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Pilfered Promises

(A Victorian San Francisco Mystery #5)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,662 ratings  ·  181 reviews
Holiday cover edition: It is November, 1880, and the future looks promising for Annie and Nate Dawson. Nate’s law practice is taking off. Annie has made the transition from pretend clairvoyant to a successful financial consultant. And they are looking forward to spending their first Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays together.

For Robert Livingston, the owner San Francis
Kindle Edition, 255 pages
Published July 19th 2016
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  1,662 ratings  ·  181 reviews

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Amanda Hupe
Dec 02, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I tried. But there is so much that prevented me from finishing this book. First, I was listening to the audiobook version. The reader was not that great. The accents were off, there were moments where she read way too fast, and there was absolutely no emotion in the voice.

As for the story. Nothing was happening despite there being too many points of view. It was a dull story with one dimensional characters and unnecessary information.

I am sorry. I am sure this is a wonderful book to some.
Back to being mostly Annie - which I liked in the first two stories - this one was one of my favourites in the series. It had all the elements of the story I enjoyed - a quick read, layered mystery, a lot of Annie and an expansion on the story of the boarders.

You don't need to read the first books to enjoy all the rest, there is usually a recap whenever a character or situation is introduced, I liked the episodic way the stories are written. I'll be keeping an eye out for M. Louisa Locke's futu
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
The novel is set in the holiday season of 1880. A large department store in San Francisco is finding that quite a lot of their inventory has gone missing. As Annie, Nate, Patrick, and Kathleen attempt to find out why, an employee is murdered--could her death have something to do with the theft? Is the store owner's entitled wealthy son involved? Great characters and thorough historical research into the time and place make this series one of my favorites. This is my second time reading this hist ...more
Holly A. Woodruff
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another satisfying book in the series

I have become very fond of Annie, her husband Nate, and all the residents and staff of her boarding house. I still miss Annie's subterfuge as Madame Sybil, but the mystery more than makes up for it. As with the other books in the series, the story is complete, no cliffhangers. But it helps if you've read them from the beginning so you know more about the characters. There are a few references to the earlier books, but not so many as to be distracting. There i
Dec 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Very Detailed

The first part of the book was in such detail I debated whether to finish it. There was so much going on in the book and so many characters, at times I felt confused. The story ended hurriedly, in my opinion, but I was glad I read it to the end. I would recommend this book to those that enjoy this series, but not as a light read. I gave it 3 stars because I feel it just didn't flow well and was not the "page turner" the other books by this author were.
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoy Ms. Locke's Victorian setting mysteries. The crimes are just as bad, but the police and Mr. and Mrs. Dawson seem to handle them in a much more refined way than modern detectives! Mr. and Mrs. Dawson are settling happily into married life when Annie is called upon to help one of the city's largest and most successful emporiums, the Silver Strike, solve what appear to be thefts due to a shoplifting ring. On Thanksgiving morning, as the store is being decorated for the Christmas shop ...more
The holiday season of 1880 is approaching and Annie is looking forward to celebrating with her new husband Nate and all their friends at the boarding house. Bea is going all out preparing a Thanksgiving feast, Kathleen is hoping for a few extra dollars to help buy gifts for her family, the Misses Moffatt are sewing up a storm. Nate has been busy working on a divorce case and hardly has time to eat. On top of that, the happy couple are asked to intervene in family drama for Nate's in-laws. This l ...more
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fun continuation of the story of Annie and her boarders.
What I like most of this series is that it's character driven. In each installment we get to know Annie, her boarders and Nate more. We learn about their likes, dislikes, insecurities, hopes and daily lives in turn-of-the-century San Francisco. The characters are warm and interesting.

The mysteries are light and interesting. They quietly get solved as our characters go through their days.

This setting of Thanksgiving and Christmas emphasi
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
I like the characters in this series, but this fifth book just wasn't up to snuff. The plot was weak, in my opinion, and although the narration by Alexandra Haag was satisfactory, it just didn't capture me. I think I will stick to reading these instead of listening. ...more
Linda Sharp

Not bad not good. I liked the characters in the boarding house but the plot was a no brainer.
Not heavy reading but fun.
Annie Dawson is asked to help investigate what appears to be a shoplifting ring in a fancy San Francisco department store. It's the Christmas shopping season, so of course the store is very busy indeed. During her investigation, she learns that various goods seem to be disappearing from the warehouse and starts looking into that as well. One of the women who is instrumental in the investigation, Marie Fournier, is murdered ... and pretty soon Annie is up to her neck in that investigation as well ...more
Dec 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

For this book it said that you might not need to know the other books to read this. I felt like I couldn't get into it and found it slow. I don't know if it is because I was unfamiliar with the characters and their personalities or the book was just not up to my par. Regardless I'm sure it would be a good mystery and I was interested. I'm hoping to one day come back to this and hopefully then, i'll enjoy it.
Susan Davis
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this series! And I think they get better with each book.
Nola Arganbright
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
Very authentic

Another excellent book to the Victorian San Francisco series. The characters are excellent. This book have a a good view of the times and a surprising finish!
I felt a little overwhelmed with all the characters. There was so much focus on the main characters and all their friends and relations that I had a really difficult time keeping track of the people actually involved in the mystery. The side characters had so much to do that it almost seemed like the mystery was a subplot. But two things in particular were what pulled me out of the story time and again.

First, Annie is a married woman now, so it stands to reason that she should be getting pregnan
PeterK B
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Nearly a four star average rating?? Wow. I have read Books 1 to 5 so far, and each one is worse than the previous one. (When the price was a bargain, I did buy another one of this series, but never again.) There is far too much time spent on Annie's personal life and subplots, such as a rich lady apparently shoplifting. Also, the author has spent a lot of time researching departments stores of the era and we get an endless tour of the store and its operations in this novel.

The plot is weak for
Norma Huss
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
M. Louisa Locke is one of my favorite authors. This mystery, set in historic San Francisco, centers around a new, large department store, the clerks, the fashion designers, and the seamstresses who sew the clothing sold in the store. The murder was a poser. I was quite at a loss for who the killer might be, although I did finally have a bit of suspicion (but that's okay). Lots of nice period ambiance, a bit of romance, some personal problems, action, and suspense. And engrossing read, and I high ...more
Laurel Kristick
This is one of my favorites of this series - theft, intrigue and death at a fascinating department store. The characters were great, and as always, the author has a deft hand at weaving the history into the story and setting.
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pleasant read

The murderer seems obvious to me. The twisted family relations were too convenient. it it is still a great set of characters and relationships.
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, mystery, 2019
A good story and lovely characters. Interesting social history.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As Annie's story continues, and her strength in her convictions increases, the books are taking a somewhat darker turn. It is a clever, if subliminal, way of getting the point across that women are, first and foremost, living, breathing and capable human beings. The age old idea that women need to be protected from the world is just wrong.

Although presented as cozy mysteries of the Victorian era, what truly recommends this series are its presentation of history, and its feminist leaning. The hi
Melissa Dinwiddie
Victorian San Francisco + history + mystery = win!

M. Louisa Locke brings her background as a scholar of women’s history to bear in her novels, which is what I love about them. Not only do I fall in love with fully dimensional characters, but I get a sense of what it was like to live in San Francisco in the 1880s (hint: being a woman was a helluva lot harder than it is now! Case in point: women had to petition a judge for a divorce, and you were NOT guaranteed to win, and if you had kids, you wer
Evelyn Grabas
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was pleasant to see how this series progresses. It is even better than before, now that the subterfuge has ceased, Nate and Annie are married and the little grey cells can function freely with a little intrigue, romance, family camaraderie, love, caring and, of course, the main mystery thrown in. I loved the procedures, both police and private, that were followed in discovering, catching and dispensing with the shoplifting and thievery of store stock. I learned a lot as to how different thing ...more
Randy Overbeck
Dec 14, 2020 rated it really liked it

Pilfered Promises: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery by M. Louisa Locke delivers pretty much what it promises in the title. Readers come away from the reading with a vivid sense of the Christmas shopping season of 1880 on the West coast. It is one of more than dozen works in this series but was the first I encountered. Kudos to the author, in that I had little trouble “jumping in” with the characters and setting, having not read the earlier works—though a time or tw
Glenn Younger
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fashion, business, and Victorian culture—both high and low

What isn’t there to love about this book? The setting of the murder mystery is a large luxury department store in 1880 San Francisco. Filled with fashion, business, and cultural mores of the day, it gives the author a lot to play with and the reader a richly drawn peek behind the scenes of Victorian life, both high and low.

Annie is once again the central character in solving a business scandal and murder. Nate defends an oppressed wife an
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
In this story, Annie is called upon to discover why the Silver Strike department store is having such losses. Annie goes to check it out and is overwhelmed by how much seems to be going wrong.

She meets all of the staff including a little girl named Emmaline, and to me, she seemed like the real mystery.

Well, I wasn't completely wrong.

Very soon into the story, Emmaline's mother is murdered and Annie and Nate have to decide if the murder had anything to do with the robberies or if they just happene
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elaine Bidstrup
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fifth Victorian mystery set in San Francisco by M. Louisa Locke. I love her books! The protagonist is Annie, owner of a boarding house, and now married to her love, Nate Dawson, an attorney. This novel starts just before Thanksgiving and ends on Christmas Eve - a perfect read for this hot summer. Annie and her very interesting boarders and servants are preparing for the holidays, when her sister-in-law's mother is arrested for shoplifting at the new Silver Strike department store.
This is the fifth book in the series and finds Annie and Nate drawn in to help investigate thefts at the Silver Strike Bazaar, with Annie going over the books and Nate to protect them from a legal standpoint. But, not unexpectedly, things get progressively complicated as it turns out that there is more to the thefts than first, something that turns deadly. At the same time, Annie and Nate are settling in to married life and building up to their first Christmas together at the boarding house, whi ...more
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
San Francisco 1890
Annie and Nate Dawson are an interesting couple. She's more progressive, a champion of women's education and the right of women (even married ones) to work outside the home, and she owns a boarding house. Nate, a lawyer, is a bit old fashion and struggles to understand his wife's attitudes. Nate's younger sister lives in the boarding house and is studying at the University of California.

The couple, with help from the police and several residents of the boarding house, are deter
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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 (9 books)
  • Maids of Misfortune (A Victorian San Francisco Mystery #1)
  • Uneasy Spirits (A Victorian San Francisco Mystery #2)
  • Bloody Lessons (A Victorian San Francisco Mystery #3)
  • Deadly Proof (A Victorian San Francisco Mystery #4)
  • Kathleen Catches a Killer (A Victorian San Francisco Novella, #5.1)
  • Dandy Delivers (A Victorian San Francisco Mystery #5.2)
  • Scholarly Pursuits (A Victorian San Francisco Mystery Book 6)
  • Lethal Remedies (A Victorian San Francisco Mystery #7)

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