cover image Deadly Spirits

Deadly Spirits

Mary Miley. Severn, $29.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4483-0684-8

Set in 1924 Chicago, Miley’s gripping third Mystic’s Accomplice mystery (after Spirits and Smoke) finds young widow Maddie Pastore, who lost her husband, a driver for Al Capone, to a hail of bullets two years earlier, continuing to make ends meet for herself and her toddler son by working as a shill for Madame Carlotta, a good-hearted “mystic” who offers comfort to the bereaved by connecting them by séance to the great beyond. It’s a living, but not a terribly lucrative one, so Maddie is thrilled to receive two free tickets to hear a singer at a local speakeasy. Much to her amazement, she recognizes the singer as her own younger sister, Sophie, whom she hasn’t seen in years. But three days later, Sophie is arrested for a murder she doesn’t remember committing. Determined not to lose her sister so soon after finding her again, Maddie approaches Chicago’s real-life lady detective Alice Clement to help her prove Sophie’s innocence. Besides smoothly blending fact and fiction, Miley delivers clever plot twists, including one involving a scheme by a rival mob boss of Capone’s, Hymie Weiss, to carry out a hit at a séance. Readers will hope to see a lot more of the resourceful Maddie. (Sept.)