Friday Book Whimsy: Fallen Women

searchAuthor Sandra Dallas once again takes us to the Old West in the 1800s, this time to Denver during Gold Rush days. As we all know, the money from the gold in them thar hills brought about a variety of seemly and not-so-seemly enterprises. Establishments for prostitution abounded in the big city of Denver.

New York socialite Beret Osmundsen travels to Denver when she learns of the death of the sister from whom she was estranged. She soon learns that her sister was murdered. What’s more, her sister – herself a rich woman – was a prostitute and had been murdered at the house from which she worked.

Beret might be a rich New Yorker, but she is no weakling. Having devoted herself to working with poor women in NYC, she is familiar with some of the more unseemly aspects of life in the big city. She is determined to help the police detective in charge of her sister’s case find out who killed her sister, and more importantly, why. Though her murder appears to be the work of a serial killer, Beret is not so sure.

Fallen Women is a murder mystery, plain and simple. Many of Dallas’ stories are really more about relationships and character development, Fallen Women is about solving a murder.

I loved the characters in this book. Having read a lot of books that take place in the 1800s, both in London and in cities in the US, I am aware that in the 19th century, police officers and detectives were considered to be low-lifes, likely because most of them took bribes or were not willing to pursue a case unless they were compensated handily. I found this story interesting because the police detective who handled the case was from Denver’s high society and only worked as a policeman because it interested him.

Having lived so long in Denver, I really liked the fact that the story took place in downtown Denver. Thought the street names were different, I could envision where Beret was walking or where some of the places she visited were located.

There is a bit of a romantic element, but very unobtrusive to the main story.

I enjoyed the book very much, and would consider this to be one of my favorites by this author.

Here is a link to the book.