In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters (a Morris Award Finalist) takes place at the end of 1918, as young men were going off to fight and die in World War I and the Spanish Influenza was raging and killing millions at home. Mary Shelley Black (yes, she was named after the famous author) has just left her home in Portland (due to her father being jailed and tried as a traitor), for her Aunt’s in San Diego. War and disease have taken countless loved ones and spiritualism and seances are a growing trend. Mary Shelley has no time for such superstitions; she prefers things that are based in fact. Then Stephen, her childhood friend, and first love, is killed overseas and his spirit starts visiting Mary Shelley, complaining about blackbirds torturing him. She is desperate to help Stephen, but where do you start in helping someone who is already dead? This historical fiction read gives fascinating insights to life in 1918, with a ghost story that fits the tone of the time period, and the mystery surrounding Stephen’s tragic death keeps the pages turning.
Another historical fiction, supernatural, murder mystery is The Diviner’s by Libba Bray. Check out the review.