Status: Bookseller Picks
I don't generally read historical fiction, because, well, I generally don't like it. However, throw in some paranormal activity and that changes everything. This book opens up right in the middle of some Undead action, instantly grabbing your interest, making you wonder exactly what has been happening in this seemingly crazy world of Eleanor Fitt. Many strange comings and goings have occurred in this Philadelphia of the past (another thing I enjoyed, as a Philadelphia transplant, I like learning of its history). Her scholarly brother Elijah has been expected home for weeks now, but has yet to show up, while Clarence Wilcox has recently come back to town, as well as an infamous group called the Spirit Hunters, led by Joseph and his disciples Daniel and Jie. Eleanor's concern for Elijah drives the action in this book, while her mother's main mission involves marrying Eleanor off since the death of her father and disappearance of her brother have left them without a man to provide for them. Though Eleanor despises this type of thinking, she humors her mother, spending time with Clarence during her free time from hunting down the Spirit Hunters in order to enlist their service in finding Elijah. After all, she suspects that the Undead have played some role in his demise.
Dennard does a good job in shifting suspicion between the Spirit Hunters, Clarence, his henchmen, and even the spirit her mother releases while performing an innocuous seance during the Fitts' keeping-up-appearances party. You may say you knew who was behind the brouhaha, but truth is, you may have suspected the correct person, but you have also suspected everyone else, too. My only gripe is Eleanor's romantic resolution, which isn't much of a resolution at all. Although, that in itself could be the statement she is trying to make on Eleanor's behalf. I can't help but wonder if there will be others.
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