It is 1876, and San Francisco, the freewheeling "Paris of the West," 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 called Jenny Bonnet is shot dead.
The survivor, her friend Blanche Beunon, is a French burlesque dancer. Over the next three days, Blanche 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 boom town like no other. Like much of Donoghue's acclaimed fiction, this larger-than-life story is based on real people and documents. Her prodigious gift for lighting up forgotten corners of history is on full display once again in this unforgettable novel.