*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author and Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources blog tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: In 1871, Lillian Nolan accepts a small role in Macbeth, and finally fulfills her dream of becoming an actress. That is until the renowned, but venomous, female star of the production is murdered onstage opening night. When her enraged spirit haunts the theater, Lillian is shocked to discover she can communicate with her. Offered a Faustian bargain in which she will be given talent and expertise way beyond her ability in exchange for uncovering the killer, Lillian can’t resist.
Her quest for the truth causes her to descend into the Underworld, the den of inequity below the streets of Chicago. What Lillian finds soon embroils her in a battle between her passion for performing and control over her own body as it all plays out in a supernatural game of good and evil.
A Walking Shadow is a cosy murder mystery with a few differences.
The obvious one is the ghostly aspect, as Lillian is sensitive to the spiritual world and therefore her amateur investigation into death at Macbeth is helped, or hindered by visions, voices and actual physical possession.
The narration is given to us directly in Lillian’s own words via her written account to a younger relative. So the Lillian at the time of writing is elderly and is reminiscing about her youthful misadventures. This is a really interesting technique as it gives the reader intimate access to Lillian’d thoughts and feelings both at the time of the action and in retrospect. It does, however, detract a little bit from the tension during high-danger points, as the reader knows that Lillian will literally ‘live to tell the tale’!
There was plenty of other, less fatal, peril though to keep the reader anxious, from family estrangement to the horrifying prospect of a life of perpetual assault in Roger’s Barracks (trigger warnings for rape and violence). The plot is packed with action and intrigue, and yet easy to follow and with just the right number of characters to be interesting without overwhelming.
I would recommend this story to fans of classic mystery stories with added paranormal activity and am excited to find out where Lillian takes her talents in the next book in the series…!
This reminded her how disappointed she was in this, the opening night performance. She simply did not comprehend what was going on. Strange mistakes were being made, props were misplaced, and cues were off. There had been a problem with the downstage trap doors and the appearance of the three witches had been late. The elevator mechanism ran unevenly lending the emergence of the witches an almost laughable quality. She felt she had to make up for it and was giving a tour de force performance of what was an already illustrious career. Lady Macbeth was her favourite role; she adored playing it and loved the way the audience worshipped her in response. But tonight, everything that could possibly go wrong had.
– Elizabeth Ireland, A Walking Shadow
A Walking Shadow is available on Amazon right now!
Don’t forget to check out the other blog stops on the tour (poster below) for more great content and reviews, and pop back here on 15th May and 5th June to find out my thoughts on Books 2 and 3 in this series!