The Cliff House Strangler: A Sarah Woolson Mystery

Shirley Tallman, Author
Shirley Tallman, Author . St. Martin's Minotaur $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-35756-6
Reviewed on: 05/07/2007
Release date: 07/01/2007

P lucky lawyer Sarah Woolson arrives at rugged Land's End on a predictably dark and stormy night in Tallman's third entertaining and atmospheric 1880s San Francisco whodunit (after 2005's The Russian Hill Murders ). Socialites have gathered at Cliff House for a séance with Madame Karpova, self-proclaimed Russian psychic. She puts on a good show until tell-all columnist Darien Moss decides to spoil the party. Then comes a crash of lightning, the lights go out, and when they come back on, Darien is found garroted with a balalaika string. Sarah, trying to establish herself as San Francisco's first female attorney, turns sleuth with the help of her devoted brother, a crime novelist. Mounting corpses distract Sarah from the miseries of her first client, a single mother whose flight from a drunken husband (legally represented by Sarah's love interest, Robert Campbell) provides a poignant subplot. Tallman throws in some unexpected twists, keeping the reader guessing to the end. (July)

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