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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Living Spectres by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

I cannot understand how I had this book for ages on my Kindle and never got to it sooner.
This was an enchanting read.

The storyline was straightforward. Poppy is a journalist at a time when women did not do "such things". Teaching and nursing were the accepted occupations for women who had to work. For upper crust women like Poppy who came from a privileged background, there was no necessity to work and many people had no qualms about pointing this out to her.  Investigative journalism is her forte, not just the social and women's pages and this created a rumpus amongst even her male colleagues. Not all of them but she certainly ruffled a lot of feathers.

That is the story of Poppy. What she investigates and how she does it is immaterial to the fascination of this story. What is unique is that she has a ghost of a spy master who is a friend, a colleague and one who befriends, protects and advices her on all aspects of her career - in a professional and personal way as well. The fact that he is dead, is all part of the story and the world he occupies is one of ghosts and spirits not frightening ones but a separate world of their own. The fact that just a handful of people can actually talk to Holte is the fascinating bit. It includes Maestro - Poppy's cat who snarls and sniffles when Holte is around.

The story here is a convoluted one but it does cover the fields of women in journalism at the time, the ethics and rules governing the behaviour of women in society (horrible!) and the social setting of the time which was very interesting.

The interest in this story lay in the spirits of this story.

Very unusual book which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Smoke and Shadow Books. 


  1. This sounds like a great read. I hadn't come across it before but have enjoyed a few of the author's St. Germain novels, especially since they're set in unique historical periods. Thanks for the review.

  2. Hmm a parnormal book it seems, like that she is involved in journalism in a time when women didn't do those kind of jobs.