Deadly Spirits by Mary Miley – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Deadly Spirits by Mary Miley

(A Mystic’s Accomplice mystery Book 3)

Book Blurb:

Medium’s assistant – and reluctant sleuth – Maddie Pastore is shocked when her long-lost sister is accused of murder, in this twisty, atmospheric mystery set in 1920s Chicago.

Deadly Spirits by Mary MileySummer, 1924. Young widow Maddie Pastore has been working for fraudulent spiritual medium Madame Carlotta for nearly a year – if ‘work’ you could call it. Investigating Carlotta’s clients, and attending seances as her shill, keeps Maddie and her young son Tommy fed and clothed, and she’s grown to love the kind, well-meaning spiritualist like family.

Still, Maddie – estranged from her abusive parents for over a decade – can’t help but wonder what fates befell her brothers and sisters. So when she lucks into two free tickets to a glamorous Chicago speakeasy and recognizes the star performer as her pretty little sister Sophie, she’s beyond delighted.

But before Maddie can meet with Sophie again, the telephone rings. It’s Sophie’s husband, calling in a panic to tell her that his wife is locked in the Cook County jail, charged with first-degree murder . . .

Enter a dark and deadly world of seances and speakeasies, populated by fake mediums, sultry singers and dangerous mobsters! An ideal pick for readers who enjoy glitzy Jazz Age mysteries with feisty female sleuths.

My Review:

What a pleasant surprise this turned out to be! I was sucked in because of the blurb and the cover and thought it would be one I’d like. And it is! It’s the wild and wooly early 1920s, a decade that can provide endless stories.

Maddie Pastore is the MC, a young widow working for spiritual medium Madame Carlotta for bed and board. Handy that Madam Carlotta loves Maddie’s fourteen-month-old son. She attends Madame Carlotta’s séances as a shill, but her real purpose is to research upcoming clients so she can feed info to Freddie who helps with “enhancements” to solidify the experience.

Maddie scores free tickets to a Chicago speakeasy and discovers the star performer is her own baby sister from a large abusive family where siblings scattered like the wind as soon as they could. But before she and Sophie really have a reunion and catch up, she is notified by Sophie’s husband that she’s in Cook County jail charged with first-degree murder.

Deadly Spirits by Mary MileyYou can’t scratch much of the surface of Chicago’s history without confronting the mobsters who populated the back streets and unfortunately Maddie has a bit of experience with that as it was what got her husband killed.

So here’s what I liked about the story: There’s history here, real history, lots of well-known names, the Chicago mystic, and iconic architecture. Lots of fascinating tidbits you might not have known about the area and the time. (Reversing the flow of the Chicago River, for heaven’s sake! Yeah, I’m still new to the area.)

In between working on finding a way out of jail for the sister she’s sure is innocent, she is given the names of new clients to investigate and these are interesting side stories uniquely fabricated into the narrative seamlessly. Her method of investigation is remarkable, not unlike a person searching ancestry info—sources readily (or not so) available to scour.

I like the characters, both the main characters and the support characters, most well fleshed, and the female detective (apparently drawn from history) a hoot, but I thought the baby might have been a little good to be true.

I had just a little problem with the climax (wondering about survivability) and the conclusion that pushed boundaries a bit. Otherwise, although this is the third in the series (and sorry now I missed the first two!), it can easily be read as a standalone. It’s gripping, evenly fast-paced, and has me ready to read the next.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Mysteries, Amateur Sleuth Mysteries, Historical Mystery
Publisher: Severn House
ASIN: B09XGRP2TK
Print Length: 259 pages
Publication Date: September 6, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

Mary Miley - authorThe Author: [Mary Miley] I’m an Army brat who has lived in Virginia most of my adult life. I received my BA and MA in history from the College of William and Mary and taught American history and museum studies at Virginia Commonwealth University for thirteen years. I am the author of 200 magazine articles, most on history, travel, and business topics, and a dozen nonfiction books. The Impersonator (2013) was my first foray into fiction–and it won the national Mystery Writers of America award for Best First Crime Novel! Three others in the series followed: Silent Murders (2014), Renting Silence (2016), and Murder in Disguise (2017). More recently, my new Roaring Twenties series debuted in the U.S. in 2021. The Mystic’s Accomplice is set in Chicago and features violent gangsters, fraudulent Spiritualists, and a single mom with a new baby. Its sequel, Spirits and Smoke, was released early in 2022 and the third, Deadly Spirits, is scheduled for a fall debut. For me, the Roaring Twenties is the America’s most fascinating decade and the perfect setting for both my mystery series.

When I’m not writing or plotting, I spend a good deal of time at Valley Road Vineyards in Afton, VA, a winery that my husband and I own with 4 other couples. Last year we planted another 6 1/2 acres of vines and introduced several new wines–my favorite is the viognier. Already this year I’ve spent 3 days on the bottling assembly line, doing strenuous intellectual work like loading full bottles into cases and standing on a ladder to feed corks into the hopper. Visit us at Valley Road there in person or at http://www.valleyroadwines.com.
http://www.marymileytheobald.com
http://www.pinterest.com/mmtheobald/the-mystics-accomplice

©2022 V Williams V Williams

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Author: Rosepoint Publishing

I am the granddaughter of Patrick John "Stanley McShane" Rose whose books including "Cocos Island Treasure" I've recently published. My time is now spent in reading, reviewing, and writing bookish articles. I'm looking forward to sharing this social media odyssey with you!

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