The Other Side of Midnight, set in 1925 London during this resurgence of spiritualism, involves psychics and a handsome debunker of psychics in a paranormal mystery/romance.
When Ellie Winter's former friend and rival Gloria is murdered, Gloria's brother engages Ellie to find out who killed her and why. Ellie teams up with James Hawley, war veteran and debunker, and the two begin investigating--discovering secrets and courting danger along the way.
The Other Side of Midnight is a pretty light read. There were elements I liked well enough, but I wasn't bowled over by any means. I do like that St. James wants to write books like the ones she enjoyed by Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart:
"It wasn’t until my mid-20s that I discovered the old Gothics that were popular from the 1950s to about the 1970s – those musty old books you can find by the dozens, each one featuring a variation on the cover of the girl with flowing hair and nightgown fleeing a dark, foreboding house. These books are, shall we say, of varying quality (my personal favorite from my own shelf: “Lois Chalfont must choose between the devil and death!”) But several of the authors of old Gothics were truly talented, Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt being the top names of the genre.
I read – and still read – those books like crazy, and as I did I asked myself, “Why doesn’t anyone write these anymore?” So I write them, but I add my own sensibility to them. I make my heroines strong and independent. I set them in the 1920s. And I add ghosts." (source)
The Other Side of Midnight was a bit of a disappointment after reading The Broken Girls, St. James' latest book. (I wrote a little about The Broken Girls here when talking about books out next year.) It was a modern ghost story with roots in the past that kept me enthralled and uneasy the entire time. My full review is scheduled for Feb. 28, and the book will be published in March.
So...while The Other Side of Midnight was not exactly what I was hoping for, I want to try Lost Among the Living, which returns to the post WWI setting.
And if you love a good ghost story, pre-order The Broken Girls!