Clara Shortridge Foltz faces a patriarchal nemesis in 1884 San Francisco. When a white prostitute is murdered and flayed down to a skeleton, Clara is hired by the Six Companies of Chinatown to defend the 16 males who are swept up by the Chinatown Squad. This ragtag and corrupt group of sheriffs work for the mayor,Washington Bartlett. The mayor uses the nation’s anti-Chinese sentiment in his quest to win the race for governor of California.
Foltz, the first woman admitted to the California Bar, must learn fast to become a detective in order to prove that her client, journalist George Kwong, is not the killer but was set up by the mayor to take the fall. Along with Ah Toy, her trusted translator and best friend, she is instructed by the head of detectives, Captain Isaiah Lees. Lees becomes enamored with Clara, who is having personal problems with sexual commitment due to her first marriage with Jeremiah Foltz. He was a Union vet who deserted Clara and their five children for a younger woman.
Captain Lees has personal problems of his own, as he has devoted all his time to fighting the corrupt politicians and the Chinatown Squad for 20 years and has not even made time for female relations. Theirs is a very special kind of romance.
Clara brings a national spotlight to bear on her case, as thousands of women flock to the City by the Bay to support her effort to win against these patriarchal forces. The Chinese are also oppressed, and Clara and Ah Toy become embroiled in a deadly came of cat and mouse to trap the real killer and save George Kwong.
“An engaging mystery with a historically informative feminist bent.”
Anita Lock, Clarion Book Reviews, Foreword Reviews
“It was a darn good read and an excellent mystery.”
Grant Leishman, Author of The Second Coming
“I envision Chinawoman’s Chance as a staple in the library of many historical mystery collectors.”
Lisa McCombs, Author of I Have MS
From author Jim Musgrave, Chanticleer International CLUE Book Award winner with multiple mystery titles “Featured” by the American Library Association.
In this exciting first Chinese fiction mystery novel from Musgrave’s Portia of the Pacific Historical Mystery series, emerges one of the best female heroine novels this year.
Clara Shortridge Foltz, Esq. is the first woman admitted to the State Bar of California. It is 1884 in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
Clara stands up against sexism and racism in 19th century San Francisco.
After losing her case in a sexist and racist kangaroo court, Clara learns to use street tactics to find the real killer.
Now you can see how it was in California before civil rights became an issue for anyone but males.