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Bloody Lessons (A Victorian San Francisco Mystery #3)
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Bloody Lessons

(A Victorian San Francisco Mystery #3)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  2,090 ratings  ·  168 reviews
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, Nate's sis
Paperback, 313 pages
Published September 15th 2013 by M. Louisa Locke
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Laurie Fleming This could be read alone because the author re-explains the story. I really think you would like it better if you read the series, however.

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3.95  · 
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 ·  2,090 ratings  ·  168 reviews

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Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it
What I'm enjoying abou this series is being drawn into the lives of these characters. These people enjoy each other's companionship. The characters are warm and inviting. In each episode, the characters become more bonded and the friendships strengthen.

In this story, we're introduced to Nate's sister. She adds "family" to the circle of friends. She's young, impulsive and has a few lessons of her own to learn as she grows towards maturity.

The mystery portion is light and, I thought, a bit slow
R.P. Dahlke
Sep 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Annie Fuller, widow and boarding house owner, supplements her income as financial advisor to wealthy patrons, but only accepted with the disguise of her alter ego, Madame Sybil, complete with black wig and her star charts. As much as Annie wishes to be able to reveal her talents to the world, she knows this won't happen in 1880. And Annie needs the income, for every day is a struggle to make enough money to keep herself, and the women who depend on her for a living, afloat.

I so enjoyed revisitin
Nancy Butts
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'm afraid I couldn't like this book as much as I did the first two in the series. The author added a third POV character, Nate's sister Laura, and I found that distracting. I also didn't like Laura that much: she is so negative all the time. That was by design, I think, to show Laura's distress. And she does come out of it by the end of the book, but that's a long time to wait to start empathizing with a character whose head you are in periodically.

I also felt that the book was slow, filled wit
Beverly Locker
Nov 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Conflicted Opinion ...
For the most part, I enjoyed the storyline of the book. However, Laura's character seemed unreal for a level-headed, educated school teacher ... high-strung, easily angered, and jumping to conclusions about the motives of everyone she met. The book's ending wrapped up the storyline nicely.
Apr 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I have loved the first two books in the series but this one just didn't do it for me. There seemed to be a lot of characters and some different plots going on. Nate's sister is a new character but she seemed so immature I didn't really care for her that much.

Hopefully the next book is better.
Karyl Carlson
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great series

I really am enjoying this series of mysteries set in old time San Francisco. One gets to know the characters well, and they grow and develop as the stories go on.
Annie Fuller and Nate Dawson have spent the last few months getting to know each other better. Now Nate's sister Laura is staying in Annie's boarding house while she works as a teacher at the local high school. Laura has big dreams to go on to university and become a lawyer like her big brother. She shares those dreams with her dear friend Hattie from Normal School. When Laura is attacked in the alley behind the house, her confidence is shaken. She is too proud to tell her new friends and her br ...more
I enjoyed the previous two mysteries in this series, but this one just fell flat for me. It was very clear to me who was behind all the trouble (in both the main plot and the subplot), and everything felt too pat and predictable. There was no sense of urgency as there was in the other books. Annie's role seemed heavily diminished, and it was hardly necessary for her to go undercover. Disappointing, because Locke is clearly capable of crafting a much more interesting mystery. This one I didn't fi ...more
Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Glad to see some forward momentum in the relationship between Annie and Nate, and I was well far into the book before I was able to work out who the guilty party was. That's always a good thing.
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this, the third novel in the series, there is scandal to be found as we meet up once again with the residents of Annie Fuller's boarding house on O'Farrell and find that Annie has a new boarder. The mystery revolves around scandals within the Board of Education, teachers, and the death of the new resident's best friend.

This is, so far, my favorite in the series. Character development reaches new highs and relationships are better quantified. My decision to start the year with this series was
Jun 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2-owned-kindle
Book III in the A Victorian San Francisco Mystery series.

Annie Fuller is still being courted by lawyer Nate Dawson and she now has his younger sister Laura staying in one of the rooms in her boarding house. While walking home from work one evening Laura is assaulted by an unknown man. This incident begins the investigation into who it could have been and whether it can be linked to other female teachers that have been threatened recently via notes.

Laura is trying to find her best friend Hattie s
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent murder mystery from M Louisa Locke. I like the characters and the details define an earlier time in San Francisco. Everything seems to fit smoothly into the action and there are no jarring notes to make me wonder how believable the plot is. I enjoyed the depiction of women as intelligent, resourceful people while not denigrating the men in the story. This time the murdered woman is the best friend of Laura, Nate's sister. Nate, a lawyer, is the gentleman friend of the boardingh ...more
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
Another fabulous adventure with Annie Fuller. I love the depth of all the characters and how involved you get with all of them. It's like having an extended family. The mysteries are well thought out and the historical background of them makes them that much more interesting. I love watching history happen with the story and the news clippings at the beginning of each chapter. This book was back to cleaner language although still a few swear words, not as many as the last one. One paragraph of N ...more
Jan 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Although I liked this story, it was a bit convoluted at times. I was confused for awhile about who exactly Seth Timmons was, and how he figured into things.

Laura, Nate's sister, was at times strong and smart, but also very weepy about losing her friend, Hattie. If this was a different genre, I'd assume she and Hattie were lovers, which would make a lot more sense of her reaction. I can forgive it because she faced some tough situations along the way.

As always, Annie is intelligent, capable, an
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this out of order so knew some of the outcomes vaguely and other ruled out possibilities because of relations in next entry, but still enjoyable. Laura Dawson has moved into the boarding house and taking up teaching post from her old school friend. She is accosted in the alley. Her brother is working on a case of nasty notes and aspersions against board members and teachers. Then her school friend has a bad fall and dies in hospital. Are all these connected and what is really going on? In ...more
Mar 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Overall, the book served its purpose -- an engaging, relaxing story to read before I went to sleep. Had I been looking for a riveting, can't-put-down novel, I would have been in the wrong place. The story, while interesting, seemed to go on FOREVER! Especially toward the beginning, there were just too many people and the story seemed to just take a long time to get where it was going. The reluctant lovers were a little too staid, in my opinion. I enjoyed the tidbits from history - most of them s ...more
Jacqueline Bradshaw
Ms Locke does it again

This is my third book in the San Francisco Mystery Book series and I think it's the best. Locke's fluid writing style moves the reader through a pleasant journey with an interesting plot, and the continuation of our best loved characters of Annie and Nate. Makes for moments where you feel immersed in a good book. Somewhere between literature and a more complex cozy, this series has found it's spot in my permanent library of 'must keep and re-read' favourite authors.
Maureen Hetzel
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Delightful stating in San Francisco in the 1880s and each chapter began with a quote from the SF Chronicle, the newspaper then and now that served the city. Since I Lived in SF for 48 years, the streets were familiar to me but not the buildings and how they were used. The plot was full of appealing characters and the mystery involving threatening letters about teachers most intriguing. Very well written and characters well developed, particularly the inhabitants and servants in a boarding house. ...more
Another fun addition to this series. The plots were once again predictable, though only slightly so. I’m more in it for the characters anyway, & I particularly loved the addition of new characters who can help with the sleuthing — like Laura, who is smart, fierce, & loves teaching. Her world was highly relatable for me. I adored re-acquainting myself with the world of curriculums, grading, funny student stories, staff/admin politics, & more!
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I Love These Books

Such well crafted,engaging, full of surprises, enjoyable suspenseful,satisfying books. Love the fully three dimensional characters and the imaginative situations they find themselves facing and engaging in. I love These books and so very glad I found them! Worth reading every minute...have read three in a row so far and cannot wait for the next one. I am about to begin the goes...
Rachel Friedland
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As per the norm with the series, I really liked it! The amazing characters develop even more in this book, and in a way that progressed the story as a whole. The only complaint I had was that there was a particular relationship that was under-explained, and due to the historical period, I can understand that. Still, I liked learning about primary school education in 1880 as well as seeing the mystery solved.
Shirley Worley
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nate's sister, Laura, has moved to town,rented a room at Annie's boarding, taken a teaching post suddenly vacated by her best friend. Laura's friend dies after a tragic fall, and her last cryptic words indicate it may not have been an accident. Several events and the discovery of threatening anonymous lead Nate and Annie to believe that someone is targeting people at the school. At Nate's request, Annie goes undercover as a teacher to find the culprit.
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great characters & History

Except for a somewhat telegraphed ending to two mysteries, this was another pleasant entry in Locke's series of Victorian books. Her characters are delightful, and here we are treated to further details of background and history of several. The historical touches are masterful. The emotion and feeling embued in dealing with difficult topics makes this a very realistic read.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really like Locke's Victorian mysteries! I especially appreciate the feisty female characters. In addition to interesting characters, this book also offers two exciting story lines, information on the beginnings of the normal school education movement, and a courageous little dog. Quotes from newspaper stories of the 1880's occurring the beginning of each chapter help to set the mood and provide information on the cultural norms and activities of the time.
Donna Zigmont
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the story. I like the relationship between Annie and Nate. I like that its not being rushed. I also like that Annie is friends with Laura Nate's sister. I enjoy reading about Dandy as well. He kind of reminds me of my dog. Annie's boarding house is a lot like a family and I like that. I was able to guess the killer and who attacked Laura pretty easily, so that was kind of a disappointment. But I look forward to reading more of these stories.
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A delightful period piece

I very much enjoyed this Victorian era mystery. I learned so much about the plight of teachers during that time frame. I appreciated that the story included strong women. While there was romance, which is often poorly done in mysteries, these were well done and perfectly set for the time period. I’ll definitely be reading more books in this series.
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As is often the case in getting a lot of my reading from the library, I started the series with book 3, and now I need to go back and get caught up. This mystery set in time toward the end of the 19th century, gives a good look at strong women of that time, as well as teaching in that era. The characters are lively and believable, and I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery.
Sheryl Smith
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brillliant, but not so bloody, read

This story delves much more deeply into the characters we've grown to love. Two mysteries, or perhaps three, intertwine throughout. Then, when the action comes, it is edge of the seat reading! You will love the ending of the story, which takes place on Valentine's Day . . .
Bette Lentz
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The early days in San Francisco are well told in this book. The people of the boarding house are real and interesting. Young Laura is so naive and easily fooled. Her brother Nate is not able to be there all the time to keep her safe and on the right path. The landlady Annie is the perfect Victorian sleuth.
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great mystery. With the anonymous letters, I kept going back and forth as to who the writer was. In this tale, we got to know Nate’s sister Laura. She gets assaulted not long after coming to San Francisco. Must say, I didn’t get that mystery correct. Looking forward to reading the rest of this series.
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After being a professor of history for over 30 years, I am now retired and writing full time. The books in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series are based in part on my dissertation research on women who worked in the Far West at the end of the Nineteenth Century, and they feature Annie Fuller, a young widow who gives domestic and business advice as the clairvoyant, Madam Sibyl. She is aided i ...more

Other books in the series

A Victorian San Francisco Mystery (6 books)
  • Maids of Misfortune (A Victorian San Francisco Mystery #1)
  • Uneasy Spirits (A Victorian San Francisco Mystery #2)
  • Deadly Proof (A Victorian San Francisco Mystery #4)
  • Pilfered Promises (A Victorian San Francisco Mysteries, #5)
  • Scholarly Pursuits (A Victorian San Francisco Mystery Book 6)