Mary Evans

Rituals

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Faye Longchamp doesn’t believe in ghosts. But she’s an archaeologist—dead people are her life.

While working in Rosebower, a rural New York town founded by Spiritualists, Faye is surrounded by people who talk to the dead on a regular basis. When the most influential Spiritualist in town, Tilda Armistead, invites Faye and her project assistant to commune with the dead, she can’t say no. Curiosity is also a cherished part of an archaeologist’s life.

An hour after her crystal ball shows Faye things no rational mind can explain, Tilda is dead. The evidence says that someone trapped Tilda in a small room, nailing its one door shut before setting Tilda’s Victorian home afire. There is no possible way for Tilda to have escaped the blaze, let alone drive for miles before finding Faye and dying in her arms. Yet Tilda did. How? And why?

In this bizarre community—one not far from Seneca Falls where women’s rights activists once convened—it is sacrilegious not to believe in spooks. Plus spiritual tourism is a main Rosebower income stream. And here is Faye, surrounded by people who had reason to kill Tilda. Tilda’s estranged daughter may be the heir to the Armistead fortune. The daughter’s husband is a stage magician with a long history of making things vanish—and he’s sinfully sexy. A rich developer would like to turn Rosebower into a Disneyland complete with real ghosts, a project which Tilda fought with her considerable political clout. And then there is the town’s famed root doctor whose mysterious herbal potions are consumed by Rosebower and customers far and wide, plus the museum owner who hired Faye’s company to assess his questionable collection.

Anywhere but Rosebower, these people would be dismissed as crazy. As Faye watches the psychics and charlatans jockey for power, and sends an SOS to her shrewd husband Joe, Tilda’s sister, Myrna, is slowly dying. Will Rosebower reveal its secrets, and the Armisteads their history, to Faye before more goes up in flames?
This book is currently unavailable
306 printed pages
Original publication
2013

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