Loved this story
This is a powerful story, and it's not something that should be read lightly. I enjoyed the premise of the story, and I read the first book in this series. It's a unique story that mixes paranormal powers with historical settings. I read this book from beginning to end, and I just was so engaged with this story. ""We grow daily beyond our yesterdays and are ever reaching forth for the morrow..." sets the tone for the story, and this reader was definitely engaged. It's a terrifying and interesting trek to figure out the truth behind women murdering their husbands. Full of entrancing mesmerizing intensities and mysteries of the mind, and control over someone else. I thoroughly enjoyed this story.
Plot: The fast-moving plot consists of many twists, turns, and red herrings that will keep readers invested and surprised. The use of real locations lends an air of authenticity to this work of historical fiction.
Prose: Musgrave’s novel brings to light very relevant social issues of the time while also using language infused with feelings of eerie foreboding that will both thrill and chill readers.
Originality: In some ways, this book will remind readers of classic thrillers like those of Agatha Christie. The simultaneously overlapping and clashing subplots of the suffragette movement and spiritualism make this book even more intriguing.
Character Development: The stand-out element of this novel is the meticulously detailed, intricately crafted cast list. Musgrave’s protagonist is an admirable, intelligent, determined female attorney. Each of the characters in the novel has a distinct and memorable personality
Blurb: A thrilling adventure, perfect for whodunit fans and historical fiction buffs.
"In Musgrave’s (Chinawoman’s Chance, 2018, etc.) first installment of his series, he tells the story of a fictional 1884 murder case involving several historical San Franciscans, including Clara Shortridge Foltz, California’s first female lawyer, and Ah Toy, a famous and wealthy Chinatown madam. In this volume, set two years later, Clara, 37, has been living with her brood of children at a Nob Hill mansion with her best friend, Ah Toy, 58, now an affluent art dealer. At a Rosicrucian gathering, Clara meets Adeline Quantrill, a distressed young woman who can hear thoughts from the living and the dead. She’s a disciple of Rosicrucian Dr. Paschal Beverly Randolph, another historical figure, who wrote a banned book on sexual magic. A servant in a prosperous household, Adeline was called as a witness in the trial of Rachel Wilson-Rafferty for killing her abusive husband; the defense hoped her testimony would establish that the wife’s doctor mesmerized her into doing it. The Nob Hill crew investigates further: questioning witnesses (sometimes through Adeline’s clairvoyance), drawing on Ah Toy’s uncle Little Pete (a Chinatown criminal), and learning more about Randolph. Additional cases arise of rich, abusive husbands seemingly murdered by their wives, and clues increasingly point toward wealthy widow Sarah Winchester’s mysterious mansion and a flamboyant spiritualist residing there. Can his nefarious plot be stopped? In this second outing, Musgrave nicely orchestrates historical elements from this heady era, such as the Winchester house and Randolph’s ideas; they’re as strange and compelling as fictive paranormal abilities. The link between the occult and the suffrage movement is a captivating example of how politics makes strange bedfellows, since two of the few venues where women’s voices could be heard were churches and spiritualist meetings: “We support women’s rights under the guise of spiritual communication,” says Clara.
An entertaining mix of fact, fiction, feminism and the occult."