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Uneasy Spirits: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery Paperback – October 10, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 601 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"This is a skillfully crafted mystery with wonderful recurring characters who are the kind of people that live with the reader long after the book is finished" -- RP Dahlke, author of A Dangerous Harbor 

"The resolution was suspenseful and harrowing. This cozy has great characters, interesting plot, period detail, and suspense sprinkled with romance for a great mystery. If you like the Gaslight Mysteries by Victoria Thompson, you will most likely enjoy this series." -- Ariel Heart, Mystery and My Musings

About the Author

M. Louisa Locke, a retired professor of U.S. and Women’s History, has embarked on a second career as an author of historical fiction. Based on Dr. Locke's doctoral research, her Victorian San Francisco mystery series includes Maids of Misfortune, Uneasy Spirits, and Bloody Lessons, top selling books in the historical and cozy mystery categories, and short stories, Dandy Detects, and The Misses Moffet Mend a Marriage, which feature characters from the novels. Locke is currently living in San Diego with her husband, a dog and two cats, and the third book in the series, Bloody Lessons.
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Product Details

  • Series: Victorian San Francisco
  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466373547
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466373549
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (601 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is Ms. Locke's delightful sequel to Maids of Misfortune, and the second in the Annie Fuller historical mystery series. Set in the late 1800's in one of my favorite cities, San Francisco, California, I felt like I was there, walking these streets as they were a hundred years ago.
By day, Annie Fuller makes her living as the proprietor of a respectable and well established boarding house, but at night, she becomes Madame Sybil, fortune teller. Annie may have been brought up studying finance at her father's knee, but this is the only way any grown man in the 1800's will accept the financial advice from a twenty-six year old woman, much less pay for the privilege. And, Annie, has finally found someone who isn't like her dead husband in the attractive young lawyer, Nate Dawson whose awkwardness around Annie, is both touching and charming.
The story opens with the scene in which we witness the murder of an elderly woman, and in a totally separate venue, we're introduced to a very strange young girl. The two incidents, we later learn, are intricately woven together and the result will culminate in a surprise ending.
Annie gets involved when one of her boarders, Miss Pinehurst, fearing for her sister's sanity, begs Annie to help her prove that the clairvoyants her sister insists upon paying, are fake. Stepping into the world of Simon and Arabella Frampton, Annie is sure that Miss Pinehurst is right and determines to expose them... until she meets with Evie May, the odd child we saw in the beginning.
Evie May is a chameleon, a child whose different personas are used by the unscrupulous Simon and Arabella Frampton as a way of making lots of money.
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By Nen on March 23, 2014
Format: Paperback
This book started out strong and I really thought I would like it...but then things came to a grinding halt, and eventually a few days went by before I remembered that there was a book I'd been reading that I'd never finished...

The Good:
The writing is quite good. The proofreading is also pretty good, and there weren't many errors. The setting is interesting, and the concept is both original and informative, as I had no idea that Spiritualism was so rampant in the late 1800's. The chapter headings are all snippets from the leading San Francisco newspapers from the time period of the book, and I thought that was a clever way to show the relevance of the book's subject matter. The characters and characterizations were fine.

The Bad:
As stated, things started off fine. Annie begins investigating the Framptons, a husband and wife mesmerist/clairvoyant team who hold seances, because she believes they are using their business to take advantage of people. She attends seances, and at first it's all interesting enough. But then she just keeps going to the seances, picking up almost no new information, getting almost nowhere with her romantic interest. I knew I was in trouble when I figured I was at about the 65% mark and looked down to discover I was only at the 43% mark.

At that point it began to feel like slogging, and I had to keep forcing myself back to the book by convincing myself that surely something was finally about to happen. And things did happen here and there, but afterward the pace would settle right back down to nothing.

Part of the reason for the slow pace is obviously due to the author's tendency for giving too much information on minor characters.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Locke's use of dialogue is excellent. I hate getting to the end of her books. It feels like I am moving away from friends. I think is perfect reading on a rainy day while sipping a warm cup of tea. Although, I must admit I read it on hot summer afternoon.
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Format: Paperback
This book is the second book in the Victorian San Francisco series, but it was the first on that I read. I had no trouble reading it without having read the first one without it spoiling the earlier mystery though it does take up with the inter-character relationships where it left off.

There is a prologue and little flash away bits at the end of each chapter that are seemingly detached from the main story line, but they do eventually make sense when it all ties together. The prologue tells us about a murder from the victim's perspective.

The main part of the story opens with business as usual for the widowed boarding house owner Annie Fuller. Her husband's death left her destitute so she has turned a home inherited from her uncle and aunt into a boarding house. This does not quite pay the expenses so she tried using her good head for business to become a financial adviser, but that failed because in Victorian times nobody took a woman seriously when it came to that sort of thing. So this forced her to get creative and offer the same advice in disguise as a palm reader and maker of horoscopes. She does not believe in the clairvoyant, but if that's what it takes to give the advice and get paid for it then so be it. It is because of this very knowledge that one of her boarders seeks her out with a family dilemma. Miss Pinehurst's sister is in the snares of an unscrupulous pair who hold seances and the sister Mrs. Veck believes she is now communicating with her lost child. Annie agrees to participate in de-bunking the Framptons by attending their seances.

Meanwhile, Nate Dawson, Annie's lawyer clerk friend and love interest is just returning to town after helping with round up on the family ranch.
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