Maids of Misfortune: A New Audiobook Edition

I am very pleased to announce that a new audiobook edition of Maids of Misfortune is now available. This is a completely new version, narrated by Alexandra Haag, who has narrated all the rest of my Victorian San Francisco mystery series and my science fiction trilogy. In addition, if you get the book from AppleBooks, Nook, Kobo, or GooglePlay, you can get it for under $10. I am particularly excited about the fact this book, as well as most of the rest of my books, are now available to rent as audiobooks from libraries. I decided to have this new version Read more…

When Men will be Boys: Masculinity and Late 19th Century Fraternities

When I started research on my newest book, Scholarly Pursuits, the sixth novel in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series, my only agenda was to take some of my series characters across the San Francisco Bay to solve a crime on the University of California campus at Berkeley. I was primarily curious about what life was like for college students in 1881, and since my mystery series focuses on women and their experiences in this period, I assumed I would mostly deal with what life was like for my female characters. (If interested in this topic, see this post.) What I Read more…

Who were the Women Attending Berkeley in 1880-81?

In Scholarly Pursuits (now available), I set the mystery on the University of California campus at Berkeley during the spring term of 1881. The university, first opened in 1863, didn’t enroll any women until 1870, and between 1874 and 1881, only ten percent of the bachelor’s degrees granted by the university went to women. This is not surprising, given that one of the decade’s most popular books was Sex in Education (1873), a book by Edward Clarke, a Harvard medical school physician, who argued that women who were educated in the same fashion as men would face an inability to conceive Read more…

In loco parentis: A comparison of 19th century and 20th century coeducation

Introduction: I confess, that like many historical fiction writers, I often choose my characters and plots as a way to explore certain subjects. For instance, my primary goal in starting to write my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series was to further explore and tell stories about the women I had studied for my history doctorate. Consequently, during the past ten years I have researched jobs women held in a variety of occupations including domestic service, spiritualism, public school teaching, the printing industry, and department stores. However, while doing the research about public school teaching for Bloody Lessons, the third book in Read more…

Scholarly Pursuits Now Available for Pre-order

“Something is rotten in the state of Berkeley” –1881 Blue and Gold Yearbook, University of California: Berkeley In Scholarly Pursuits, the sixth full-length novel in the USA Today best-selling Victorian San Francisco mystery series, Locke explores life on the University of California: Berkeley campus in 1881, where Laura and her friends face the remarkably modern problems of fraternity hazings, fraught romantic relationships, and fractious faculty politics.  While Annie and Nate Dawson and friends and family in the O’Farrell Street boardinghouse await a blessed event, Laura Dawson finds herself investigating why a young Berkeley student dropped out of school in the fall Read more…