Maids of Misfortune - M. Louisa Locke

I knew as soon as I started this book that I was going to love it and I was right. A strong female heroine set in the Victorian era with a clever mystery is a recipe for success.

Annie Fuller is a widow who escaped a stifling marriage when her husband committed suicide. She moved from New York to San Francisco where she inherited a house and is now a respectable businesswoman running her own boardinghouse. Her side job as Sybil the Clairvoyant is known only to a few trusted household employees.

When one of her customers dies and it is declared to be suicide, she knows better and decides to prove it. Along the way she meets a handsome lawyer, learns what it's like to be a domestic in the Victorian era and foils an old acquaintance who wants to take everything she has.

The mystery is clever but not overly taxing to figure out. There is some romance but it doesn't overpower the mystery. The Victorian setting adds the perfect touches to the story. I absolutely loved the ending.

This author knows what a mystery reader wants to read. I've already purchased the next book in the series and am excited to read it. I know for me this series will be like comfort food, something I'll return to again and again.