Learn more about Shirley's lastest release!

DEATH ON TELEGRAPH HILL - Available October 16, 2012!

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
ISBN 978-1-250-01043-8
October 16, 2012

To read chapter one of Shirley's new novel, DEATH ON TELEGRAPH HILL, click here.

Read some reviews (pdf)!


After meeting the Irish poet Oscar Wilde, Sarah and her brother Samuel make their way down Telegraph Hill. A gunshot shatters the quiet night and Samuel slumps to the ground, gravely wounded. Sarah fights to stop the bleeding, her mind whirling. Who would want to harm Samuel? Was he even the intended target? Vowing to find the truth, she returns to Hill. But instead of finding answers, she stirs up more questions, and multiple murders. When the police arrest a man she believes to be innocent, Sarah takes his case. Too late she realizes she may have just added her own name to the killer’s list!


Check out Shirley's current releases!


Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN 978-0-312-38697-9
March 30th, 2010  

To read chapter one of SCANDAL ON RINCON HILL, click here.

To view the book video click here.



A body is found just blocks from attorney Sarah Woolson’s peaceful Rincon Hill home. Sarah is soon on the case, but 19th-century San Francisco is rapidly thrown into a state of panic as a gruesome crime spree begins to take hold of the city. Engaged in a life or death struggle to find the murderer, Sarah becomes embroiled in the erotic escapades of the town’s infamous high-end brothels, a proper Anglican church, Darwin’s shocking theory of evolution, and a vicious killer who will stop at nothing to achieve a scandalous objective


July 2007
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0-312-35756-7

To read chapter one of Shirley's novel, THE CLIFF HOUSE STRANGLER, click here.

To view the book video click here.

Don't miss these great reviews too! Click here to read them.


An ancient Aztec priest speaking though the voice of a Russian clairvoyant, ghostly apparitions and flying trumpets, are hardly up practical young attorney Sarah Woolson’s alley. So, when she and her protesting colleague Robert Campbell make their way through a violent storm to attend a séance at San Francisco’s Cliff House, they are stunned to find not only specters, ghouls and phantom music, but one very dead body at the table!


Written by Shirley Tallman
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0312328583


Though her own San Francisco law firm barely tolerates her, gutsy young attorney Sarah Woolson flouts proper feminine behavior in this nineteenth-century answer to Legally Blonde. While her mother begs her to settle down, her chauvinistic boss tries to come up with ever more spiteful ways to pressure his only female associate into quitting. Naturally, Sarah digs in her heels and vows to retain her position at any cost. Besides, she has no intention of straying too far from the action.

When the wife of wealthy society entrepreneur Leonard Godfrey drops dead of an apparent heart attack at a charity dinner for the new Women and Children's Hospital, Sarah's curiosity gets the better of her. But no one will believe in her theory that Caroline Godfrey's death was not natural - until several more people affiliated with the hospital die of inexplicable causes.

Meanwhile, when a pregnant widow whose husband has died in a sweatshop fire asks for Sarah's help in finding the owner so that she can sue for recompense, our feisty heroine insists on taking the case against her boss's orders. With the help of her colleague Robert Campbell and an eager young hansom cabdriver named Eddie, Sarah goes on a manhunt for Killy Doyle, the menacing head of the factory underworld. But she can't ignore the mysterious deaths at the Women and Children's Hospital - especially when the hospital's Chinese chef is arrested for the murders and the Chinese community's most powerful Tong Lord asks her to defend him.

Faced with her first criminal trial, Sarah stops at nothing to determine the killer's identity. But in trying to exonerate her client, she places her own life in danger. Will Sarah figure out who the murderer is, or will she be the final victim?

Written by Shirley Tallman
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0312328567


The year is 1880, the place San Francisco. Intelligent, outspoken Sarah Woolson is a young woman with a goal and the fortitude to achieve it. The fourth child, and only daughter, of a Superior Court Judge for the County of San Francisco, she has always dreamed of becoming a lawyer. The trouble is, everyone believes women belong in the home, that it is not only unnatural, but against God's will for them to seek a career.

When Sarah finagles an interview with one of the city's most prestigious law firms, no one thinks she has a prayer of being hired. Except Sarah. Using her brains, and a little subterfuge, she not only manages to be taken on as the firm's newest (and only female) associate attorney, she also acquires her first client - a lovely young society matron suspected of brutally stabbing to death her wealthy but abusive husband. When Sarah agrees to represent the woman, she discovers that her beautiful client has a secret lover, and that they both had ample reason to want to see hubby dead. Everyone is convinced the two are cold-blooded killers, including the handsome, burly Scottish attorney who becomes Sarah's nemesis at the firm. But Sarah is undeterred. She's sure her client is innocent, and no matter what, she's determined to prove it!

When four more victims fall prey to the killer's knife - and her client is arrested for the crimes - Sarah fears she's bitten off more than she can chew. Without Sarah's help, the young woman will almost certainly be put to death, but proving her innocent will be an uphill battle. Bucking her boorish employer, the judicial system and the gruff Scot, Sarah finds herself embroiled in shady legal maneuvers, a daring Chinatown raid, a secret and very scandalous sex club, a mysterious tontine agreement, and the most powerful and dangerous Tong Lord in the city's Chinese District. Not to mention her arrogant brother Frederick's ambitious run for state senate.     

Utilizing her keen mind and ready wits, Sarah takes on all adversaries. One hard-earned clue at a time, she bravely tracks a ruthless killer, constantly thwarted by the very people who should be on her side. When the murderer threatens to kill his sixth, and loveliest victim, Sarah is forced to run a desperate race against a ticking clock.

Single-handedly she fights not only to free her client, but to discover the killer's real identity. But when she finally corners the Nob Hill murderer, Sarah discovers that she is in grave danger of becoming victim number seven.




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