May 132015

Lou Merriweather is a psychopomp in 1860s San Francisco: She’s androgyne, (allegedly) unattractive, mixed-race Chinese and English, and she unhaunts houses for a living. The first scene shows us her personality: a bit of a rogue, and a woman who isn’t afraid to be mistaken for a man.

She has to leave San Francisco, however, to chase down the disappearing Chinese immigrants, gone seeking work. On the way she’ll befriend bears and make enemies – it’s a rip-snorter of a book that blends action and adventure with a minimum of bodice-ripping. It manages to be progressive

and entertaining all at once.