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Readers' Comments for Fallen Women

In October, a select group of readers who participated in one of our Historical Fiction Author Spotlight Contests won copies of FALLEN WOMEN by Sandra Dallas. It’s about New York socialite Beret Osmundsen, who gets word that her estranged sister Lillie has died suddenly in Denver. When Beret discovers the sordid truth about Lillie’s death, she makes her way to Denver, determined to locate the killer. Take a look at some of the readers' comments to give you more insight into this historical and riveting mystery --- and make sure to watch out for SPOILERS!

FALLEN WOMEN by Sandra Dallas is a step into the historical past. In 1885, in the city of Denver, Beret Osmundsen from New York society finds herself on the hunt for her sister's killer among the dregs of the underground world of prostitutes and opium dens. While assisting Detective Mick McCauley, she finds herself pitted against family ambition and media and society gossip, and the quest for the truth of her sister's killer endangers her every step. Her thought processes are plainly seen to be above average in the area of criminology, and Mick has the foresight to think her an asset to the investigation. The killer is closer to her than she suspects, and this makes for great drama. I didn't know who did it until Beret did. Good for you, Sandra; I usually get it on the first guess, but this book kept me riveted until the end. With so many viable suspects, I was at Sandra’s mercy. The characters are well written and the situations historically plausible, making this an enjoyable read and worthy of a sequel. I want to find out if Beret and Mick's friendship will develop into something more, and Sandra Dallas could easily take this plot to New York for another book, which I would read with delight. Overall, this is a book that is well researched and has deeply developed characters that make you want to find out more about them and the historical background of Western city life.

Betty --- This comment contains mild SPOILERS.
FALLEN WOMEN is a terrific read! I was drawn into the 19th century world of Denver by the very first paragraph in the prologue, which was just a hint of what was to follow. This world is sordid, elegant, outrageous --- depending on your social status.  The lives of the prostitutes are vividly portrayed and in such contrast to the ornate homes of the rich and privileged. But Sandra Dallas’ characters bring this world to life --- the brave and bright Beret, who is trying to unravel her sister Lillie’s life and violent death; her detective friend Mick; the household servants; her Aunt Varina and Uncle John, the judge. The dinner parties, the scheming to make John a senator, the aunt’s revenge and the servants’ loyalty all contribute to this fast-moving, very convincing plot. I didn’t foresee the events at the end of the book, or the moral depravity of Varina. Even the squalor of the city is here, with an occasional look at a clear day. 

Historical fiction lets the reader live in another time and place, and I certainly felt as if I was a part of the life of Denver more than a century ago. The press was hungry for stories even then (some things don’t change much). As many books as I have read, this was my introduction to the work of Sandra Dallas. I have already been to the library to look for some of her earlier books. I will certainly recommend this to the members of my book group and several others who are always asking me for book recommendations. I will be sure to tell them that it is historical fiction, mystery and character studies all in one excellent package.

FALLEN WOMEN is a riveting mystery. When you think you know what is going on, the plot changes. I couldn't put the book down; it kept my interest until the end. It is the story of a prostitute who was murdered in the brothel she worked at. The rest of the book reveals how her murder was solved. Every time you thought you knew who the murderer was, there was another twist in the plot. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Thank you so very much for the new Sandra Dallas book, FALLEN WOMEN. I finished it last night. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of this author's books. I started with ALICE’S TULIPS and have read every one that she has written.  

The story of FALLEN WOMEN was just a little bit out of character from Sandra Dallas's other books. I don't remember any of them being murder mysteries. I enjoyed this book and appreciate the way the author researches her books. She made one feel sorry for the plight of the women who had to live as "fallen women." Sandra Dallas is an author who gives an accurate history of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and also creates an entertaining story. I intend to share my book with book club friends. 

I am a fan of Sandra Dallas and have read all of her books. I enjoyed this book very much, as it had a few twists and turns with only one that I predicted. Many of her books are set in the West, and for this book it was evident that she researched extensively about Denver during the "Gilded Age" of mining, finance and the ever-present and dark side of prostitution. Sandra Dallas is a skilled writer and her characters are fully developed, which makes the reading more enjoyable. I would recommend this book to others and I plan to pass this advance copy on to a friend, who I'm sure will also enjoy it.  

I won the book FALLEN WOMEN. It was a very good book. It was interesting to read some of the history about the whorehouses. They were not as clean and classy as you would imagine. It was a thriller, too, in that it kept you guessing who the person was who killed Lillie.

I would recommend the book to my daughter and tell her it was an interesting book. It makes you not want to put it down so you can find out who did the crime. I really enjoyed the book.

Historical fiction is not my first choice for stories, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Overall, I liked the book and thought it was very readable. The main characters were well drawn. However, I thought there was very little suspense, as the end was very predictable about halfway through the book. I would recommend this book to people who like historical fiction and are interested in women's issues.

I don't normally read historical fiction but FALLEN WOMEN sounded interesting when I read the book's description, and it was. It is essentially a murder mystery that takes place in 1885 in Denver. Beret Osmundsen, the protagonist, searches for her sister's killer. It became apparent to me who the killer was about 2/3 of the way through the book, and then the author tried to make it look like it was somebody else. It was quick reading and kept my interest. I would probably recommend this book to women looking for some light reading.