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Séance in Sepia (Five Star Mystery Series) Hardcover – October 21, 2011
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
"In Black's complex, skillfully told stand-alone, the smooth prose moves subtly between historical and modern investigative voices, leading the reader to muse along with the characters on the nature of how love has changed over the centuries."--Publishers Weekly (8/8/11)
"Real-life feminist Victoria Woodhull experiences the fictional consequences of free love. Historical novelist Black is dandy at plotting. And three cheers for Victoria Woodhull, whose place in the feminist pantheon is richly deserved."--Kirkus Reviews, Sept. 15, 2011.
"A photograph found tucked into a book at an estate sale becomes the vehicle for a fascinating and dramatic historical mystery set amidst Free Love and Spiritualist movements of the 1870s."--Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Feb. 2012 issue.
"Séance in Sepia is an exceptional novel with an engrossing mystery, a fast moving plot, vivid settings and strong characters. Ms. Black's writing style has the perfect blend of narrative and dialogue, one that held me captive from the first page to the surprise ending." --MyShelf.com
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Flynn visits antiques storeowner Mr. Heilbocker who says the picture is pre 1880 cabinet card albumen print that looks like a Spirit photo. She finds nothing on the net about Medora Lamb, the name on the back. Flynn puts it on EBay where she receives bids surpassing $2000. Matt Holtser emails asking if he can see it as he is researching a late relative involved in the Free Love Murders AKA The Prairie Avenue Massacre
In 1875 Chicago, Medora Langley was married to Alec Ingersoll. They and family friend Cameron Langley shared a house together. That ended with Medora and Cam dead with Alec on trial for their murders. Sweating he was innocent, he hires spiritualist Victoria Woodhull to conduct a séance to learn from his wife and best friend who killed them.
This is a superb thriller that compares contemporary and Reconstruction Eras investigative techniques, women and relationships from both periods. The story line is fast-paced even with the deft rotation between past and present as women have come a long way baby since 1875.