Frog Music (Paperback)

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April 2014 Indie Next List

“Donoghue writes my favorite historical fiction. She has a knack for that great alchemy of turning research -- letters, family trees, and newspaper articles buried in archives -- into fiction that lives and breathes on the page. Frog Music, a vivid, atmospheric crime novel, brings to life the roiling streets of San Francisco just after the Gold Rush. The story of Blanche and her murdered friend, Jenny, which is based on true events, has a frantic pulse that makes it hard to put down. This is the kind of book only Donoghue could write, and I'm so glad she did”
— Kat Bailey, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA


From the author of the worldwide bestseller Room "Her greatest achievement yet...Emma Donoghue shows more than range with FROG MUSIC--she shows genius." -- Darin Strauss, author of Half a Life
Summer of 1876: San Francisco is in the fierce grip of a record-breaking heat wave and a smallpox epidemic. Through the window of a railroad saloon, a young woman named Jenny Bonnet is shot dead.
The survivor, her friend Blanche Beunon, is a French burlesque dancer. Over the next three days, she will risk everything to bring Jenny's murderer to justice--if he doesn't track her down first. The story Blanche struggles to piece together is one of free-love bohemians, desperate paupers, and arrogant millionaires; of jealous men, icy women, and damaged children. It's the secret life of Jenny herself, a notorious character who breaks the law every morning by getting dressed: a charmer as slippery as the frogs she hunts.
In thrilling, cinematic style, FROG MUSIC digs up a long-forgotten, never-solved crime. Full of songs that migrated across the world, Emma Donoghue's lyrical tale of love and bloodshed among lowlifes captures the pulse of a boomtown like no other.

About the Author

Born in Dublin, in 1969, Emma Donoghue is a writer of contemporary and historical fiction-including Slammerkin, Life Mask, The Sealed Letter, Astray, and Frog Music-as well as literary history and drama for stage, radio, and screen. Room has sold over a million copies worldwide. It was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, the Governor General s Literary Award, and the Orange Prize for Fiction; and the winner of the Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year, the Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book (Canada and Caribbean region). She lives in London, Ontario, with her partner, son, and daughter. Visit her online, at, on Twitter @EDonoghueWriter, or become a fan on Facebook.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780316324670
ISBN-10: 0316324671
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Publication Date: February 24th, 2015
Pages: 432
Language: English