Bloody Lessons: Victorian San Francisco Teachers: Part Two

In my newest Victorian San Francisco Mystery, Bloody Lessons, the question comes up over whether a teacher got her position through undue favoritism on the part of a school board member. Once again, a plot point came right out of the pages of my dissertation and the newspapers of the time period. And once again, the controversies of the past, in this case over city policies governing the hiring and retaining of public school teachers, echoes controversies in the present. “No matter what their salary, women highly coveted the job of teaching in the nineteenth century, and by 1880 a position in the California or Oregon public schools was not always easy to obtain. In the 1850s and 1860s a teacher had to go through a yearly examination order to get and to retain her job, and examination that was Read more…

Bloody Lessons: Victorian San Francisco Teachers–Part One

From the start, my plan for the series of mysteries set in Victorian San Francisco has been that each book should feature a different occupation held by women of that period. In Maids of Misfortune, my protagonist, Annie Fuller, goes undercover as a domestic servant, in Uneasy Spirits, she investigates a fraudulent trance medium, and in my short story, The Misses Moffet Mend a Marriage, the elderly seamstresses who live in Annie Fuller’s boarding house are on center stage. In Dandy Detects, it is another boarder, Barbara Hewett, who is the main protagonist. And it was while I was developing her background story, including her work as a teacher at the city’s Girls’ High, that I decided that my next full-length book after Uneasy Spirits would be about the teaching profession. In less than two weeks, that book, Bloody Lessons, will Read more…

Victorian San Francisco: Woodward’s Gardens

In the countdown to the publication of Bloody Lessons, I am going to explore some of the places in I have let my characters visit in my Victorian San Francisco stories. For some of those places, you can still visit and experience what they would have been like in the late 19th century, for example, the famous Cliff House Inn, while others are so long gone that it is hard to imagine how important they had been to residents of San Francisco in the past.  Woodward’s Gardens is one such place. In 1879-1880, when my novels are set, Woodward’s Gardens was the preeminent place for San Franciscans to go to recreate–even more popular than Golden Gate Park, which was just still a good deal of sand dunes, newly landscaped carriage drives and a single Flower Conservatory.  However, today, if you Read more…

Bloody Lessons: One Month until Launch!

Bloody Lessons, the third book in my San Francisco Mystery Series will be available in print and in all major ebook stores September 15, 2013. The book is already available for pre-order in print on Amazon.com  and for the Kindle. See Excerpt. ♣♣♣♣ In the next month I will be posting frequently about the steps I have been taking to make this a successful book launch and the historical context of this book and Victorian San Francisco.–M. Louisa Locke Book Description In Bloody Lessons, it’s the winter of 1880, and the teachers of San Francisco are under attack: their salaries slashed and their competency and morals questioned in a series of poison pen letters. Annie Fuller, the reluctant clairvoyant, has been called into investigate by Nate Dawson, her lawyer beau, and the case becomes personal when they discover that Laura, Read more…