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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Review: 'Things Half in Shadow'

Things Half in Shadow
By Alan Finn
Paranormal mystery
December 2014
Gallery Books
ISBN: 978-1476761725

Edward Clark has a quiet, staid life in post-Civil War Philadelphia. He has a quiet house, a private income, a society fiancee. Even his job as a crime reporter has an air of predictability about it. It's not going to last.

In Alan Flinn's Things Half in Shadow, Edward is about to have his secrets revealed, his life turned upside down and intriguing new avenues open up. It begins when his editor assigns him to a series of newspaper stories unmasking the fake mediums that have invaded the City of Brotherly Love, as they invaded many other cities, in the late 19th century. The first one Clark investigates is the medium whose leaflets are handed out in the street by an obnoxious boy.

The medium, Lucy Collins, may be a fake but she is a spirited heroine in the mold of Amelia Peabody and Lady Julia Gray. Clark may think he's got her number after attending a seance. But it takes Mrs. Collins less than a day to discover his secrets, confront him with her knowledge and blackmail him into becoming partners to continue his investigations. He will get the stories his editor wants and she will help eliminate the competition.

The first medium they visit, Mrs. Lenora Grimes Pastor, is not what they expected. She may well be the real thing. Too bad the seance ends with her death. Now Edward, Lucy and the others in the locked room are suspects in her death. Not even being best friends with the police inspector will help Edward Clark now. If only there was something in his past or any spirits to help him out ...

Alan Finn's Things Half in Shadow works both as a whodunit and as a paranormal story that involves family connections and possible further mysterious complications. Finn conjures up the feel of post-war Philadelphia and the craze for spiritualists. The novel wraps up the story but it also makes it possible for further adventures. I foresee a great future for a series featuring Edward Clark and Lucy Collins.

©2015 All Rights Reserved CompuServe Books Reviews and reprinted with permission

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