Looking for a better life, prostitute Nora Simms arrives in Gold Rush San Francisco with a plan for success: to strike it rich by trading on her good looks. But when a string of murders claims several of her fellow women of ill fame, Nora grows uneasy with how closely linked all of the victims are to her. She must distinguish friend from foe in a race to discover the identity of the killer.
*Pushcart Press Editors Book Award nominee*
Reviews for WOMAN OF ILL FAME
“I LOVED Woman of Ill Fame! Nora Simms is hilarious, heartbreaking, tough, perceptive…and one of the most engaging characters I’ve ever met between the pages of a book. Wonderful story, great setting and really good writing made this one of the best books I’ve read in a long time!”
-Diana Gabaldon, internationally-bestselling author of the Outlander series,
now a Starz miniseries
The whodunit aspect makes Woman of Ill Fame a page-turner, and Mailman manages to keep the reader guessing. Yet it’s the depiction of early San Francisco that propels this thriller above its genre, in the manner of historical fiction such as Caleb Carr’s The Alienist.
-Kemble Scott, San Francisco Bay Guardian
Mailman serves up vivid description, sparkling prose and a Gold Rush prostitute as scrappy as Scarlett O’Hara.
-Kathleen Grant Gelb, Oakland Tribune
Nora Simms isn’t a whore with a heart of gold. She’s a whore with a head for gold…. Mailman presents a sprawling, loud and muddy city that fairly pulsates with human energy.
– Edward Morris, ForeWord
This novel shatters what romantic illusions might remain about the Gold Rush days….Erika Mailman has created a true, trustworthy and likable voice in a gritty place, with a realistic portrayal of human behavior that isn’t for Victorian sensibilities.
-Kel Munger, Sacramento News & Reviews
WOMAN OF ILL FAME IS NOW AN AUDIO BOOK!