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Book: Frail Blood by Jo Robertson

Book: Frail Blood by Jo Robertson

categories: Book, Fiction, Murder Mystery, Romance, 1909, Historical Thriller, Mystery-Suspense, Real Events Inspiration, Auburn, California, Murder Trial, Lawyer, Historical Romantic Suspense


Jo Robertson

Author Jo Robertsonabout this book: While serving jury duty, I happened to notice an alcove cut out beneath the steps of the old Placer County Courthouse in Auburn, California. Upon further inspection I learned the area was the first jailhouse for women in the county.

Intrigued, I read the story of the first woman incarcerated here, Alma Bell, who allegedly killed her lover in 1909 and was later acquitted by an all-male jury. I thought the background of this true criminal case and trial would make an interesting fictional story, and thus "Frail Blood" was born.

Lawyer Malachi Rivers and newspaper woman Emma Knight, who join forces to defend client Alma Bentley, are figments of my imagination, along with their tempestuous love story. As the trial progresses, we understand that other insidious factors are at play in the lives of these characters, and Alma may or may not be guilty of murdering her lover Joe Machado.

The background of the book's cover is the actual Courthouse in 1894.

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