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Seance in Sepia

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  103 ratings  ·  23 reviews
When the price of an unusual picture called a spirit photograph, which some Victorian spiritualists claimed was a photograph of the departed taken during a seance, sells at auction for over a thousand dollars, Flynn Keirnan is determined to discover the story behind it. She soon learns the ghostly images of the woman and two men in the picture were the subjects of a sensat ...more
Hardcover, 323 pages
Published October 21st 2011 by Five Star (ME)
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Average rating 3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  103 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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MaryannC. Book Freak
3.5 Stars Torn at bumping this up to 3.75 starts, but I will leave it stand. For the most part I liked this Victorian mystery coupled with a contemporary storyline about a young woman Flynn, who happens to come across an eerie photograph of 3 people who were once involved in a love triangle/murder back in Chicago 1875. This kept me interested throughout and the storyline of Flynn searching for answers about these 3 people was riveting there is also an appearance of famed Suffragette, Victoria Wo ...more
This was such fun, the mystery was really good but I also loved the characters and the story had so many things that appeal to my tastes.

Flynn Keirnan's, father owns a used book store and she goes to estate sales looking for treasures for him. On one of these trips she finds an antique photo that has a really interesting image of three people and learns it's a spirit photo taken before the turn of the century when Spiritualism was at its height.

Flynn is intrigued by the p
Lizzie Hayes
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
‘Séance in Sepia’ by Michelle Black
Published by Five Star Publishing, October 2011. ISBN: 978-1-4328-2548-5

Flynn Keirnan has taken time off from her teaching job to help her father get his second-hand bookshop off the ground. Sorting through a dusty collection of books belonging to a deceased lady, now being sold off by the landlady to cover unpaid rent, Flynn finds tucked in one of the books what is clearly a Victorian photograph. Although the photograph is that of dark haired
Jul 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
This was an interesting mystery plot -- but it was a little convoluted and at times confusion in its presentation.
Marguerite Czajka
May 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting, but a little slow.
Lorraine Shaw
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Could not get into this book.
Tara Chevrestt
Joint review between Shomeret and I:

A teaser:

Shomeret: This is supposed to be a historical mystery with a contemporary story line, but I didn't consider either the history or the mystery adequately handled.

Tara: I actually really liked the mystery. Well, except I confess I grew confused by the time changes. We suddenly went from court transcriptions to jumping back a few months or a year or so before the murder even transpired to jumping forward to Victoria Wood
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
I bought this book because of the Victorian occult angle, and because in the first chapter a modern day woman finds a so-called "spirit photograph" at an estate sale, and that was intriguing. But in the end I was not taken with any of the characters and thought the jumping around between past and present, not to mention the various characters, made for a disjointed narrative.
It had almost a self-published amateurishness to it. For instance, at one point our protagonist is talking to a yo
Warren Bull
Jul 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”– L. P. Hartley

In Séance in Sepia, the sixth novel of historical suspense by author Michelle Black, the author skillfully guides the reader through a world both like and unlike our own. Most of us are not well acquainted with spiritualism, séances and spirit photography but we are all only too well acquainted with loss, love, jealousy and trust that drive the vivid characters in this novel just as surely as they drive u
Nov 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won a signed copy of this book on Goodread's Firstread's giveaway! And it is a wonderful read.

The cover art of this book is the first thing that caught my eye. The jacket didn't disappoint. The "who done it" opened in the present day with the discovery of a "spirit photograph" at an estate sale. The book moves back and forth fluidly from the present day investigation to the past "Free Love Murder" trial and involvement of Victoria Woodhull (a historical figure who advocated for wom
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Can't say I really liked this one. I found the back & forth between present & past didn't work especially well. I particularly disliked being hard-pressed to figure out if the story was being told as it happened in the past or if it was coming from the so-called journal or novel that was discovered or maybe some of both. As I said, confusing. We have the present day character's story mirrored in the novel by her former employer/lover then we have the past story coming to light thru the ...more
Dana Burgess
Feb 06, 2015 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book. It is a 'time travelling' book in that the story bounces back and forth between the present and Victorian times as Flynn tries to unravel the mystery behind an old photo she finds in an old book. I loved the story in the past. It was well told, interesting and suspenseful. The story in the present I found less intriguing. The author really could have left the story in the past and disregarded the present story all together. Still, a quick, fun read for a rainy day.
Dec 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
I was hoping for more out of this title because I loved Black's An Uncommon Enemy. All the elements were there for a great story: interwined past and present stories; Victorian customs; seances; and spirit photography, but it just didn't mesh for me.
Gayle B
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love historical fiction. This story prompted me to look up Victoria Woodhull. I love how the author intertwines facts with the story and how the story goes between current time and 1875. Did not figure out who did it until it was revealed. Excellent book.
Carol Crigger
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Good plot, good characters. I believe Ms Black has an excellent feel for the Victorian era, with all the conflict Victorians felt toward sex and their sometimes strange attraction to the occult. Oh, yes, the novel is a murder mystery, but it all connects. Enjoyed this one very much.
Aug 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
An interesting little mystery. The author gracefully weaves a tale across the late Victorian Chicago cityscape to modern day Missouri. The book challenges the reader to consider all types of love and what we might do to keeping in our lives.
May 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Unimpressed. Yes, the murder centres around a supposed menage a trois, but really, does that enliven a really dull book? Not enough. Also not very believeable for the Victorian period.
Dec 03, 2014 rated it liked it
It was so dry. I had a hard time reading the book. I thought the story itself very interesting.
Dec 04, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
This book had all the ingredients needed for a page-turner. Do not know exactly what went wrong, but I don't want to waste the time on it.
May 31, 2012 rated it liked it
Interesting look at spiritualism, free love, feminism, etc. Found the story of the past far more interesting than the contemporary portions. Wish she'd written the book wholly in the past.
Oct 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
A surprisingly good read. Ending was a little weaker than I would have hoped, but overall worth the time.
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved the book! Writing was incredible, subject contagious!
Ariel Uppstrom
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Aug 19, 2014
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Jan 06, 2019
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Feb 04, 2012
Sonia Wise
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Apr 25, 2016
Tristan Poindexter
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Jun 14, 2017
rated it liked it
Aug 03, 2012
rated it really liked it
Nov 30, 2015
Deborah Mesplay
rated it it was ok
Jul 09, 2019
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Michelle Black is the author of six novels of the Victorian West, including the bestselling AN UNCOMMON ENEMY. Her latest, Séance in Sepia, debuted in October 2011, and features real-life feminist firebrand, Victoria Woodhull as its protagonist. She in a Queen Anne Victorian home near Boulder, Colorado.

She was born in Kansas and studied anthropology in college. She went on to law school and