Ancient Spirits: A Daisy Gumm Majesty Novel

Alice Duncan. Five Star, $25.95 (274p) ISBN 978-1-4328-2570-6
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In Duncan’s sixth 1920s mystery featuring Pasadena, Calif., spiritualist medium Daisy Gumm Majesty (after 2011’s Genteel Spirits), Daisy’s wealthy pal, Harold Kinkaid, invites her on a Middle Eastern tour. Daisy’s unhappy WWI-vet husband, Billy, has committed suicide, leaving her morose and unable to tolerate food but willing to travel. Billy’s best friend, policeman Sam Rotondo, who feels responsible for Daisy, follows the two friends to Egypt, to protect them from villains who prey on tourists. While Duncan delivers little more than a fluffy colonialist travelogue with some clumsy bad guys thrown in for excitement, she does have a gift for creating character. Through grief, illness, and worry, unsophisticated Daisy displays abundant wit while wryly commenting on social mores between classes and between cultures. Cozy fans will find her simple, sweet, budding relationship with Sam refreshingly free of artifice. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/07/2011
Release date: 02/01/2012
Paperback - 413 pages - 978-1-4104-5481-2
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