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Fine Spirits Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 2003

49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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Once again readers engage with Daisy Majesty, introduced in Strong Spirits [BKL Ja 1 & 15 03], spiritual medium to Pasadena's wealthy. This time out, Daisy is asked to exorcise a ghost from a basement. Although she demurs (she's no expert in the field), the offer of payment in the form of one of her client's dachshund puppies convinces her to try: she hopes that a puppy will cheer up her invalid husband. It does look as though someone has been living in her client's basement, and when frequent family visitor, detective Sam Rotondo, mentions a young lady who's gone missing for two weeks, Daisy puts the pieces of the puzzle together. The young lady in question, however, had good reason to leave home, and Daisy can't help but get embroiled in her troubles. Readers will enjoy feisty, "spirited" Daisy and her predicament as she becomes involved in another's plight while keeping the good detective and her family from discovering what she is up to. Maria Hatton
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Series: Zebra Historical Romance
  • Mass Market Paperback: 317 pages
  • Publisher: Zebra; First Edition edition (July 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821775189
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821775189
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,589,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In an effort to avoid what I knew I should be doing with my life (writing'it sounded so hard), for several years I expressed my creative side by dancing and singing. I belonged to two professional international folk-dance groups. Dancing made for a lousy living, but it was certainly fun. I also sang in a Balkan women's choir. I got to sing the tenor drone, for the most part. My first book, ONE BRIGHT MORNING, was published by HarperMonogram in 1995. What's more, it won the HOLT Medallion for Best First Novel. It was a good start, but my career has been . . . rocky, is the best word for it, I guess. Publishing's a brutal business, but I've got more persistence than brains so the publishing gods haven't killed me yet, although they seem to be trying awfully darned hard, curse them. In September of 1996 my herd of wild dachshunds and I moved from Pasadena, CA, to Roswell, NM, where my mother's family settled fifty years before the aliens crashed. We love it here. No smog, no crowds, no money, but I had no money in California, either, and you don't need so much of it here.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Penn on August 11, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Desdemona Daisy Gumm Majesty earns her living, much to her husband's chagrin, as a spiritual medium to Pasadena's wealthy. When her regular client Mrs. Bissel requests an exorcism, Daisy attempts to sidestep the appeal. Husband Billy's deteriorating health and continued resentment at his debilitating war injuries leave Daisy torn between the need to support her family and her need for her husband's support. To please Billy, Daisy extracts the promise of a puppy in payment of her services.
Meanwhile, eighteen year old Marianne Wagner has disappeared. Empty cans of food quickly lead Daisy to the conclusion that Mrs. Bissel's ghost might be the missing girl instead. Rather than simply reporting her conclusions, however, Daisy finds herself drawn to help the missing girl. But to protect her, Daisy will have to sidestep the police, her family and some very inquisitive household residents.
Author Alice Duncan's STRONG SPIRITS defied categorization, as does its sequel FINE SPIRITS. Duncan's narrative talents flourish within this marvelous tale, displaying humor and droll observations in equal measure. While FINE SPIRITS loosely centers on a missing heiress, the strength of the novel lies in its poignant rendering of the relationship between Daisy and her husband Billy. As his health continues to deteriorate and as the antipathy between Daisy and Sam increases, readers will eagerly await the next step of these difficult and challenging relationships. Daisy's candid comments sharply contrast her occassional obtuseness, revealing a woman of amazing depth and devotion. Duncan has certainly found her stride within this marvelous series! Indeed, readers seeking a novel completely out of the ordinary will cherish this series and eagerly anticipate its next installment. FINE SPIRITS comes very highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Granny on January 11, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Okay, downloaded the first book in this series to my Kindle Fire because I'm laid up after surgery, desperate for entertainment, and thought it was a nothing more than frivolous puff piece from the description and no wonder Amazon was giving it away for free. But, I was VERY wrong and now I'm hooked on Daisy Gumm Majesty! Our heroine, "spiritualist" Desdemona (" who would believe a spiritualist named"Daisy?") turns out to be a very complex young lady.

Set in the very familiar city of Pasadena, but immediately after World War I, 17 year old Daisy had impulsively married her very engaging childhood sweetheart just before sending him off to war in Europe, only to have him return some years later as a severely damaged and embittered invalid, and Daisy is forced to change a childhood entertainment with the Ouija board into an adult career to support her family. And in serving as psychic counselor to the very wealthy residents of Pasadena, Daisy encounters -and solves- some serious mysteries. And unlike many o the multiple volume stories, each book can stand alone.

Very well written, and I suspect very carefully researched, Duncan's series is not only highly engaging and entertaining set of stories, but also rich in historical detail, to give us an intense look at the complicated social structures of the era, and the complexities of life in America after a devastating World War and the beginnings of the Prohibition era.

I highly recommend these books, but ....betcha' can't read just one!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By starfish on October 18, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was just one of those where you feel like you are sucked in to these people's everyday lives and living every day with them Even though it is set in the '20's, I felt a real familiarity with a lot of the lingo, and behaviors (this must mean my family was just as crazy and wonderful!)..the everyday details from clothes to cars to pets I found wonderful to read and so fun to compare to my own life and attitudes. Thank you Alice Duncan! Hope you are writing sequels to this one. I sure would love to hear more about Daisy and more about Sam.. lots of good potential plots in the making! Write on! :)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Susan McLaughlin on October 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Okay? There, I said it. I'm not going to recount the plot, I'm just going to say, great series! With a lovable cast of characters, now enhanced with the indomitable "Spike", the wonder puppy.
It's so nice to read a series that is overall optimistic. Yes, Daisy's life isn't a bed of roses, or even daisies. She's got a hard row to hoe, as they say, but she keeps her "spirits" up, and in doing so, mine as well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Barbara A Vogel on December 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Just plain entertainment. The country is so depressing at the present time. It's fun to read of another time! Another life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christy Curtis on June 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read the first book in this series & enjoyed the plot being set in the 1920's about a married women whose husband came back from WWI gassed & barely able to walk from being shot. She makes money giving seances which were all the rage in the 20's & 30's. She is good because her Aunt Vi brought home a spirit board when the heroine is 10. She practices with this & a deck of cards to impress her childhood friends. It was a natural to decide to do this as a married woman who needs to not only help take care of her ailing husband but her Aunt, Mom & Dad who all live with her in the home she was able to buy with the money she makes.

I love the way she works, her private thoughts about her clients, her honesty to herself about not being gifted spiritually as she portrays, her ability to live with her embittered husband understanding he isn't upset really at her but at what happened to him in the War to End all Wars. But the heroine is smart & quick the cop in the story knows telling fortunes is illegal in Pasadena California but he looks the other way because Daisy, our heroine, is quick to point out she doesn't tell fortunes! Her clients are middle aged wealthy women who have nothing else to do but give Garden parties, Supper parties, & parties in between having Daisy be the entertainment.

Daisy makes all her own clothes but the Author is smart enough not to burden the reader with all the tiny details she gives you the general idea of what the dress looks like, shoes, hat & gloves she wears for her Psychic readings. As well as the general idea about the house, the car, the older horse they sometimes use to pull a cart, & the city of Pasadena during this age.
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