Whispers Beyond the Veil

Jessica Estevao. Berkley Prime Crime, $15 trade paperback (352p) ISBN 978-0-425-28160-4
Old Orchard, Maine, at the turn of the 20th century provides the setting for Estevao's excellent series launch. Tarot card reader Ruby Proulx and her father split up after the Invigorizer, an electrical device used in her father's traveling show, electrocutes a young man they asked to be a permanent part of the Invigorizer act. Heeding her father's advice, Ruby heads for Orchard Beach, where her late mother's estranged sister, Honoria Belden, runs a hotel. Honoria's summer business looks to be ruined when her in-residence medium fails to show, so Ruby uses her well-honed cold reading and con skills to pretend to be psychic. The arrival of a fraud investigator, the murder of a guest, and the agendas and secrets of various other players keep the plot turning. The richness of the character backstories allows Estevao to strike a perfect balance, neither relying on a deus ex machina ending nor telegraphing the solution too early. Under the name Jessie Crockett, Estevao is the author of the Sugar Grove mysteries (A Sticky Situation, etc.). Agent: John Talbot, Talbot Fortune Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/22/2016
Release date: 09/06/2016
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 978-0-698-19715-2
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