An Irish maid’s attempts to help her employer change her life dramatically in Gilded Age Manhattan.
Nineteen-year-old Rose Gallagher, a maid in Thomas Wiltshire’s Fifth Avenue home, has a crush on her boss. So when his friend Jonathan Burrows reports him missing, Rose, who’s as brave as she is inquisitive, gathers her courage and calls on Burrows, where she finds Wiltshire’s watch but no information. Luckily for Rose, the indisposition of Mrs. Sellers, the housekeeper, allows her time to follow Burrows from New York’s slums to the Masonic Hall, where she overhears a cryptic conversation. Following the trail to Wang’s General Store, she encounters a badly injured woman who seems to be a ghost. Wiltshire, it turns out, is a Pinkerton agent who was working for the Freemasons when he vanished. Visiting his office, Rose finds it ransacked and is brutally attacked herself. She finally tracks Wiltshire to a gasworks and helps rescue him. Although Wiltshire is loath to get Rose involved in his case, he slowly reveals fantastic secrets, such as the fact that many of the wealthiest families are well-off because they have special talents he calls luck. When Rose next encounters the ghost, she’s touched by her and so exposed to mortal danger. The ghostly woman has knowledge of several murders and of a portal under the East River that’s allowing spectral shades to escape. Since the world of the paranormal is Wiltshire’s specialty, he knows that he must find a powerful witch to keep Rose from dying. As Mr. Wang treats her with special teas, Wiltshire tries to unlock a cipher that could solve all their problems.
Lindsey (The Bloodsworn, 2016) kicks off her new series with a spooky paranormal mystery/thriller filled with historical tidbits, a touch of romance, and a talented and delightfully gritty sleuth.