Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Libba Bray's "The Diviners": Hauntings in Manhattan!

It's Halloween and the New York subways are underwater. Must be time to review Libba Bray's great new beginning to her new series "The Diviners". It is 1926  and a group of sophisticated young Manhattanites is celebrating the 18th birthday of  one of their crowd. Things are getting dull, so she brings out the Ouija board. The one she got at an antique store where the proprietor told her not to forget to spell out "goodbye" on the board to put any spirits to rest. The party goers gather round and drink and laugh and place their hands on the planchette and  ...make contact with a spirit that says it is Naughty John. After a few questions the spirit gets nasty...  the birthday girl finally yells at it to stop, and the board goes quiet. She mentions the ritual of spelling out goodbye... her friends scoff and suggest one of the gang was playing a trick, so she stashes it back in the closet and goes off to dance the night away. What was unleashed that night no longer a concern for the party goers.
The story jumps ahead to introduce our leading lady, Evie O'Neil, an attractive, wise-cracking, young flapper living in Ohio. Evie loves a good drink and dancing and doing the occasional party-trick of reading someone's belongings to find out their secrets.
This trick has gotten Evie into hot water when she outs the secret of a boy who had a dalliance with a chamber-maid. Refusing to apologise her parents give her the option of leaving town for a while and living with her bachelor uncle in New York City. She can't believe her luck, not only will she be getting away from her home town, she'll be living it up in NYC, where all the action is, and her girlhood chum and pen pal, Mabel, to enjoy it all with!
And what of Naughty John, that nasty spirit? Will we be hearing more from him? Read "The Diviners" and immerse yourself in New York in the 20's filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls ... and murder!
This is one terrific story and pos-i-tute-ly addictive, as Evie might say. Evie is one heck of an engaging girl and one you will love to spend 500+ pages with and still want more. Which we can look forward to.

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