cover image The Spiritualist

The Spiritualist

Megan Chance, . . Three Rivers, $14.95 (418pp) ISBN 978-0-307-40611-8

Set in 1857 New York City, this erotically charged chiller from Chance (An Inconvenient Wife ) features spirit rappings, table tippings, deception and murder among its titillating treats. Michel Jourdain, a captivating Creole medium, has enthralled Dorothy Bennett, a sickly society matron who holds regular “spirit circles” to communicate with deceased loved ones. At one séance—attended by Evelyn “Evie” Atherton; Peter, her attorney husband, whom people suspect she married for his fortune; and Ben Rampling, Peter’s law partner—an errant pistol shot nearly kills Michel. Suspecting the misfire was no accident, Peter determines to investigate, but winds up dead from a knife wound in the East River just days later. When society shuns the upstart Evie, who’s charged with Peter’s murder, Ben offers his legal assistance. Dorothy gives Evie refuge at her mansion, where the seductive Michel, whom Dorothy plans to adopt, instructs Evie in spiritualism. Evie’s eerie discovery that the thirst for justice can reach beyond the grave enhances the neat resolution. (May)