Saturday, November 9, 2013

Rituals: A Faye Longchamp Mystery-Mary Anna Evans

Rituals: A Faye Longchamp Mystery

Mary Anna Evans

Poisoned Pen, Nov 5 2013, $24.95

ISBN 9781464201691

Accompanied by her adopted teenage daughter Amande, archeologist Faye Longchamp works at the Rosebower, New York museum helping the curator classify documentation and artifacts in a town known for spiritualists and radical religious reformists. The mother and daughter team sift through decades of donations that run the gamut from incredible finds to disgusting junk with the latter much more abundant than the former.

Affluent medium Tilda Armistead provides the two rational Floridians with a reading that leaves the pair stunned with what she says as there is no way plausible she could know this except with talking to them or the dead. Not long after the Longchamp visit, someone sets on fire Tilda’s home; she fails to escape the blaze dying from smoke inhalation. Faye investigates the arson murder uncovering several people with strong motives for killing Tilda. At the same time, Faye ponders out of character strange behavior and greedy rivals thriving for power and money related to spiritualism, the museum and the arson.

The eighth Faye Longchamp mystery (see Strangers and Plunder) is a great whodunit with a touch of paranormal whimsy (as Sherlock Homes in the Sign of the Four says: “…when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”) enhancing the strong investigation into the world of mediums. Readers will relish the archeologist and her able assistant probing the super spiritualist support cast and those not contacting the dead.

Harriet Klausner

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