San Francisco, 1876: a stifling heat wave and a smallpox epidemic have engulfed the city. Deep in the streets of Chinatown live three former stars of the Parisian circus: Blanche, now an exotic dancer at the House of Mirrors, her love, Arthur, and his companion Ernest. When an eccentric outsider joins their little circle, secrets unravel, changing everything—and leaving one of them dead.
Frog Music, inspired by true events, is an evocative novel of intrigue and murder; elegant, erotic and witty.
“Charismatic. . . . Frog Music keeps us captivated because Donoghue has filled the foreground and background of this wild tale with irresistibly vivid characters. . . . A full-throated murder mystery, spiced with song and forbidden love. . . . First-rate historical fiction.” —The Washington Post
"An engrossing and suspenseful tale about moral growth, unlikely friendship and breaking free from the past.” —Booklist
“Emma Donoghue shows more than range with Frog Music—she shows genius. . . . As ever, Donoghue focuses on people on the skirts of the world, who make their way outside the common middle of things. Blanche and Jenny are characters you will never forget, filmed in vibrant, cinemascope prose, and they mark Emma Donoghue's greatest achievement yet.” —Darin Strauss, author of Half a Life