Séance in Sepia by Michelle Black
(Five Star Mystery Series)

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Synopsis

Step into the bizarre world of the Victorian occult with Flynn Keirnan who buys a “spirit photograph” at an estate sale, only to learn that the young woman and two men pictured in the ghostly image were involved in a notorious 1875 murder case. An architect stood accused of killing his wife and his best friend in what the press dubbed the "Free Love Murders."

Flynn tracks the story through many sources, including the trial transcript, a journal kept by one of the victims, and notes from a jailhouse interview with the husband conducted by feminist firebrand Victoria Woodhull for her radical newspaper. Woodhull, also known as a spiritualist, was asked by the accused to contact the spirits of his wife and friend to learn the truth.

Was it a double homicide, a double suicide, or a murder-suicide and, if so, who killed whom? She uncovers a web of intrigue that will take much more than a séance to resolve.

Flynn Keirnan discovers, like Woodhull before her, that the key to solving the Free Love murders lies in learning the very provenance of the mysterious photograph itself.

"In Black's complex, skillfully told stand-alone, the smooth prose moves subtly between historical and modern investigative voices, leading the reader to muse along with the characters on the nature of how love has changed over the centuries."--Publishers Weekly (8/8/11)

"Real-life feminist Victoria Woodhull experiences the fictional consequences of free love. Historical novelist Black is dandy at plotting. And three cheers for Victoria Woodhull, whose place in the feminist pantheon is richly deserved."--Kirkus Reviews, Sept. 15, 2011.

"A photograph found tucked into a book at an estate sale becomes the vehicle for a fascinating and dramatic historical mystery set amidst Free Love and Spiritualist movements of the 1870s."--Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Feb. 2012 issue.

"Séance in Sepia is an exceptional novel with an engrossing mystery, a fast moving plot, vivid settings and strong characters. Ms. Black's writing style has the perfect blend of narrative and dialogue, one that held me captive from the first page to the surprise ending." --MyShelf.com
 

About Michelle Black

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Michelle Black has done everything with horses as a professional rider, trainer, horse shoer and nutritional consultant. She is also an artist and has loved illustrating the Quincy the Horse series. She was born in Yuma, AZ into a world of horses. She says she was practically born on a horse. When she was 11, her family moved to Australia. Life there required self-sufficiency and independence. Michelle decided to leave Australia when she was 19. She returned to the US to discover where she came from. Although training horses was not a usual career path for young women at that time, she became a successful trainer. She also started to paint. For Michelle, art is a way of expressing herself, whether through the art of horse training or painting and wood carving.
 
Published October 25, 2012 by WinterSun Press. 290 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Horror. Fiction

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