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Monday, October 07, 2013

Rituals by Mary Anna Evans

Rituals:  A Faye Longchamp Mystery.

From the book description: 

 Faye Longchamp doesn’t believe in ghosts. But she’s an archaeologist—dead people are her life. 

While working in Rosebower, a rural New York town founded by Spiritualists, Faye is surrounded by people who talk to the dead on a regular basis. When the most influential Spiritualist in town, Tilda Armistead, invites Faye and her project assistant to commune with the dead, she can’t say no. Curiosity is also a cherished part of an archaeologist’s life. 

I admit to being partial to mysteries featuring archaeologists (or old manuscripts, diaries, etc.), items from the past brought to light or stolen.  In addition to that predisposition, I enjoy books that deal with spiritualists like the famous Fox Sisters, Eusapia Palladino, and Cora V. Scott.  

After reading The Terror by Dan Simmons, I became interested in the Fox Sisters and read two biographies about them:  Talking to the Dead and Exploring Other Worlds, which I reviewed a few years ago.  

As soon as I saw the words Rosebower, NY, I thought of Lily Dale NY, the very real small town of spiritualists and mediums, which attracts tourists who believe, as well as the curious.  I was hooked. 

One of Rosebower's most respected spiritualists dies after smoke inhalation when her home burns; the fire was deliberately set and escape blocked.  The book features spiritualists, a root doctor/herbalist, a magician, Fayes' employer who believes in aliens, a determined fire inspector,  a land developer who wants to build a theme park, secrets from the past and from the present, seances, and more.

Mary Anna Evans has written several books in the Faye Longchamp series, but this is the first one I've read.  An entertaining mix of characters rounds out this fast-paced mystery.

NetGalley/Poisoned Pen Press

Mystery.  Nov. 5, 2013.  Print version:  250 pages.


  1. The photo of the Fox sisters is eerie and mesmerizing.

  2. The details of their lives are fascinating, and in the end, sad. The spiritualism movement is an intriguing phenomenon.

  3. It's such an interesting time period, isn't it? I will have to look for this one.

    You've also inspired me to search my shelves for The Terror. I've been wanting to read Simmons book for ages.

  4. :) After reading The Terror, I got caught up in a long digressive nonfiction reading itinerary that had anything to do with the Franklin Expedition. If you put Franklin Expedition in the search box, you will see some of the books I ended up reviewing that touched on the expedition in one way or another.