Title: The London Séance Society
Author: Sarah Penner
Genre: Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Publisher: Park Row
Source: Book of the Month
Release Date: March 7, 2023
A spellbinding tale about two daring women who hunt for truth and justice in the perilous art of conjuring the dead.
1873. At an abandoned château on the outskirts of Paris, a dark séance is about to take place, led by acclaimed spiritualist Vaudeline D’Allaire. Known worldwide for her talent in conjuring the spirits of murder victims to ascertain the identities of the people who killed them, she is highly sought after by widows and investigators alike.
Lenna Wickes has come to Paris to find answers about her sister’s death, but to do so, she must embrace the unknown and overcome her own logic-driven bias against the occult. When Vaudeline is beckoned to England to solve a high-profile murder, Lenna accompanies her as an understudy. But as the women team up with the powerful men of London’s exclusive Séance Society to solve the mystery, they begin to suspect that they are not merely out to solve a crime, but perhaps entangled in one themselves…
1873: When Lenna Wickes can’t find any answers to her sister’s death, she decides to turn to her sister’s former mentor and spiritualist Vaudeline D’Allaire. Vaudeline uses her talent to conjure spirits of murder victims to find their murderer. Though Lenna doesn’t believe in ghosts, she is desperate for answers to what happened to her sister. When the head of The London Séance Society is killed, Vaudeline is called to London to perform a séance for him. Mr. Morley works for The London Séance Society, and he has summoned Vaudeline to help solve the murder. However, while preparing for the séance, Lenna’s sister keeps appearing in their investigation. Lenna has to figure out what her sister’s connection was to the society so that she can solve her murder.
This was a suspenseful story. I loved the way the two murder mysteries, that didn’t appear to be connected, were woven together throughout the story. Each of the clues were important to the ending. There was also a strong feminist theme to the story. Women were not allowed to be members of The London Séance Society, yet Lenna and Vaudeline wore disguises to investigate the murder. Vaudeline, in particular, took chances that defied the gender expectations that were put on her as a woman.
The London Séance Society is a thrilling historical story.
Content warnings: death of sibling, stabbing
What to read next:
The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
Have you read The London Séance Society? What did you think of it?