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Strong Spirits (Daisy Gumm Majesty Mystery #1)

3.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  727 Ratings  ·  120 Reviews
Welcome to sunny Pasadena, California, just a stone's throw from Hollywood. The 1920s are in full roar. Prohibition isn't stopping anybody, and Daisy Gumm Majesty is getting by the best way she knows how - catering to the rich and famous as a medium who put the con in conjuror.
Paperback, 317 pages
Published February 1st 2003 by Zebra
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(showing 1-30 of 1,749)
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Charles Daniel
Feb 27, 2014 Charles Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Classical Styled Mystery in the Mold of Mary Reinhardt and Agatha Christie.

I don't read many mystery novels--in comparison to the number of books of the Sciences, Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror genres, at the least. That said, I believe Alice Duncan may become one of my favored authors. Her books will be sharing shelf space with the likes of Elizabeth Moon, Mercedes Lackey, Robin Hobb, Isaac Asimov, H. Beam Piper, John Ringo, David Drake, Eric Flint, Robert A Heinlein and a host of others
April Terry
Dec 18, 2014 April Terry rated it it was ok
I loved the setting of this book. It reminded me of the things that a friend told me about her growing up in Pasadena back in the day when Pasadena was "high society." I loved the characters in the book as well. Daisy Gumm is a great character and the surrounding characters are just as fun.

However, what I didn't like about this book is the was it constantly and annoyingly diverged from the storyline. If it wasn't the main character diverging, it was someone else. In one scene, a character retur
Dec 30, 2013 Emma rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner. The concept behind this mystery is very good. The writing is solid, the setting different and interesting, and the characters engaging enough that I would read the sequels. There are also some tantalizing little hints about how the plot will unfold in those sequels that make me curious enough to pay money for them. So well done, AD. Your strategy worked.

The writing could be a little tighter. The opening is really repetitive. Got it -- WWI sucked. Also, there r
The period after the Great War and Flu Pandemic and before the crash of Wall Street is a period of great turmoil and upheaval. Many people turned to spiritualists and mediums for comfort.

Daisy Gumm Majesty, the young wife of a war veteran crippled by mustard gas, supports her family through her fabricated talent for contacting the dead and reading Tarot cards.

If this sounds dreary and depressing .... it is not. Daisy's fresh take on the "lost generation" from the point of view of those who were
Elizabeth Olson
Dec 29, 2014 Elizabeth Olson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, read-2014
Absolutely endearing and linguistically spot-on mystery set in Pasadena, CA, just after World War I. Heroine Daisy finds herself having to support herself and her shell-shocked, mustard-gassed, cripple husband, so turns to the easiest, fastest money method she can think of: fake spiritualist to the rich. Oh, yeah, there's a mystery in there, too, and a pretty good one, but mostly it's a charming set piece.
Jul 20, 2012 Joanna rated it really liked it
Just a nice relaxing read. There is a bit of a mystery but not one that Daisy is actively engaged in solving. This is the first of a series. I read the 6th one first and will try to read them all. I purchased this copy on my NOOK for $.99. Lots of typos.
Nov 07, 2013 Jeannette rated it really liked it
This is a laugh out loud read with plenty of grins while solving the mystery.
Jul 12, 2010 Gina rated it really liked it
I fell in love with Daisy..she is fresh and charming.
Feb 28, 2012 Viccy rated it liked it
Daisy Gumm is an accidental spiritualist. When she was ten, she pretended she could talk to the spirits and everyone believed her. She knows she is a fraud, but if rich people want to pay her to talk to the spirits, who is she to stop them? Daisy gets mixed up with the Kincaids, a rich banking family in Pasadena, California. Daisy is supporting herself and her husband, Billy, badly injured in World War I, along with her mother and father and her Aunt Vi. Life is not easy for a girl trying to ear ...more
Jul 29, 2014 Betty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, alice-duncan
First book in the,series. Daisy lives in 1920 during and just after World War 1. She was married before her husband's was shipped overseas. He returns injured by mustard gas and leg damage. Daisy earns their living by holding seances and other spirited activities. In this book her best customer has problems and Daisy is called to give a seance. Daisy has to help solved a criminal matter. It is a tale of how the average person lived during the Roaring Twenties. Not really a mystery or a romance, ...more
Randee Baty
The cover of this book really drew me in. I love the look of the 1920's so it immediately intrigued me to read a mystery set in that era. The period details were rich so I wasn't disappointed. There was a lot to like here!

Daisy Gumm Majesty is a fake spiritualist. She makes her money holding seances and tarot card readings for the rich in her beautiful California town of Pasadena. She helps support her husband who was gassed in WWI and her parents, a bookkeeper and a chauffeur.

Though this says i
Twenty-year-old Daisy Gumm Majesty makes her living reading tarot cards and communicating with the deceased relatives of rich clients. Daisy’s favorite client, Mrs. Kincaid, desperately needs her services when her family begins to unravel. Wild daughter Stacy is arrested for drinking in a speakeasy. Days later, Mrs. Kincaid’s nasty husband goes missing. Stacy accuses the stable boy, Quincy, of murdering him, but Daisy isn’t sure that Kincaid is even dead. Unfortunately, the investigating detecti ...more
Liz Banks
I enjoyed this book very much. The best part of it was the lead character-narrator's thought processes. The mystery was simple. The romance wasn't there, unless you call loving a parapalegic husband a romance, which I guess it was. The setting was Pasadena right after World War 1. The main character supported her family by doing séances which she rationalized helped others feel better.
Apr 15, 2015 A. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book overall. I like the period in which is was set, the main character Daisy Gumm Majesty I felt was a nice strong character but it wasn't like she was unfeeling, she was strong because she was forced into that position. She was both a skeptic / realist but she had moments of optimism and wild imagination which only helped her solve the problem of her employer, Mrs. Kincaid.

The writing of the book is easy enough to get into too; there are periods where I felt the author was being
E.K. Carmel
Jan 15, 2014 E.K. Carmel rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, historical
This was a fun, light read. I enjoyed the historical time period of 1920s California with a working class main character. The spiritualist angle is different and it was interesting to see how Daisy juggled her "job" and her family life.

There was some repetition and typos, but I liked the characters and story and plan to continue reading the series.
Feb 06, 2014 Ce added it
Enjoyable, I liked how the story was told as a memory.
Daisy Gumm is a spiritualist during the 1920's spiritual movement. Her biggest client Mrs. Kinkand family's life turns topsy turby when her daughter Stacy is arrested in a speakeasy. Daisy's ability to act as a spiritual guide helps her unravel the secrets family has kept from each other.
Jan 27, 2015 Elaine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-challenge
I thoroughly enjoyed this witty novel about Daisy the "spiritualist!.
Although a rather unusual profession fo a young woman, Daisy shows pride in her "talents" and proves herself to be sensitive to the needs of people who seek her consolation.
The story is written in the first person, with very humorous observations and dialogues, as Daisy has to deal with providing for her family as well as getting involved in the bond theft mystery of the Kincaid family. Mrs, Kincaid depends on Daisy to guide
Oct 21, 2013 Kim rated it really liked it
This was a very nice read. The setting is late WW1....the main character (Daisy) is a very young spiritualist/medium who is trying to help support her family including her husband who was hurt in the war. I really enjoyed the authors references to the time period. I will read more about Daisy Gumm, to be sure!
Nov 08, 2013 Cyndi rated it liked it
I like the fact that it was a "period piece" and gave the reader a sense of life during the Roaring Twenties.
Daisy is quite a convincing medium although she admits at the start that she's a charlatan.
The characters are well defined and there are many unexpected happenings. It was a pleasant little read.
Dec 07, 2011 Karen rated it liked it
This is a delightful little mystery. It is flawed with too much telling and not enough showing. I loved the descriptions of Pasadena, California in the years just after WWI. I enjoyed the characters Alice has created. I am looking forward to reading more of this series.
Jennifer Blake
Oct 28, 2011 Jennifer Blake rated it liked it
Charming story with a very likeable protagonist, nice hook in her work as a "spiritulist," and I enjoyed the unusual 1920s time period and ambience. The mystery element was weak, however, with little suspense and scant fodder for those who prefer to solve the puzzle.
Irene Marie Dawson
All is foretold in the cards.

When Daisy Gumm Majesty began her spiritualist hobby at the tender age of ten who was to know she would make it a lifetime career? This and her keen mind are all that separate her from poverty now that the war is over and her husband has returned from battle confined to a wheelchair. Being her families largest support has made her pursue her career with a vengeance,but when she becomes embroiled in spying on her wealthy clients and a possible murder her skills as a s
Oct 30, 2013 Jenny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is a sedate mystery set in Pasadena, CA, during the 1920's featuring Daisy Gumm Majesty, a spiritualist. Except for the historical aspects of this book and the differences between the rich & poor, I found the plot simplistic and dull.
Jan 12, 2015 Lorrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in 1920s Pasadena, this book is about Daisy Gumm Majesty, a spiritualist (or faux spiritualist I should say) working for the rich but gullible Mrs Kincaid. With her husband wounded by battle in WWI and the rest of her family relying on her money, Daisy poses as a spiritualist, conducting seances and readings to make a living. When Quincy Applewood and Mr Kincaid disappear after an argument, foul play is suspected. Mrs Kincaid turns to Daisy for support rather than to solve the mystery and th ...more
Lora King
Jul 07, 2015 Lora King rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet little read. Set in Pasadena CA right after WWI, Daisy is a spiritualist, who helps people with their grieving by connecting them with the dead and giving positive messages from beyond the grave. There really was a spiritualist movement at this time so it's historically correct. Here's what I hope Duncan did in the subsequent novel, stop repeating info already give, move the story a bit faster, don't get bogged down on as much description of say food! While called a mystery, this book was ...more
Keary Richardson
Jul 23, 2015 Keary Richardson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. This series was recommended by one of the "free ebook" sites I follow. It was if you like..., try ... The series is a hoot, set in the early 20's following WW1. If you enjoy strong female leads, a mystery with some humor tossed in, then you will like this series. The only reasons I didn't give it 5 stars were 1) weak mystery plots, I usualy had them figured out before I was halfway through the book and 2) the author spends too much time rehashing the background in the beginning ...more
Jun 09, 2014 Johnna rated it did not like it
I was disappointed in this book because I saw its potential but it just didn't pull me in.
Apr 20, 2014 Elaine rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Not what I'd call heavy, but enjoyable - a sweet little book to while away a few hours.
Carrie Garza
Dec 09, 2014 Carrie Garza rated it really liked it
Cute little mystery set in 1920. Daisy Majesty is a spiritualist , holding seances and reading the cards to support her family.

She is just nineteen and her husband has been wounded in the war and is unable to work. Daddy's career causes problems between her and her husband.

Sho is drawn into an investigation for one of her clients. The beginning of a new career?

The story is told from her point of view. She is very chatty, almost annoyingly so. It also gives a lot of insight into how life might ha
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Play Book Tag: Strong Spirits - Alice Duncan - 4 stars 2 12 Mar 28, 2016 04:34AM  
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Other Books in the Series

Daisy Gumm Majesty Mystery (9 books)
  • Fine Spirits (Daisy Gumm Majesty, #2)
  • High Spirits (Daisy Gumm Majesty, #3)
  • Hungry Spirits (Daisy Gumm Majesty, #4)
  • Genteel Spirits (Daisy Gumm Majesty, #5)
  • Ancient Spirits (Daisy Gumm Majesty, #6)
  • Dark Spirits (A Daisy Gumm Majesty #7)
  • Spirits Onstage (A Daisy Gumm Majesty Mystery, Book 8)
  • Unsettled Spirits (A Daisy Gumm Majesty Mystery, Book 9)

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