Lenna is a scientist at heart, but after her sister’s murder, she travels to Paris to meet with a renown spiritualist, Vaudeline. Vaudeline has fled London due to the danger posed by unscrupulous fraudsters there. With Lenna at her side, Vaudeline is brought back to Britain to investigate not only the death of Lenna’s sister, but the murder of the head of the London Séance Society.
I tried to keep my synopsis as bare-bones as possible, because the less you know going into this one, the better it will be. This book is a historical paranormal fantasy, gentle sapphic romance, and murder mystery all wrapped up into one, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with it. I enjoyed Penner’s debut, The Lost Apothecary, when I read it two years ago, but this one? I loved this one. It had everything I could have wanted in a book. The pacing was perfect. The characters were well-drawn and three-dimensional. The relationships were realistic and subtle. The mystery was uncovered slowly, the reader figuring things out along with the characters. I loved the back and forth narration between Lenna’s chapters and those of Mr. Morley, one of the heads of department at the London Séance Society. They provided two very different tones and helped to add dimension to the book. Honestly, it was just everything I could have wished for!