The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”– L. P. Hartley
In Séance in Sepia, the sixth novel of historical suspense by author Michelle Black, the author skillfully guides the reader through a world both like and unlike our own. Most of us are not well acquainted with spiritualism, séances and spirit photography but we are all only too well acquainted with loss, love, jealousy and trust that drive the vivid characters in this novel just as surely as they drive us today.
When Flynn Keirnan buys an unusual photograph at an estate sale, an antique dealer suggests it might be a “spirit photograph” dating from just after the American Civil War. At auction the photo attracts so many bids and so much attention that she becomes intrigued to discover the history of the photo before it is sold. Discovering the ghostly images of two men and a woman who were involved in a murder described by the local Chicago press as a “Prairie Avenue Massacre” and the “The Free Love Murders” makes Flynn even more determined to uncover hidden truths, both past and, unexpectedly, in the present.
In addition to giving the reader an engaging mystery, knife-edged suspense and a telling glimpse into post-Civil War American society, Ms. Black presents a fascinating portrait of spiritualist, radical feminist and free love advocate Victoria Woodhull, one of the most admired and despised woman of her generation. This is an exceptional book.
Published by Five Star Books scheduled to be released in October, 2011