Woman of Ill Fame by Erika Mailman & Giveaway (US only-Kindle eBook)


Woman of Ill Fame by Erika Mailman is a raw and realistic look into the life of a prostitute back in the 1800’s. In Woman of Ill Fame the streets of San Francisco are brought alive and you are literally transported back in time so vividly that you are quite sure you are standing on the streets yourself.

Nora Simms dreams of a better life for herself and she’s arrived in San Francisco with a plan to get it. Having been a prostitute from a young age it is all she knows and she’s going to use that and her good looks to get herself a job as a parlor girl. Parlor houses are much more reputable than the street cribs she’s worked all her life and she wants the prestige and safety of working for one.

Nora’s arrival doesn’t go quite as smoothly as she would have liked when her trunk is stolen and she is left only with what is in her pockets. Still she has enough funds to get a room in a boarding house run by Mehitabel who she eventually becomes friendly with. She begins her work in the cribs all the while trying to better her situation so that she can apply to a parlor house. Things take a turn though when prostitutes begin showing up dead and all seem to be wearing some piece of her missing clothing. Soon enough Nora is afraid that she may be the next victim of the ‘women of ill fame’ killer.

Woman of Ill Fame was quite interesting from a historical point of view. I loved reading about San Francisco back in the days of the gold rush. I also found it fascinating to read about the life of a prostitute back in the 1800’s and the different words and phrases they used were amusing at times. Nora was an easy character to like. She doesn’t mince any words when describing her life as a prostitute so for those with more delicate senses this likely isn’t the read for you. For me I enjoyed it as it was a part of history I hadn’t yet had the pleasure of reading about.

Other tour stops with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Erika’s website and blog
Buy at: Amazon, Amazon Canada, and B&N


GIVEAWAY DETAILS (US only – Kindle eBook only)

I have one Kindle eBook copy of Woman of Ill Fame by Erika Mailman to give away to my US readers only.  To enter…

  • Leave a comment entering the giveaway for 1 entry.
  • Tweet, share on Facebook, or blog for 2 extra entries.

This giveaway is open to US residents only and it is for a Kindle eBook.  I will draw for the winner on January 2, 2014.  Good luck!



Source:  Review copy provided by the publisher.  No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own.


  1. Kathi Crouse says

    Wow, this sounds like something I truly would enjoy reading about! I can only imagine the kind of life she must have had. I can see me not being able to put this down!

  2. Connie Fischer says

    I’m betting that this is a very interesting novel. I was a huge fan of the series, Deadwood, and if you’ve ever watched it, you will know how big a part the prostitutes played during that time period. I have always been fascinated with the gold rush and the lengths to which people would go to find their gold.

  3. kathleen bianchi says

    This certainly sounds like a different look at the time period. I think it will be great reading this book.
    I tweeted.

  4. Beth Hoffman says

    Terrific review, Dar. This sounds like a powerful read on a subject I know virtually nothing about.

    Sending hugs to you and little Sammy!

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