Books Magazine

R.I.P. Review: Delia’s Shadow

By Anovelsource @thenovellife

336 pages | Published: 9/2013 | Publisher: Tor Books

“You make tracking a murderer sound like a chess game.” The university was just ahead, green lawns and gravel pathways glinting in the sun.  Gabe slicked his hair back and stuck the fedora down tight.  “Playing chess is easier, Delia. With chess I can see the board.”

In 9th grade I was taking an American History class with a teacher I adored.  This teacher brought history to life and helped her students to realize the impact of events that occurred in our own backyards.  One project she had us work on was creating a newspaper reporting on a particular event in American History ~ I chose to write about the Great Earthquake and Fire in San Francisco in 1906.  I remember writing the articles, cutting and pasting on large newspaper and then painting the paper with strong tea and baking it in the oven ~ giving the newspaper a “burnt” look.  So when given the opportunity to read Delia’s Shadow, set in the time period just nine years after the Earthquake, I jumped at the chance.

Delia returns home to San Francisco after spending three years in NYC in an attempt to escape the ghosts who constantly haunt her every move.  She has returned home to her ailing adoptive mother, Esther and best friend, Sadie so that she can help with Sadie’s upcoming wedding.  Delia also has an underlying reason for returning to San Francisco ~ the ghost she calls “Shadow” has been trying to communicate something of importance to Delia, something that has to do with San Francisco.

Sadie, consummate social butterfly, introduces Delia to fortune teller and ghost-seer, Isadora in an effort to get to the bottom of who Shadow was in life and what it is she wants with Delia. Sadie also introduces Delia to her fiancé, Jack and his partner, handsome widower Gabe .. . .  Gabe and Jack are on the trail of a sadistic murderer who is killing in the same manner as a murderer from 30 years prior.

Life has a funny way of coming full circle and Delia’s Shadow reiterates the phenomena.  Set in 1915 just a few short years after the The Great Earthquake and fire that killed so many, including Delia’s parents, San Francisco appears to be a young town again on the cusp of blossoming. . .if only a serial killer were not on the loose!

There were just a couple of things about Delia’s Shadow that did nothing to further the story along ~ first being Shadow’s character ~ in the beginning her character seemed harmless, but as the story progressed and the more Delia met with Isadora, Shadow became more and more volatile.  Also, Delia seemed to have this special talent of seeing ghosts, Isadora could communicate with ghosts and then all of the sudden everybody could see/feel/hear the ghosts.  That seemed to take away from the fear factor.

Part murder mystery, ghost story, history, and romance Delia’s Shadow offered an entertaining read for the Fall.   An excellent spooky read for the R.I.P. Event and one that had me reminiscing those “Ghost Whisperer” days!  I hope Moyer plans on turning this into a series. . .I can see it now ~ Sadie and Jack married, Delia settling back into San Francisco life and Isadora, lovely Isadora, helping the police solve another mystery.  Recommended for anyone who misses “Ghost Whisperer” or who enjoys a good haunting murder mystery for October!

Images by Artists Jennifer Gordan and Roman Sirotin, used with permission.

Images by Artists Jennifer Gordan and Roman Sirotin, used with permission.

To participate in R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril or to find more spooky reads, please visit Stainless Steel Droppings.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Tor Books for the complimentary review copy.

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