Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ancient Spirits-Alice Duncan

Ancient Spirits

Alice Duncan

Five Star, Feb 8 2012, $25.95

ISBN 9781432825706

In June of 1922 in Pasadena, unable to cope anymore with his physical and emotional combat related traumas, Billy Majesty commits suicide. His wife spiritualist Daisy Gumm Majesty is heartbroken though she increasingly expected her beloved to kill himself. Following Billy’s funeral, Daisy’s wealthy friend Harold Kinkaid suggests she join him on a tour of the Middle Eastern tour. Grieving, the depressed Daisy accepts as she feels she needs to get away from California.

Billy’s best friend local police officer Sam Rotondo follows Daisy and Harold to Egypt. He tells himself he just wants to keep Billy’s widow safe from thugs who assault naive tourists, but deep inside his gut he knows that is a rationalization to conceal how he feels about Daisy.

The latest spirited Daisy Gumm Majesty post WWI thriller (see Genteel Spirits and Hungry Spirits) is an engaging historical. Daisy mourns her loss, but also provides ironic social commentary on the colonial caste system. The inane villains detract from what otherwise is an insightful 1920s character study of a grieving widow leaving home for the first time with the support of two men who care deeply about her welfare.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: