My next, and final book since I haven’t been able to find the time to finish Lexicon with starting my new position, is In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters. It’s a creepy supernatural historical tale accompanied by some fantastic pictures from the time.
The novel follows sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black during the Spanish Flu epidemic in the Fall of 1918, in the weeks leading up to the Armistice. Mary’s father has been arrested for treason and she goes to stay with her young aunt in San Diego. Her aunt, a recent widow, is obsessed with spirit photography, and a certain photographer and brother of Mary’s childhood friend and sweetheart, Stephen. It isn’t long before Marry is told that Stephen has died on the battlefield in France, but when his scared ghost starts to visit her it becomes clear that he might not have died on the battlefield at all, that someone murdered him. She sets out on a quest to find out what really happened so his spirit can rest, but it just my cost her her own life.
Part historical fiction part mystery part supernatural story, this book has something for fans of each of those genres. The story is enhanced by photographs and pictures of ephemera of the time. I laughed out loud at all the old home remedies for warding off the flu, I doubt any of them actually worked. I was also practically on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was going to happen next, which is always a good thing.
I give this one five lightsabers. I can’t wait for Winter’s next book.