Title: Whispers Beyond the Veil
Author: Jessica Estevao
Genre: Historical fiction/mystery
Setting: Old Orchard Beach, Maine, 1898
Main Character: Ruby Proulx
5 Things to know about Ruby Proulx:
- She was raised by her father and grew up traveling the medicine show circuit with him, helping to sell his "miracle" elixir to the needy and gullible.
- On the side, she tells fortunes using her dead mother's Tarot cards.
- She knows how to read people and can lie without batting an eye, but she has a good heart.
- When her father's latest get-rich scheme ends up killing a man, Ruby runs to Hotel Belden in Old Orchard Beach, which is owned by her Aunt Honoria whom she's never met.
- In order to help save her Aunt's hotel--which caters to the Spiritualist crowd--she pretends to be a medium who can speak to the dead even though her only psychic ability is the voice she occasionally hears advising her what to do (because it turns out, Ruby is clairaudient just like her mother was).
My thoughts: This is a fun read. I like this time period. And Ruby is a great character, as are the other people she meets at the hotel, like Mrs. Doyle, the stern housekeeper who knows when someone is lying to her, and the two elderly Velmont sisters who are hoping to contact their dead father through Ruby. Then there's Officer Yancey who is investigating the recent murders at the hotel and who suspects that Ruby is somehow involved. Even though she's not. And while this isn't the most tightly woven mystery I've ever read, the few flaws and loose ends here and there didn't stop me from enjoying it. In fact, I liked it enough to have already put the next book in this series on hold at the library.