Publication year: 2013
This is a collection of short stories.
Madam Sybil’s First Client is the first story, which chronologically is before Maids of Misfortune. Annie Fuller has not even met Nate Dawson yet, and she is starting to run her boarding house with the help of Beatrice O’Rourke and Kathleen. We know that Annie’s husband committed suicide after he lost all her fortune to gambling, so she was left penniless and at the mercy of her nasty in-laws, who made her become the companion of several relatives. It is when she was the companion of a single aunt that she accompanied the woman to some clairvoyance sessions, and then realizing that the woman could be tricked, Annie pretended that she had been inspired by these seances and she could talk to some spirit called Madam Sybill. The aunt believed her and Annie did some seances with her and some other acquaintances. It is then that she got news of her inheritance and she travelled to San Francisco.
The idea of using Madam Sybill as a way to earn some income with her knowledge about stocks and the financial market came from Mr Stein, who was her aunt and uncle’s friend and now, as we know, is with his wife Annie’s boarders. Mr Stein thinks that he can help some men who are reluctant to ask advice from a woman. So Annie puts an advertisement, but is is Mr Stein who gets her her first client, Mr Voss, who is the gentleman who is murdered in the first mystery book. Mr Voss is sceptical to believe her, but Annie’s advice prove to be accurate and get him good money.