While working in Rosebower, a rural New York town founded by Spiritualists, Faye is surrounded by people who talk to the dead on a regular basis. Read more...
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While working in Rosebower, a rural New York town founded by Spiritualists, Faye is surrounded by people who talk to the dead on a regular basis. When the most influential Spiritualist in town, Tilda Armistead, invites Faye and her project assistant to commune with the dead, she can't say no. Curiosity is also a cherished part of an archaeologist's life.
An hour after her crystal ball shows Faye things no rational mind can explain, Tilda is dead. The evidence says that someone trapped Tilda in a small room, nailing its one door shut before setting Tilda's Victorian home afire. There is no possible way for Tilda to have escaped the blaze, let alone drive for miles before finding Faye and dying in her arms. Yet Tilda did. How? And why?
In this bizarre community--one not far from Seneca Falls where women's rights activists once convened--it is sacrilegious not to believe in spooks. Plus spiritual tourism is a main Rosebower income stream. And here is Faye, surrounded by people who had reason to kill Tilda. Tilda's estranged daughter may be the heir to the Armistead fortune. The daughter's husband is a stage magician with a long history of making things vanish--and he's sinfully sexy. A rich developer would like to turn Rosebower into a Disneyland complete with real ghosts, a project which Tilda fought with her considerable political clout. And then there is the town's famed root doctor whose mysterious herbal potions are consumed by Rosebower and customers far and wide, plus the museum owner who hired Faye's company to assess his questionable collection.
Anywhere but Rosebower, these people would be dismissed as crazy. As Faye watches the psychics and charlatans jockey for power, and sends an SOS to her shrewd husband Joe, Tilda's sister, Myrna, is slowly dying. Will Rosebower reveal its secrets, and the Armisteads their history, to Faye before more goes up in flames?
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-09-02
- Reviewer: Staff
A superior puzzle plot lifts Evans’s eighth Faye Longchamp mystery (after 2012’s Plunder). Archeologist Faye and her 17-year-old adopted daughter, Amande, have a job to do in Rosebower, N.Y., a town “with a history full of Spiritualists, religious reformers, and radical feminists.” Not long after they’ve begun their work separating decades of donated junk at the local museum, Faye and Amande have a murder mystery on their hands. Medium Tilda Armistead is the victim of arson, dying of smoke inhalation after escaping a fire set at her home, but in addition to the obvious question of whodunit, Faye must resolve the related one of “why a dying agoraphobic who had traveled only a couple thousand miles since 1972 had driven thirty miles to ask a relative stranger for help.” And what’s a retired magician, known for debunking others’ tricks, doing in town? Evans pulls all the pieces nicely together in the end. Agent: Anne Hawkins, John Hawkins & Associates. (Oct.)