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Uneasy Spirits: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery [Paperback]

M. Louisa Locke
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

10 Oct 2011 Victorian San Francisco
In this sequel to Maids of Misfortune, it is the fall of 1879 and Annie Fuller, a young San Francisco widow, has a problem. Despite her growing financial success as the clairvoyant Madam Sibyl, Annie doesn’t believe in the astrology and palmistry her clients think are the basis for the domestic and business advice she dispenses, which is making her feel increasingly uncomfortable. Kathleen Hennessey, Annie Fuller’s young Irish maid, has a plan. When her mistress is asked by one of the people in Annie’s boarding house to investigate and expose a fraudulent trance medium, Arabella Frampton, Kathleen is determined to assist in this investigation, just like the Pinkerton detectives she has read about in the dime novels. Nate Dawson, the up-and-coming San Francisco lawyer, has a dilemma. He wants to marry the unconventional Annie Fuller, but he doesn’t feel he can reveal his true feelings until he has figured out a way to make enough money to support her. In Uneasy Spirits, this light, romantic novel of suspense, Annie Fuller, with the help of Nate Dawson and Kathleen Hennessey, delves into the intriguing world of 19th century spiritualism, encountering true believers and naïve dupes, clever frauds and unexplained supernatural phenomena, and she will soon find there are as many secrets as there are spirits swirling around the Frampton séance table. Some of those secrets will threaten the foundation of her career as Madam Sibyl and the future of her relationship with Nate Dawson, and, in time, they will threaten her very life itself. Reviews "This is a skillfully crafted mystery with wonderful recurring characters who are the kind of people that live with the reader long after the book is finished" -- RP Dahlke, author of A Dangerous Harbor "The resolution was suspenseful and harrowing. This cozy has great characters, interesting plot, period detail, and suspense sprinkled with romance for a great mystery. If you like the Gaslight Mysteries by Victoria Thompson, you will most likely enjoy this series." -- Ariel Heart, Mystery and My Musings

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Product details

  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (10 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466373547
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466373549
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 15 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,798,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For over twenty years, M. Louisa Locke was a professor of U.S. Women's history. Now retired, she has taken her story telling in a new direction with the publication of Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery, based on the research she did for her doctoral dissertation on working women in the U.S Far West.

Maids of Misfortune was a finalist in the historical fiction category of the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and is currently on the historical mystery bestseller category in the US and UK Kindle Bookstore. Her short story, Dandy Detects, is based on characters from the novel.

For those of you have read Maids of Misfortune, or Dandy Detects, Locke would love to hear from you, and would really appreciate if you could spend a few minutes writing a review on Amazon.com

Locke is currently living in San Diego with her husband and assorted animals, where she is working on Uneasy Spirits, the next installment of her series of historical mysteries set in Victorian San Francisco. If you are interested in learning more about the Victorian San Francisco and the events portrayed in her books, join her author page on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/mlouisalockeauthor/

Locke also writes about her experiences as a self-published author in her blog, The Front Parlor, http://mlouisalocke.wordpress.com/ and she is a regular contributor to the website on self-publishing, Publetariat.

For more about M. Louisa Locke and her work, see http://mlouisalocke.com/

Product Description

About the Author

M. Louisa Locke, a retired professor of U.S. and Women’s History, has embarked on a second career as an author of historical fiction. Based on Dr. Locke's doctoral research, her Victorian San Francisco mystery series includes Maids of Misfortune, Uneasy Spirits, and Bloody Lessons, top selling books in the historical and cozy mystery categories, and short stories, Dandy Detects, and The Misses Moffet Mend a Marriage, which feature characters from the novels. Locke is currently living in San Diego with her husband, a dog and two cats, and the third book in the series, Bloody Lessons.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fun Victorian mystery 6 Feb 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This was such a fun read. Annie Fuller, a part time fortune teller, investigates a family of spiritualists, certain they're frauds and up to something actually sinister. The personal conflict for Annie is very honestly handled and I appreciated that. The relationship between her and Nate develops, which I also liked. But I think what made this so fun was the cast of truly unusual characters, well drawn, complex, and at times downright strange. I'm looking forward to more from this author.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT SEQUEL TO MAIDS OF MISFORTUNE 5 Feb 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the second book in the Victorian San Francisco Mystery series by M. Louisa Locke.

In 1879 San Francisco, young widow Annie Fuller struggles to survive after her late husband left her penniless, with only a boardinghouse to provide her a small income. Although Annie is a financial genius, being a woman prevents her from finding work as a financial consultant, thus she creates as her alter ego, Madam Sybil, a clairvoyant specialising in business advice. Surprisingly as Sybil she becomes successful, as it seems that men prefer getting advice from a fortune teller than from an intelligent woman who understands the economy. When one of her boarders, Miss Pinehurst, asks for her help to expose a team of trance mediums who threaten her sister's health and fortune, Annie starts to investigate with the help of her boyfriend, young and attractive lawyer Nate Dawson and her young Irish maid, Kathleen Hennessey. Although Annie is determined to solve the case and help her friend, she finds herself way over her head, as she has to cope with impostors, blackmailers, uneasy spirits, and a dangerous murderer.

This historical mystery is very well written and gripping and the atmosphere of 1870's San Francisco is excellent, with beautiful descriptions of the city and the everyday life of the time. Also, as the story is set during Halloween, there are great descriptions of Halloween related decorations and activities in the 1870's. The characters were wonderfully introduced in the first book and are brilliantly developed in this one. Both Annie and Nate are very likable and realistically drawn and also Kathleen is further developed as she is given a more central role than in the first book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most enjoyable read 29 Jun 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
The story arc has been covered by other reviewers so I won't go into it. I enjoyed this book even more than Maids of Misfortune, though I felt that to be most enjoyable. Maybe this is due to the fact that I've always been fascinated by ideas about after-life. I like the fact that Uneasy Spirits doesn't debunk the idea or totally agree with it. The idea is open and intelligently covered by the ideas, beliefs and attitudes of the various characters in the story. There were, and no doubt still are, many fakes about who take gullible and vulnerable people for a ride when those people are desperate for contact with loved ones who have passed away. But there are also many who do seem to have some unusual powers and can be genuinely healing.
The character of Evie May was a brilliant one and evoked something of Sarah Waters 'Affinity' I think this was very well handled and added a truly spooky element to the story. Other characters also appealed besides the main protagonists. Katherine the maid, Miss Pinehurst, Anthony Pierce. They were well depicted and believable. I do agree with one critic that perhaps Annie Fuller is a tad too independent for her own good and makes us cross with her at times. Nate is also a deal too accommodating for a man of that period, perhaps. But this is a modern take on the Victorian era, it's not meant to be Wilkie Collins, and needs to be written with an appeal to a modern audience who don't want wishy-washy heroines fainting in the arms of their stern lovers. Sassy women are the mode du jour.
The story could have benefited from some edit of the abundance of back stories for every minor character. But as many of these may appear in subsequent tales, it's allowed! Someone said, Annie is too familiar with her servants.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The sceptical sibyl 12 Aug 2012
By AnneDon
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is the second of M Louisa Locke's stories about Annie Fuller. Annie is asked to investigate a fraudulent medium by one of her boarders. However, once she starts her investigation, she discovers there is more to the mystery, and finds herself in real danger.

The author handles her large cast very well. As I have never visited San Francisco, I cannot comment on her descriptions, but she certainly paints a very convincing picture of a growing 19th century city, and the Tammany Hall politics which bedevil those who live in it.

The situation Annie investigates is interesting, as we are looking at the situation of a young girl with modern eyes, but those who explain it are using 19th century spiritualist terms. The author leaves us to make up our own minds about what is happening to Evie May.

I enjoyed this story very much. The large cast of characters is well handled, the story is well-plotted, and the love story, to me reminiscent of Harriet Vane and Peter Wimsey, where an independent woman who has been injured in the past, and the man who loves her, try to reach an understanding of what each wants from a relationship.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
got it on a deal so haven't read the first one in the series - likeable characters, unusual story and will look out for this author again
Published 1 month ago by dm
5.0 out of 5 stars Uneasy spirits
Interesting story. Having visited San Francisco, it was fascinating to match the description of the streets with the real place
Published 5 months ago by JoJo
5.0 out of 5 stars Kept me interested at all times!
From picking up this book, right up until the end I did not want to put it down. I would take it to bed and think I shall just read a chapter. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Debbie
1.0 out of 5 stars unhappy customer
bought this as already read maids of misfortune.but have been unable to read this on my kindle it downloaded in very small print. Read more
Published 12 months ago by jane
4.0 out of 5 stars american story
I can just about cope with American spelling in a book set in America and enjoyed this very much. I look forward to more in the series and developing the characters
Published 15 months ago by Ruth
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
This book may have been on the predictable side in places, but overall, it was a good read. Okay, it wasn't a story that you just could not put down, but I class it as an easy read... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Wendy
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely delightful
This type of book ought to be selling in WH Smith, the author has done it again - grabbed my interest and completely entertained me. Read more
Published 22 months ago by C. M. Donaldson
4.0 out of 5 stars Victorian mystery.
This is the second of this author's books I have read, and the other-"The Misses Moffat Mend a Marriage " was a short story. That I found had some light delicate touches. Read more
Published on 19 April 2012 by Maria
3.0 out of 5 stars not as good as others
I found this book rather predictable after having read the previous book - maids of misfortune - and thought it lacked the punch and humor of the first book. Read more
Published on 17 April 2012 by bekibird
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