Rituals by Mary Anna Evans is the eighth book in the Faye Longchamp Mystery series and the first one I have read. Not knowing the characters and their backgrounds made no difference. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I recommend it highly.
Faye Longchamp is an archeologist who is hired to do cultural resources management for a tiny historical museum, which is more like an attic cluttered with memorabilia than an actual museum. The owner believes he has proof that aliens built the pyramids in Mexico based on a potsherd that resembles a man in a space helmet, if you squint and the light is bad.
The museum happens to be in Rosebower, New York, a community founded by spiritualists, where many of the residents still give readings and believe in psychic phenomenon. Faye and her daughter are invited to a séance by an influential Spiritualist and, driven by curiosity, they attend. An hour later the Spiritualist is dead, having been in a room where the door is nailed shut, while a raging fire destroys the house and every one in it. Therein begins the mystery.
In contrast to the true believers in the town, a former magician and schoolteacher is writing a book about the fraudulent practices of those who claim to speak to the dead. The author presents the differing points of view quite well. I found the characters to be well developed. I was interested in all the members of Faye’s family.
The historical research the author did gives her work an accuracy that adds to the layers of sophistication present. The writing drew me along smoothly and I look forward to reading other books in the series.
What other authors do you find who write a series and manage to have each individual book give readers a satisfying mystery?