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Strong Spirits (A Daisy Gumm Majesty Mystery, Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Alice Duncan
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (227 customer reviews)

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Print List Price: $15.99
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Book Description

It's the 1920s and Daisy Gumm Majesty is doing her part to support her family as a medium by holding séances and interpreting tarot cards for the rich and famous.

When the wealthy Mrs. Kincaid comes to Daisy to help solve her husband's disappearance, Detective Sam Rotondo isn't far behind.

Sam isn't fooled by Daisy's choice of "vocation" and blackmails her into spying on the Kincaids.

Then Daisy reads Sam's cards... and the tables turn.

AWARDS:
Romantic Times Top Pick
Reviewer's Choice Awards, finalist

REVIEWS:
"...teems with period detail... [and] characters who make it so enjoyable, especially effervescent Daisy." ~Booklist

THE DAISY GUMM MAJESTY MYSTERIES, in series order
Strong Spirits
Fine Spirits
High Spirits
Hungry Spirits
Genteel Spirits
Ancient Spirits

ABOUT ALICE DUNCAN:
In an effort to avoid what she knew she should be doing, Alice folk-danced professionally until her writing muse finally had its way. Now a resident of Roswell, New Mexico, Alice enjoys saying no smog, no crowds, and yes to loving her herd of wild dachshunds.


Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

With her husband, Billy, an invalid as a result of mustard gas during the First World War, Daisy Gumm Majesty is doing her part to support her family. Daisy and Billy live with her parents and her aunt in a little bungalow in Pasadena, and although her parents approve of her unusual work, her husband is not too happy. But Daisy, a medium to the rich and famous, perseveres. Holding seances and interpreting tarot cards, she has built up quite a reputation. One client, in particular, has a great need for her services. Mrs. Kincaid relies on Daisy's advice on a regular basis. When the wealthy Kincaids become involved in bank fraud, Daisy is asked to keep her eyes and ears open by Detective Sam Rotondo. Although Sam and Daisy bristle in each other's company, she does agree to help him out. Duncan's tale teems with period detail, but it is her characters who make it so enjoyable, especially effervescent Daisy. Maria Hatton
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 2678 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: ePublishing Works! (August 23, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ERCRYRE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,744 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
74 of 77 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cozy mystery that almost forgets the mystery October 27, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I understand that this is the first book in the series, but it took forever to get to the mystery -- and Daisy doesn't have much to do with it besides just sit around while the detective is questioning people. I thought maybe her being a medium would have something to do with it -- even though she is a bogus one -- but the story would have progressed the same way no matter what her job was.

Most of the book reads like an excuse for the author to regurgitate her period research which often winds up being misleading or just wrong. Daisy hates most of her co-generationists (she's a stuck-up little prissy pants) and we're treated to lots of snide remarks about the "lost generation." Nice, except that phrase wasn't popularized until Hemingway used it in The Sun Also Rises in 1926. This book is set in 1920. There are other little errors sprinkled throughout the book -- like referring to cocaine as an illegal substance (it was only controlled in California in 1920, not illegal -- and some headscratchers like a detective saying that a woman who drank is guilty of two crimes -- drinking and drinking underage (if something is flatly illegal, doing it under a certain age can't be MORE illegal).

I don't need to like the main character of every book I read, but when I read a cozy mystery, I like to enjoy the company of the main character. I just can't stand Daisy. She's so nasty and judgmental while being hyper-sensitive to slights. I know she's just nineteen, and presumably her character will develop, but by the time the book ended I just couldn't imagine being in her company for another second.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic fun! 4 and 9/10 stars! May 21, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Heroine:  average
      Redheaded Daisy Gumm Majesty is not your average 1920s spiritual medium. Rather, she's a canny and perceptive girl who lacks an actual connection to the "other side", but who uses her unique understanding of the human condition as a "spiritual counselor" to make a good living for her family, including a young husband ruined from fighting the Huns in Germany.
Unfortunately, Daisy's chosen career is just a tad bit illegal as the police would see it more as fortune telling than psychological and emotional assistance. Not that any of her wealthy, satisfied (if a bit flighty) customers would ever dream of turning her in, but Daisy's wheelchair-bound husband's new best friend is none other than her own archenemy Detective Sam Rotondo, a cranky police officer who just misses catching her in the act of her questionable occupation with alarming frequency. But the brusque cop may be willing to overlook Daisy's profession as it appears that her countless social connections would make an excellent unofficial snoop for his cases.
Now if only this card-carrying choir member con-artist can just get past her morally superior ethics and agree!
What worked for me:
Sweet and lovable Daisy is just darling, if a bit garrulous! She's so sincere in her belief that she is helping people that you almost forget that she's truly a con-artist in the eyes of the law. The rest of the cast of characters are also very real and sympathetic. I easily could envision before and after "the Big War" images of Daisy's broken young husband Billy. (Shades of Lord Chatterley, anyone?)
Size-wise Daisy is a bit curvier than is fashionable for the era of boyish flappers, but she doesn't reflect on it very much.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Strong Spirits" is Strong Entertainment February 10, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Alice Duncan has published a couple dozen novels, mainly Western
romances. With "Strong Spirits," she ventures out into the comic
romance arena to wonderful effect. The book stars Daisy Majesty, a
bright, somewhat cynical young lady who reads fortunes and holds
seances for a living, and who tells us -- in a chatty, charming, and
humorous voice -- of her misadventures in the world of the rich and
cunning in 1920s Pasadena. Her main client is the beleaguered Mrs.
Kincaid, whose wealth cannot shield her from many family problems,
chief among which is her penurious, cranky, mean husband. When Mr.
Kincaid disappears, along with a pile of bank notes, pandemonium
ensues, and Daisy must navigate skillfully between the demands of
Mrs. Kincaid and the suspicions of the attractive, albeit rather
grumpy, Detective Sam Rotondo. Meanwhile, Daisy has a war-invalid
husband smouldering at home, and her love for him is tempered by her
frustrations with his moods. How will she deal with all this? Much,
but not all, is resolved in this book, and Daisy is scheduled to
appear again in subsequent volumes.
Daisy's voice is often sardonic, sometimes hilarious. The author
achieves the breezy charm of someone telling a wonderful story off
the cuff, as if over coffee and biscuits, though sometimes Daisy
indulges her every thought to the reader's dismay. Still, she can
elicit guffaws. Here are a few samples (one or two of which bring to
mind Mark Twain):
"According to my mother, a sharp smack delivered to the rear portion
of the anatomy did wonders to clear up fuzzy thinking in the head
portion of the same body.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Fit for Fans of Historical Cozies
Twenty-year-old Daisy Gumm Majesty makes her living reading tarot cards and communicating with the deceased relatives of rich clients. Daisy's favorite client, Mrs. Read more
Published 12 hours ago by Debra Purdy Kong
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
I never ordered this .hope its not on my bill
Published 2 days ago by Marie Revels Emond
5.0 out of 5 stars Descriptive writing
This book was so interesting in the subject and kept you interested with all the fine details of her thoughts and viewings. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Barb
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Repetative
Published 3 days ago by Karen DeVoe
3.0 out of 5 stars There are possibilities here.
The heroine is perky, feisty and fun, but the writer bashes us over the head with the same information in each and every chapter. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Jonesy
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Didn't read it
Published 4 days ago by Sandy M Blair
3.0 out of 5 stars It was Okay
It was Okay but it was kind of drawn out.
Published 4 days ago by Stephanie Husser
5.0 out of 5 stars fun story
A little swearing but not for the sake of swearing. I enjoyed it. It's good for any age and takes place in days everything was not so handy as it is today.
Published 5 days ago by Lemons
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun read
I really enjoyed this book because it was a different sort of mystery. The author has a great imagination and writes very creatively. It was a fun read and I liked it immensely.
Published 7 days ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Detective in the making
Even though a spiritualist by trade, Daisy is a fine detective on the side. Enjoy her antics as she befriends the wealthy and solves mysteries on the side.
Published 11 days ago by Elaine Hopkins
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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.

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