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VINE VOICEon 16 September 2016
My second (and the second) Annie Fuller book. This time she is asked by one of her lodgers to prove a very prominent clairvoyant is a fraud. The wife communicates with the dead while her husband runs the exclusive sessions. The are highly rated, expensive and not thought to be up to no good but Annie knows there is more to their success.
She of course puts herself in harms way but she is very resilient and determined and with the help of her maid and her beau she will sort this puzzle out.
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on 24 May 2017
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Annie is a headstrong independent woman who ends up putting herself in danger to help others. Set in Victorian San Francisco and with a lot of other interesting characters. Not your everyday Cozy mystery a great page turner.
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on 5 February 2012
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. What I loved most however, is the way the romantic relationship is developed between Annie and Nate, and the way they deal with Annie's independence and insistence to work. As we see the events from both their points of view, it is very interesting to see the different ways they envision their future life together and face society's perceptions about women.

This book can stand on its own, but as more is revealed about the characters and their relationships develop as the series progresses, it might be best to start from the first book in the series, Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery. There is also a short story published; Dandy Detects: A Victorian San Francisco Story, which is interesting, but very, very short.
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on 6 February 2012
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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on 29 June 2012
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. But many men or women on their own did become good friends with their servants with whom they could relax and speak informally. The Victorians were not half as stuffy as we think. (nor was Queen Victoria)
Above all, I did enjoy descriptions of San Francisco, one of my favourite cities. It seemed to come alive more as a city in this story and I rode the cable cars with the characters! All in all, I really enjoyed the book and felt the ending was truly exciting, well written and thrilling.
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on 3 July 2013
bought this as already read maids of misfortune.but have been unable to read this on my kindle it downloaded in very small print.i then made the font size bigger but needed it at the top of the scale which made it too big.therfore have been unable to read this book much to my dismay.not had this problem before.so therefore 1 star.
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on 12 August 2012
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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on 28 August 2012
This type of book ought to be selling in WH Smith, the author has done it again - grabbed my interest and completely entertained me. Maids of Misfortune was my first forage into this writer's work and I haven't been disappointed with Uneasy Spirits. I didn't find it predictable at all and as usual it was a real page-turner.

Annie becomes embroiled in the dealings of a clairvoyant who may or may not be genuine. The trouble is, the relative of one of those attending the sessions has grave concerns. And Annie gets a shock when she herself decides to try and dupe the clairvoyant.

I won't say anymore as I don't want to spoil it, suffice to say this is an author to watch out for, and I will most certainly be looking out for more of the same.
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on 29 August 2013
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. However this never happened, it would be at least three to four chapters a night. It is about a lady whom knows that 'evil' people do exist out there in society trying to con people into believeing that the spirits of their loved ones are trying to contact them. She was determined to prove somehow that the people involved were in fact crooks, without giving any thought to her own safety at any one time!

I dont want to spoil the storyline for you so will just say that is a must to read
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on 1 January 2013
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 - pleasant, entertaining and lighthearted.

All in all, it was a book that filled the space when I wasn't in the mood for a deep thriller or a complicated fantasy (there seem to be lots of those about!).

I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it a good follow on to the previous book.
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