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San Francisco, March 1867. The Chinese believed that some days are inauspicious, the ill tidings written in the passage of the heavenly bodies. Celia Davies gazed down at her patient, a delicate Chinese girl whose skin displayed more bruises than unblemished flesh, and wondered if today would probe to be one of those days.In this historical mystery series debut, a courageous nurse and a war-scarred police detective in 1860s San Francisco champion the down-trodden and fight for justice. British-born Celia Davies left her privileged family for an impulsive marriage to a handsome Irishman. Patrick brought her to San Francisco’s bustling shores but then disappeared and is now presumed dead. Celia partnered with her half-Chinese cousin Barbara and her opinionated housekeeper Addie to open a free medical clinic for women who have nowhere else to turn. But one of her Chinese patients is found brutally murdered…and Celia’s hotheaded brother-in-law stands accused of the crime.
"You heal!" The old woman who'd been watching from the doorway flapped wrinkled hands, causing the lengthy twist of her silver-tinged ebony hair to swing across her chest. "You heal.""I shall try," Celia answered. "I shall try my best."
Detective Nicholas Greaves is intent on discovering the killer of the girl, whose ethnicity and gender render her as powerless in death as they did in life. Nicholas’s efforts are complicated by Celia, who has a knack for walking into dangerous situations that may lead to answers…or get them both killed. For as their inquiries take them from Chinatown’s squalid back alleys to the Barbary Coast’s violent shipping docks to the city’s gilded parlors, Celia and Nicholas begin to suspect that someone very close to them holds the key to a murderous conspiracy… (publisher)
Page 56: "I'm trying to imagine you with a younger sister, Mr. Greaves. You must be very protective of her."