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Delia's Shadow Hardcover – 11 Oct 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (11 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765331829
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765331823
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 2.9 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,569,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Moyer creates a hauntingly real San Francisco, full of characters you can't wait to get to know better. Delia's Shadow is an engaging debut novel, one that cost me a good night's sleep.--Jim C. Hines, author of Libriomancer. Like fog creeping in from the Bay, this ghostly, romantic tale of San Francisco past made the outside world disappear and sent shivery tendrils into my soul. A gorgeous and haunting book. --Rae Carson, author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns. Haunting and sweet, Delia's Shadow pulls off the rare feat of combining a thrilling ghost story with a gentle romance. --S. C. Butler, author of Reiffens Choice

About the Author

JAIME LEE MOYER's Delia's Shadow won the 2009 Columbus Literary Award for Fiction. Moyer has sold short fiction to Lone Star Stories, Daily Science Fiction, and to the Triangulations: End of the Rainbow, and Triangulations: Last Contact anthologies, and edited the 2010 Rhysling Award Anthology" for the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Moyer lives in San Antonio with writer Marshall Payne, three cats, three guitars, and a growing collection of books and music.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
To be honest I was expecting some sort of historical YA fiction, pretty light, slightly paranormal, with a heavy accent on a love story.

Instead this book is dark, sinister and gripping. It's a paranormal thriller, and I really think the fans of Amanda Stevens would appreciate it the most. Also, it's not a YA.

Delia Martin is a young woman who has been seeing ghosts all her life. She even moved to New York to get away from them, but now there is a certain ghost that haunts her, and Delia has a feeling that she needs to get back to San Francisco to get rid of her Shadow.

She goes home to help her best friend to plan a wedding while the city is suffering from a series of chilling, vicious killings. Her best friend's fiance and his friend are the detectives in charge of the murder case, and when Delia meets them both, it becomes clear to her that her Shadow is somehow connected to these killings...

Delia will need the help of both detectives, a very powerful psychic, a horde of ghosts and her bright-eyed best friend to find the killer and put her Shadow to rest. A great read that grips you with a sense of undeniable urgency that won't let go until the killer is caught. Recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Murder mystery, ghosts, love story, friendship, family- this novel has it all. I love being blown away with new authors and Ms. Moyer has definately done that. Her writing style is beautifully simple, with elegant characters that transport you back in time to the beginning of the 20th century, a few years after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Delia is sharp, kind, and flawed (she sees and is haunted by ghosts), Gabe is a police officer haunted by his past (in more ways than one). Brought together by their best friends they're the only hope to solving a gruesome string of murders that have hit close to home for two different generations of cops.

A wonderfully spun tale, with heart warming as well as terrifying moments. This novel delights to no end.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 43 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Gorgeous writing, well-developed characters and a creepy mystery... 18 Sep 2013
By Disquietus - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Before I get into the important details of this book, can I please just talk about how much I LOVE this cover. It's so gorgeous and perfectly fits the content within.

Delia's Shadow is an honest to goodness ghost story. Set about a decade after The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, Delia Martin returns home to San Francisco for her best friends wedding, haunted by a ghost she calls Shadow. Shadow torments Delia with nightmares of her murder thirty years ago, a murder eerily similar to those of an uncaught serial killer who appears to be killing again, catapulting Delia into a hunt for the killer. Moyer promises the reader a good old fashioned ghost story and murder mystery and she does not disappoint.

I adored Moyer's writing. It's gorgeous, rich in detail and highly atmospheric. I also greatly admire the amount of research that must have gone into this book, I looked a few things up while reading and everything seemed to be spot on. While the book does also features the dreaded dual POV, switching between Delia and Gabe, it worked well with the story. Sometimes POV changes can be disruptive, but that wasn't the case here. They flowed seamlessly into each other and I enjoyed getting to see things from both characters.

For the most part I also really enjoyed how descriptive the scenes were. Although I haven't yet had a chance to visit San Francisco, it was easy to picture myself there through Moyer's descriptions of the architecture, weather and scenery. Moyer paints lovely visual scenes. What made this a less than perfect book for me was the simple fact that as lovely as the writing was, at times it was just a little too heavy and moved just a little too slowly for my, especially during the first 30% or so of the story. There were a few times when the detail was overwhelmingly too much, especially when I'm reading a long paragraph detailing what the characters are eating.

I really loved the story being told here, and it kept me spooked and anxious/impatient for answers throughout. Moyer kept me on my feet the entire time, accomplishing something incredibly rare in a mystery novel: I actually didn't figure out who the killer was until a paragraph before it was revealed. That never happens. I'm ridiculously good at guessing the who/why. It was creepy in all the right places and her ghosts definitely had teeth. I only had two major complaint about the plot. The first is is that we never get any real explanation about why Delia has the ability to see ghosts, or why she didn't see them after she moved. I really wish this had been explained more, but I'm hoping it will be more of a focus in later books. The second is a pivotal scene that happens towards the end with Gabe that I felt was just too rushed through. It was one of those blink and you miss it scenes and lacked the emotional punch it should have had.

As for the characters, Delia's Shadow is filled with tons of great ones, all well-developed and likable. Delia is lovely. Down to earth, brave, intelligent and with just the right amount of sass, she's one of my new favorites. And of course I fell utterly in love with Gabe. He has an old-soul vibe and a quiet strength that charmed my socks off. I also really loved all of the the minor characters, Sadie especially. She was a breath of fresh air when things got too dark and a perfect balance for Delia. Of all the characters though, Isadora was my favorite. She's strong, unconventional and mysterious and I hope there is much more of her in the future.

The relationships between Gabe and Delia, Delia and Sadie, Nick and Sadie and Nick and Gabe were all fascinating as well. This is a group of people I would have loved to have been friends with. I especially enjoyed the romance between Gabe and Delia. Despite the quick progression of their relationship, it felt completely organic. Given the high stakes environment they are thrown into and the amount of time they are spending together, it felt natural for them to fall in love so quickly. I also loved that their romance did not overshadow the more important aspects of the plot. It was just a quiet, steady presence that added rather than distracted.

I really loved this book and I want ya'll to be excited about it too. It was a wonderful debut and I look forward to getting my hands on a finished copy, as well as future books.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
three might be too generous... 28 May 2014
By SherriLee - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
THE GOOD..the language is lovely, the framing of the characters has potential and I really like that when a rational character tells her friend then others about the ghost(s) she sees, they take her at her word. They might be doubtful, but they trust her enough to give her the benefit of the doubt. No one really hides info, no brave heroine refuses police protection while a killer roams free, no overly hateful boss wont listen to the dedicated cops. All of the things that irritate me in many others books seem to be solved here....Unfortunately, there is also THE BAD...the characters are lightweight and superficial. The book needed editing...Beryl becomes Blythe, the girls moms were best friends.but they didnt meet until they were 10 ..they write regularly but Delia doesnt know how Jack and Sadie met...? There were also just basic printing/editing errors 'though' instead of 'thought' for instance. BUT THE WORST...the cops dont DO anything...they dont discover, detect, or discover anything at all---any and all information, 'clues' , come through the spirit world--thus they dont have to be plausible or make much sense . There was a great deal of potential here, maybe future books will be better..
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
... can count on about me it is that I love a good ghost story 7 Nov 2014
By kindlemom1 (My Guilty Obsession) - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
If there is one thing you can count on about me it is that I love a good ghost story, it doesn't matter the time of day, year, season, month, I just love a good haunting tale that will leave you freaked out and sleeping with the lights on. Be it a murder mystery with vengeful spirits or a sweet tale of someone simply wanting to pass a message on to a loved one, I love them all.

This was the best kind of ghost story. One with a mixed blend of genres that will leave you breathless and completely enthralled. A dark tale set in a time long ago that is just as much rich in detail as it is in mystery.

You will be left swooning at the subtle sweet romance that is just enough lightness to really keep this story from being too much. From being too much about an evil madman on the loose murdering the innocent and from it being too haunting to want to continue. Instead you will be wrapped up in the story and eager to learn more and for Gabe and Jack to catch the culprit.

This has everything I love in a good historical, everything I love in a good ghost story, and everything I love in a really good suspenseful mystery.

The next book is high on my priority list because I can't wait for more.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Unfold secrets with every page 24 May 2014
By Kristen - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Delia’s Shadow was a surprise find; it’s a haunting story that connects each character to a mystery that has been going on for a long time. I loved how the plot unfolded secrets, brought about growth in each character, and connected ghosts to help unsolved murders.

Delia’s Shadow follows a young woman named Delia who would seem normal to those that pass her, but she is someone who is gifted with seeing spirits. After a terrible earthquake and fire that happened when she was a child, the dead always come seeking help to move on. But after years of peace from them, a woman who is more haunting that any of the other ghost, seems to need her help. Delia is brought back on to San Francisco only to have the ghost connect her to a long line of murders. The murderer has been in hiding for 30 years, but why has he now retuned and why is one of victims seeking Delia?

Deila is a smart and unique woman who has a lot to learn about her gift. She has been teaching ever since she left San Francisco and has tried to leave the ghosts behind. After the loss of her parents in the great quake she was raised by a family friend Esther and gained a sister Sadie. Esther’s illness has caused her to return and be with her sister Sadie during Esthers final days. As well as the haunting of a female ghost who seems to be stronger than anything she’s ever encountered. Delia’s family knows about her seeing ghost and Sadie is the one person who is supportive. But when Delia’s ghost whom she names “Shadow” connects to a case that Sadie’s fiancé and partner Jack are working on, Delia discovers the importance of her gift and that she could help stop a very dangers person.

I loved the mystery in how Delia’s ghost brought her back home, how it connects to this murder case, as well as the people who are now apart of her life. Moyer created twists that I didn’t see coming, along with some chilling writing during the eerie murders scenes that only added to how creepy the villain is. Delia’s character is extremely fascinating and the only piece that I couldn’t grasp is how easily everyone accepted her seeing ghost. Nonetheless I really enjoyed how all the dots connected and that each person introduced in the story was apart of the whole picture.

Detective Gabriel Ryan is the hero and victim of this long murder mystery that he has been connected to since he was a child. His father worked the case years ago, making this a very personal one. Delia is a mystery to him and the one woman whom he feels nervous around, the other was his late wife whom died in the great quake. Together they make a great pair, trying to put the pieces of her dreams together; which are sent from her ghost “Shadow. They discover her dreams and ghost are connected to the case. He’s a good man with a sad past but I loved how he was such a good detective, he is passionate about his job and keeping people safe.

Overall this was an excellent murder mystery with paranormal elements that add that special spark to the plot line. The characters are easy to connect too; I was fascinated with how Delia’s gift would bring everything together. There is slight romance that is developed and grown throughout the plot. As well as splashes of humor from her sister Sadie and friend Dora to add some much needed light tones. I also loved the change of point of view from Gabe to Delia getting both of the paranormal slide and the police side, this made me feel like I was solving the case with both of them. Overall this was a great debut novel from Moyer and I look forward to her upcoming books.

This is an adult novel with an eerie storyline that will have you solving the case along with the characters. Fans of A.A. Aguirre’s Apparatus Infernum series and Susan Dennard’s Something Strange and Deadly series will enjoy Delia’s Shadow by Jaime Lee Moyer.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A great blend of historical crime with paranormal elements! 7 Oct 2013
By Carmen B. - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
The following review is based on a copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
It was first posted on my blog here: [...]

I was first drawn to this book by the promise of a historical San Francisco and ghosts. It's been a while since I last read a ghost novel, and Delia's Shadow turned out to be so much more than that. Jaime Lee Moyer did a great job blending historical fiction with crime, mystery, paranormal, and a slow-building romance.

The novel begins with Delia returning to San Francisco and her friend Sadie, whose family took her in after her own died in the great earthquake of 1906. Delia is haunted by a spirit she calls Shadow, a ghost stronger than any other she has encountered thus far. She feels drawn to Shadow and wants to help her find rest, but she is also afraid of her.

Sadie knows about Delia's ability to see ghosts and sets up a meeting with Isadora, a talented medium, to help her keep the ghosts at bay. Isadora was a mysterious character and I came to like her and admire her strength, though sometimes it was unclear how trustworthy she really was. The friendship between Sadie and Delia was also something I enjoyed, as all too often in my opinion friendship between women in fiction has an undercurrent of rivalry that I dislike. Something I wasn't expecting is that Delia's Shadow is narrated in dual perspective. Delia's parts are written in the first person, while those of Gabe, one of the detectives investigating a series of murders, is written in third person. I'm not sure why the author didn't settle for the same person in both cases but I really enjoyed getting to know both characters better. Gabe is the friend of Sadie's fiancé and like Delia, he lost those he loved in the Great Quake.

I really liked Gabe as a male lead and enjoyed seeing him slowly let go of the past and open himself up to the possibility of a second chance at life and love. The relationship that starts to bloom between him and Delia was believable and well-balanced, in my opinion. He was protective of her but also respected her independence and accepted her help as he tried to find the serial killer leaving his gruesome trail across the city.

Now the serial killer part was really creepy and what he was doing to the (mostly) women he murdered is just gruesome. I could never guess who the murderer was but I thought the hunt and the portrayal of the crime scene and police work that was possible at the time was really interesting and well-done. There were setbacks, twists, threats, and a point where things got a lot more personal for the characters and their families than I could have imagined. And all the while, past and present grow more closely linked and tragic events seem to be repeating themselves.

There are times where the pace might be a bit slow for some readers, but I really enjoyed just being in the setting and time period. Also, many things were developing parallel to one another and I suspected they would end up being related, but couldn't fathom how. I also thought it was great that I was never quite sure whom to trust, least of all with Shadow. There were times when I sympathized with her and others when I loathed or feared her. She clearly had her own agenda that needn't necessarily be compatible with Delia's.

As I said, I think Moyer did a great job blending many different elements. A vivid historical setting (there are even maps! I love maps!), a serial killer on the loose, two strong relationships, ghosts, and a hint of Egyptian mythology make Delia's Shadow a unique read with characters that are easy to root for. While the pace could sometimes have been a bit quicker, things really pick up in the last quarter and I couldn't put the book down anymore!
The tight connection between past and present and themes of family generations, loss, and second chances tied the different plot threads together. I also liked the strong sense of friendship and loyalty portrayed by both the main and secondary characters throughout the book. If you like historicals, slow-burning romance and a plot involving ghosts and serial killers that nevertheless doesn't get too dark or slide into downright horror, you should give Delia's Shadow a try!
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