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A Dangerous Business
A Dangerous Business
A Dangerous Business
Audiobook7 hours

A Dangerous Business

Written by Jane Smiley

Narrated by Therese Plummer

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars



About this audiobook

“Mrs. Parks was often paid in gold dust, but she paid her girls in dollars …”

From the beloved Pulitzer Prize–winning and best-selling author: a rollicking murder mystery set in Gold Rush California, as two young prostitutes follow a trail of missing girls

Monterey, 1851. Ever since her husband was killed in a bar fight, Eliza Ripple has been working in a brothel. It seems like a better life, at least at first. The madam, Mrs. Parks, is kind, the men are (relatively) well behaved, and Eliza has attained
what few women have: financial security. But when the dead bodies of young women start appearing outside of town, a darkness descends that she can’t resist confronting. Side by side with her friend Jean, and inspired by her reading,
especially by Edgar Allan Poe’s detective, Dupin, Eliza pieces together an array of clues to try to catch the killer, all the while juggling clients who begin to seem more and more suspicious.

Eliza and Jean are determined not just to survive, but to find their way in a nascent town on the fringes of the Wild West—a bewitching combination of beauty and danger—as what will become the Civil War looms on the horizon. As
Mrs. Parks says, “Everyone knows that this is a dangerous business, but between you and me, being a woman is a dangerous business, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”

Editor's Note

Satisfying twists…

Travel back to 19th-century California at the height of the Gold Rush in this historical mystery by Pulitzer-winning Smiley (“A Thousand Acres”). Eliza and Jean, who work in the same brothel, refuse to turn a blind eye when sex workers start disappearing. Using skills learned from Edgar Allan Poe detective stories, the two women take a closer look at their clients, coworkers, and other townspeople. Despite the subject matter, “A Dangerous Business” is a buoyant read with feminist themes and satisfying twists.

Release dateDec 6, 2022
A Dangerous Business

Jane Smiley

Jane Smiley is a novelist and essayist. Her novel A Thousand Acres won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1992, and her novel The All True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton won the 1999 Spur Award for Best Novel of the West. She has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1987. Her novel Horse Heaven was short-listed for the Orange Prize in 2002, and her novel, Private Life, was chosen as one of the best books of 2010 by The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post.

Reviews for A Dangerous Business

Rating: 3.35 out of 5 stars

40 ratings1 review

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    This is a good historical fiction mystery which ties up all the lose ends nicely. Thad narrator was wonderful and able to do men’s voices very well. Worth the read.