleer Mystery and Mayhem award for first in the historical mystery category. To celebrate, I have made it Free until May 10th (making it a great gift for Mother’s Day.)

It’s the summer of 1880, and once again the lovely and inquisitive businesswoman, Annie Fuller, is helping San Francisco lawyer and beau, Nate Dawson, with a troublesome case. Nate’s client, a female typesetter accused of murdering her boss, refuses to help in her own defense. Complicating matters, Nate’s sister Laura insists on getting involved in the potentially dangerous investigation, while Laura’s friend Seth Timmons, troubled Civil War veteran, finds himself a witness for the prosecution. Will Nate be able to win his first big case? Will Laura and Seth find some way of becoming friends? And finally, will Annie and Nate’s upcoming nuptials be derailed by their attempts to track down a killer?

FREE until 5/10 on Kindle  iTunes  Kobo  Nook  GooglePlay

Enjoy,

M. Louisa Locke, May 4, 2018

Victorian San Francisco and 19th Century Police Techniques

Here is an excerpt of a piece I wrote for the Historical Fiction Authors Cooperative this week. To read the whole piece CLICK HERE.

The five novels in my Victorian San Francisco mystery series primarily feature Annie Fuller, a young woman who runs a boarding house, and Nate Dawson, a San Francisco lawyer who helps her solve crimes. However, I frequently publish short stories and novellas to let the minor characters in my novels become major actors for awhile. (Yes, characters do seem to have an opinion about this, and no, authors aren’t crazy to see their characters as having minds of their own.)

For example, my short story, Dandy Detects, didn’t just let the young Boston Terrier pup from my first book, Maids of Misfortune, strut his stuff, but this story began to flesh out the past histories of two other characters, the school teacher Barbara Hewitt and her son, histories that in time would become crucial parts of the plot in my third novel, Bloody Lessons.

Perhaps even more importantly, these shorter works also let me go into more detail about historical tidbits about San Francisco, something that can get in the way of good pacing in the longer, more conventional mystery novels. Much as my two dressmakers, Miss Minnie and Miss Millie, lend notes of humor to all my books, it was only when I gave them their own short story, The Misses Moffet Mend a Marriage, that I had the time to go into specifics about how skilled dressmakers could make their living in nineteenth century San Francisco. And, in Mr. Wong Rights a Wrong, I was able to reintroduce a character people loved from Maids of Misfortuneand write a story that provided historical detail on Chinese immigration, anti-Chinese sentiment, and the charities that tried to help Chinese women in San Francisco.

Kathleen_killer_1600x2400In my most recent novella, Kathleen Catches a Killer, Annie’s boarding house maid, Kathleen Hennessey, has the opportunity to solve her own mystery, but I was also able to use this story to describe some of the methods used by the San Francisco police force because Kathleen’s beau, Patrick McGee, is a patrolman who is working hard to become one of the city’s plain-clothes detectives.

The rest of this blog piece can be found HERE.

Kathleen Catches a Killer is now available as an audiobook at Amazon, Audible, iTunes.

I recently did an interview on the blog, mapyourmystery.com. This blog is a great place to find new mysteries, with a particular emphasis on mystery settings.

M. Louisa Locke, March 21, 2018

Valentine’s Day Promotion

Bloody Lessons Is free:

Since Bloody Lessons, the third book in my Victorian San Francisco series, features Valentine’s day (as Uneasy Spirits is set during Halloween, Deadly Proof during a July 4th celebration, and Pilfered Promises during the Thanksgiving to Christmas holidays) I have decided to offer it free, as a perfect Valentine for you to give to yourself or someone you love.

It is Free on US Kindle, International Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Kobo, and GooglePlay until 2/15, and if you get the Kindle ebook version, the audiobook edition is discounted to $7.49. Plus, don’t forget there is also a lovely paperback edition for those of you who still enjoy print.

In addition, for those of you who missed the blog post I did on Victorian Valentine celebrations and the writing of Bloody Lessons, check out this blog post I did four years ago for the Historical Fiction Authors Cooperative (a site with lots of great historical fiction novels.)

Update on the next novel:

After my excursion into the future with my Paradisi Chronicles science fiction stories, I am happily back in the Victorian era and making great headway on the next full-length novel in the series, which will feature Nate’s sister, Laura, as she and her friends unravel a mystery at the University of California in Berkeley. I am right at the end of the research phase, discovering all sort of interesting facts that I am going to be able to weave into my mystery–from college high-jinks, a fraternity hazing scandal that resulted in a shooting, and a divided faculty that got the university president fired in the spring of 1881, which is when this next book is set. I am hoping that this novel, title tentatively Scholarly Pursuits, will be ready for publication by mid-to-late summer of 2018.

Kathleen Catches a Killer:

In case you missed it, right before Christmas I published Kathleen Catches a Killer, a Victorian San Francisco novella that features the O’Farrell Boarding house maid. It is available on Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Kobo and GooglePlay. It’s only in an ebook version now, but it will be coming out as an audio book in March. (Rest assured I will let you know when that happens.)

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day,

M. Louisa Locke, February 12, 2018

New Holiday Offerings

I grew up in western Pennsylvania, where we usually had one snowfall by December. However, I have lived the last fifty years in the southwest, mostly in San Diego, where snow never falls. Consequently, I confess I wait every year for December 1 when WordPress starts its falling snowflakes on its websites. Makes me smile every time. And today, as those virtual flakes begin to fall, I am particularly happy to announce that I have two fun gifts for the fans of my Victorian San Francisco mystery series. I have just published a brand new novella, Kathleen Catches a Killer, that features the O’Farrell Street maid, Kathleen, and I have given Pilfered Promises, the fifth book in the series, a new holiday cover and made the book Free until December 15. The events in the novella come immediately after those in Pilfered Promises, so these two make a perfect holiday duo.

It is November of 1880, and the future looks promising for Annie and Nate Dawson. Nate’s law practice is taking off. Annie has made the transition from pretend clairvoyant to a successful financial consultant. And they are looking forward to spending their first Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays together.

For Robert Livingston, the owner San Francisco’s newest grand emporium, the holidays don’t look so promising if he can’t figure out how to stop whoever is stealing from his department store, the Silver Strike Bazaar.

However, when he hires the Dawsons to investigate, they discover that behind the doors of his “Palace of Plenty,” nothing is quite what it seems.

Pilfered Promises, a sweet cozy historical mystery, is the fifth novel in the Victorian San Francisco Mystery series featuring Annie and Nate Dawson and their friends and family in the O’Farrell Street boarding house.

Pilfered Promises is FREE  on  Kindle  iTunes  Kobo  Nook  GooglePlay until 12/15/2017

It’s the very end of December, 1880, and the servant Kathleen Hennessey expects to spend a quiet week taking care of the O’Farrell Street boarding house while her employers, Annie and Nate Dawson, are off spending the Christmas holidays with Nate’s family.

However, when she agrees to help out one of her friends, Kathleen discovers that a simple case of a servant being dismissed without notice has turned into a complicated puzzle that she is determined to solve.

While featuring minor characters from Locke’s Victorian San Francisco mystery series, Kathleen Catches a Killer contains all the light romance, humor, and suspense of the longer works. Chronologically, this novella comes right after the events in Pilfered Promises, but it can be read as a stand-alone and an excellent introduction to this mystery series about the gas-lit world of the late 19th century.

Now available on Kindle  iTunes  Nook  Kobo  GooglePlay

Wishing you all a happy holiday season,

M. Louisa Locke

Update and Promotional Offerings

Update:

A year ago, I had just published Pilfered Promises, the fifth book in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery Series, and I had just begun work on the sequel to my first full-length science fiction novel, Between Mountain and Sea. I hoped that I would get this book done and out within six months, so I could go back to doing the work on my next book in the continuing story of Annie and Nate and the O’Farrell Street Boarding house. I told myself, surely I could write a nice short book…maybe in the 60,000 to 70,000 word range…in that time, and still be able to live a balanced life (theoretically I am retired.)

But of course, life and the writing muse had different plans.

A series of trips (to conventions and visits with my daughter and grandsons), the constant work it seems to take to keep my body moving at my age, a demanding schedule of lunches and tea dates with friends, a number of other authors’ manuscripts I had the honor to beta read, and the unexpected discovery that my short sequel had turned into two full-length books, meant that here I am, not six months, but a year later, finally, starting to work on my next historical mystery.

But I do have the satisfaction of having produced two books more books in the Paradisi Chronicles series that I am quite fond of, and the following promotion is my way of celebrating this achievement.

Promotion:

For the rest of September, Between Mountain and Sea will be free, and the second book, Under Two Moons, only 99 cents. The third book, Through Ddaera’s Touch, was just published this week, and I am hoping that everyone who reads the first two books will be more than happy to buy the third, which completes the set, for the low price of $4.99.

Between Mountain and Sea is FREE on: KindleiBooks | Nook | Kobo | GooglePlay

Under Two Moons is 99 cents on: Kindle | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | GooglePlay

Through Ddaera’s Touch is now available on: Kindle | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | GooglePlay 

And the novella set in the Paradisi Chronicles World with my daughter, The Stars are Red Tonight, is now free if you get Kindle Unlimited.

Happy Fall!

M. Louisa, September 17, 2017

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