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Scandal on Rincon Hill

(Sarah Woolson #4)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  291 ratings  ·  29 reviews
“Bringing Victorian San Francisco to colorful life, Tallman offers an entertaining mystery…will appeal to fans of Anne Perry and Rhys Bowen.†—Library Journal

A body is found just blocks from attorney Sarah Woolson’s home on Rincon Hill. Sarah is on the case, but 19th-century San Francisco is soon thrown into a state of panic as a gruesome crime spree begins to t
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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3.82  · 
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 ·  291 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Amy Rosenkoetter
Jun 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
In the same feminist vein as Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody Emerson and Laurie R. King's Mary Russell is Shirley Tallman's Sarah Woolson. Sarah is blessed with a family that understands her very masculine proclivities and her attempts at being a lady lawyer in an era where that just wasn't done. Set in turn-of-the-20th-century San Francisco, the story was beautifully written and had a lot of outstanding characters in it - and they were all 3-dimensional! The potential romances were well done a ...more
Debbie Maskus
May 12, 2011 rated it liked it
I thoroughly enjoy this series set in 1880-1890's in San Francisco. Tallman weaves many tidbits of history into the story such as the rivalry between Isaac Kallock and Charles DeYoung that resulted in DeYoung shooting Kallock and Kallock surviving the gunshot. Then Kallock's son guns down DeYoung, the editor-in-chief of The San Francisco Chronicle. Again, Tallman exposes the hatred directed toward the Chinese and the distinct class levels. Other interesting topics are presented such as Charles D ...more
First Sentence: The nightmare began early on the morning of Sunday, December 4.

Sarah Woolson is only the third female attorney to be licensed in California and is struggling to get her private practice off the ground. A brutal murder occurs on Rincon Hill, near her home, followed shortly by a second murder. Neither victim had been robbed. Both had attended the same party. Two young, very recently immigrated Chinese men are arrested, Sarah’s former client, powerful tong leader Li Ying, hires her
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book by Shirley Tallman. Sarah is a very interesting young woman with very forward thinking views. The time period is one I really like and the setting is very good as well.

I had not figured out who the killer was until the very end but had my suspicions about half way through. But then I moved on to someone else and was pleasantly surprised at the end.

I especially loved the visit to the house of ill repute by Sarah and Robert. The scenes there were really interesting and
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy these Sarah Woolson mysteries. The setting is great (San Francisco late 1800's). The mysteries are interesting. There is even a potential romance brewing and love triangle. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. My only fear is that Sarah is going to take her career to the extreme and miss out on happiness she could have beyond just being a lawyer.
Apr 21, 2019 rated it liked it
More of a book of domestic life than crime. The mystery just solved itself and no investigation was done. 🤔
Beat yet but...

This has been my favorite of the series so far, probably because I'm a sucker for a love story. However, there are a few things I could just not overlook. One, the praise for prostitution. Not necessarily outright praise (the author skirted all around it!), but the author's pseudo-logical arguments in favor of it. I agree that the women who have to resort to that should not be shamed or blamed but NO. It is not some form of freedom or business to be admired! I hate this lie. It tr
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Sarah Woolson awakens to the pebbles hitting her bedroom window. It is Samuel, a good friend of Sarah’s brother, George Lewis. George is a crime reporter. He goes but the alias of Ian Fearless. This is because their father is the Honorable Horace T. Woolson. The judge despises reporters.

There has been a body found, a few blocks away from their home. Sarah gets involved in the murder investigation. Someone is trying to cover up the murder. Sarah’s nose leads her to a brothel. Things are really h
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Sarah Woolson is an attorney in San Francisco in the 1880’s – one of only two in the entire state of California. She is drawn into investigating the similar murders in her own neighborhood of a botanist and a church deacon. When a pair of recent Chinese immigrants are arrested as convenient scapegoats, Sarah comes to their defense. The setting is the most interesting element of the story and I was immediately drawn in because the first victim was a professor (somewhat before my time) at my alma ...more
Aug 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sarah, the only female attorney in San Francisco in 1881 and one of two in all of California, has opened up shop but has a hard time making ends meet. No one is in a hurry to hire a woman lawyer even though she has helped solve several big name cases. Her heart is always willing to take on the oppressed and marginalized and she has the smarts and support to do it. She still lives in the family home and her father and three brothers are all successful in their chosen fields. Only her mother still ...more
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
The weakest of the series so far. The storyline is just going here and there and there's never much of an investigation of the mystery, but a lot of more or less interesting personal stuff of Sarah and her family and friends. The solution and ending doesn't make much sense, but wasn't really a surprise either because it had to end... somehow... after all. Sarah doesn't do much about her clients either - she visits them in jail a couple of times and finally stumbles into the real murderer randoml ...more
In "Scandal On Rincon Hill" murder has happened. Sara Woolson is caught up in murder. As a woman lawyer in 19th Century San Francisco, Sara has trouble just getting enough paying clients without getting caught up in mysteries she can't solve and with clients she can't seem to help due to the prevailing cultural and police prejudices. There is as much historical social commentary as there is murder mystery.
Jeanne Adamek
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
A definite fun read. I like charcters that are smart and perhaps a bit bossy, but not perfect. I enjoyed the Christmas setting. The mystery wasn't much. For me that did not detract from the story as the characters ad descriptions more than made up for this lack. I would reccommend this book to anyone who would like to read a well told story that flows with memorable characters.
Ericka Scott
Feb 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An enchanting mystery set in San Francisco in days gone by. I enjoyed the page-turning suspense with a touch of romance and look forward to Ms. Tallman's next installment.
Apr 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I think I read and liked this, but can't actually remember
Oct 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Didn't see the solution to the mystery coming, which was kind of nice. Don't like the apparent resolution to the "triangle" but that WAS predictable.....
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
I read this whole book and was so confused... only just realized it was part of a series.
saw a review in the Oregonian. It's a murder mystery (ew) but takes place in SF (yea), has romance (yea), and the author is from Eugene (yea).
Feb 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, mystery
The story dragged, too much description of what characters wore, too much reviewing of the facts so far. I skimmed a lot of the text and almost abandoned the book several times.
Jun 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Another fun mystery featuring my favorite attorney! I really enjoy this series.
Feb 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Not the best written book, but light entertainment. I enjoyed the historical references and the attempt at archaic slang, as well as capturing some of the challenges women faced in the late 1880's.
Bhanu Marley
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
A perfect combination of murder solving and love. Loved it!
Tara Knoblauch
Sep 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mystery romance and family the author draws you in the solution to the mystery was a serprise. The final chapter was anticlimactic. I recamend this novel.
Mar 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Last one in the series :(
Mar 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
love these books!
Deirdre S.
Jul 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Jan 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Another good Sarah Woolson mystery. Loved the continuing love triangle with Robert and Pierce! I can't decide who I like better.
rated it liked it
Jul 25, 2013
rated it really liked it
Sep 23, 2015
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SCANDAL ON RINCON HILL is the Book of the Day 1 5 Jun 03, 2010 05:49AM  
Cyber Launch Party Today For Shirley Tallman 1 3 Mar 30, 2010 12:53PM  

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Shirley Tallman is an accomplished screenwriter and author who resides with her husband in Eugene, Oregon. She is currently working on various movie projects and the fourth book in the Sarah Woolson series. "

Other books in the series

Sarah Woolson (5 books)
  • Murder on Nob Hill (Sarah Woolson Mystery, #1)
  • The Russian Hill Murders (Sarah Woolson Mystery, #2)
  • The Cliff House Strangler (Sarah Woolson, #3)
  • Death on Telegraph Hill (Sarah Woolson, #5)