Published: September 6, 2016
Genre: Historical Mystery
Obtained via: Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address: Gina Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com
While not running for her life, but running for her freedom, Ruby Proulx finds herself seeking a safe haven with an aunt she’s never met in Old Orchard, Maine. She is warm and lovingly received by her Aunt Honoria. It seems Honoria has long hoped for Ruby to find her way “home” to her. There is more to Honoria than a loving and welcoming heart. Her plan is to transform her seaside hotel into not just a haven but a center that caters to believers of the paranormal. She’s planned a season for visitors to include all manner of psychic—a palmist, a numerologist, astrologer and a medium just to name a few. When the medium cancels at the last minute, in a move to help her aunt, Ruby steps in, telling her aunt that she too is a medium. After all, in her times of greatest need, she DOES hear a voice telling her what to do. And as to Ruby…well how different can mediumship be than running the scams she did at the medicine show with her father? Things take a decidedly ugly turn, however, when a hotel guest disappears and turns up dead. It doesn’t take long for one detective Yancey to set his sights on Ruby—and not for her looks, rather as the killer. It will take more than her skill as an actress or mediumship to keep herself out of jail and to find the killer.
I absolutely loved Jessica Estevao’s WHISPERS BEYOND THE VEIL. It was one of those books I started and just couldn’t put down. Ruby is a marvellous character. She’s warm, loyal, smart and spunky. That she had to learn street smarts to survive the medicine show is but one aspect of how bright she truly is. Estevao did a fantastic job of taking Ruby’s character from bordering on a victim at the hands of her father’s machinations to the self-sufficient woman she is at the end of the story. Step by step she learns not just how much she really does know, but how to trust. There is a light hint of a future romance between Ruby and Yancey, but it’s in the background and does not override building the mystery in the book.
The town of Old Orchard is well drawn and Estevao paints such a great vision of it, you feel like you are there—trudging along the sand, feeling the sea spray and hearing the sounds along the beach front. I loved how she described not just Honoria’s hotel, but that of the others along the beach.
I especially liked the concept of a venue and season with all manner of psychics in residence. While use of psychic abilities is featured in the book, it is not about psychic phenomena per se. In other words, you do not have to be a fan of, or believe in, psychic phenomena to enjoy this book. If you are, or have skill yourself, you will nod your head in agreement at some of Estevao’s passages.
What a great debut and kick off to a new series. I can’t wait for book 2!
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.