Things Half in Shadow is a mesmerizing story. Edward Clark is a reporter for a Philadelphia newspaper in the years following the Civil War. Edward, himself fought in the Civil War. One day his editor proposes a story to him. The city is burgeoning with spiritualists and mediums, it seems that everyone wants to get in touch with a loved one. Many of these people are just tricksters and Edward’s editor wants him to go to these séances and expose them as fakes.
Edward Clark has a secret which could pose a real problem for him if he takes this assignment. It could also prove to be very helpful in unmasking phony practitioners. Circumstances push him into taking the assignment. His first séance is with a woman named Lucy Collins. Edward quickly determines that her séance is nothing but tricks and writes an article to expose her. But Lucy is no dummy and when she reads the article and realizes what he’s up to, she wants in on the action. She proposes they work together to uncover the phonies, and her first target is Lenora Grimes Pastor, the most renowned psychic in Philadelphia. Lucy and Ed attend one of her séances, and along with the others present, are shocked when Mrs. Pastor suddenly dies in the middle of her trance. The police determine that she was poisoned by injection and now everyone in attendance is a suspect. Lucy and Ed decide to team up to clear their names. But little do they know what adventures their investigation will take them on.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Alan Finn has done an excellent job of bringing his characters to life and putting them in situations that are unusual but entirely believable. He has also really captured life in the time period. I found his descriptions of the people and places to be very engaging. It’s obvious that he did a lot of research for this book. There is mystery, action, and a little romance, all expertly incorporated into this lively and engaging story. I highly recommend this book, 5 out of 5 stars.