*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: For two weeks in the summer of 1876, she is caught in a vortex of love and hate.
Recently returned to Chicago after a successful tour of Hamlet, Lillian Nolan is awakened in the dead of night by a strange voice. She is shocked to learn that well-known and admired actress, Louise Hawthorne, has fallen to her death from the sixth floor of the Tremont House. Was it an accident? Did she jump or was she pushed? Louise’s former lover, and the main suspect, pleads with Lillian to uncover the truth and clear his name.
In the process of learning to trust her intuitive abilities, Lillian attempts to find balance between relying upon her gift and uncovering the truth in her own way. But the menace of death pursues her and soon her own life is at risk. When she finds herself in a trap from which she cannot escape, her only hope of survival is to call upon the metaphysical world.
Forms of Things Unknown is a work of fiction based upon an actual event and is the third standalone book in the Backstage Mystery series. If you enjoy stories with a touch of the paranormal that blend historical fact with fiction, then you’ll love Elizabeth Ireland’s tale of history, mystery and theater.
Buy Forms of Things Unknown and discover how love can lead to murder.
Lillian Nolan returns to her memoirs, the stage and investigating murders in this third instalment of the Backstage Mystery series. The story reads perfectly easily as a standalone, but reading the previous books first will give you more of a sense of the character development, and particularly Lillian’s challenges with her family and her ‘gifts’.
In this story we see Lillian starting to gradually become more accustomed to contact with the spirit world, although still as reluctantly as my children face their homework! I could see why the patient Robert, her spirit guide, felt frustrated at times as he had to keep urging her back to effort that could save her own life and those around her.
Lillian has other things on her mind than solving the murder at hand or her blossoming career though, as the charismatic Jack Martin is back on the scene. (Personally I have more of a soft spot for a certain intrepid reporter, but each to their own!). We also see here that while Lillian is sensitive to the spirit world and quick to spot physical clues, she is utterly oblivious to the thoughts and feelings of those around her. I love how her character is developing as the series progresses and that she not only has faults but owns them honestly and strives for better.
For the first time we get a bit of direct interjection from Robert into the manuscript which is mostly, as usual, penned by an elderly Lillian reminiscing for her young relative about her action-packed youth. The knowledge that Lillian survives her adventures to write this future narrative does relieve some of the anxiety when she recklessly plunges into danger, but the payoff is that we get such an intimate narrative, with the bonus of her insights in retrospect as well.
This is a great cosy mystery series for fans of theatre and the supernatural and I look forward to seeing where Lillian’s adventures take her next.
Communication from anyone in “The Beyond” is complicated at best. Oftentimes, this is made even more difficult by the fact that a message transmitted may be concerned with or received by someone else entirely different than the person who is doing the asking. It can all be very frustrating. If I had only heeded the message I heard at Cora’s that day and understood more acutely for whom it was meant, I could have saved myself a lot of pain and anguish.
– Elizabeth Ireland, Forms of Things Unknown
Don’t forget to check out the other blog stops on the tour (poster below) for more great content and reviews!