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The second book in the USA Today bestselling Victorian San Francisco Mystery series.

In this sequel to Maids of Misfortune , it is the fall of 1879, and when the young San Francisco widow, Annie Fuller, is asked to investigate a fraudulent trance medium, she comes to a troubling realization. Despite Annie’s growing financial success as the clairvoyant Madam Sibyl, she feels increasingly guilty about the fact she doesn't believe in the astrology and palmistry her clients think are the basis for her advice.

Kathleen Hennessey, Annie’s young maid, has a plan. Just like the Pinkerton detectives she has read about in the dime novels, she is determined to assist her mistress in her investigations.

Nate Dawson, up-and-coming San Francisco lawyer, faces a dilemma. He wants to marry the unconventional Annie Fuller, but he doesn't feel he can reveal his true feelings until he has a way to make enough money to support her.

With Kathleen and Nate Dawson’s help, Annie delves into the intriguing world of 19th century spiritualism, encountering true believers and naïve dupes, clever frauds and unexplained supernatural phenomena, and she soon finds there are as many secrets as there are spirits swirling around the séance table. Some of those secrets will threaten the foundation of her career as Madam Sibyl and the future of her relationship with Nate Dawson, and, in time, they will threaten her very life itself.

In Uneasy Spirits , readers will find the same combination of romance, mystery, and suspense they found in Maids of Misfortune . Locke’s shorter works, found in Victorian San Francisco Vol 1 and 2 and Victorian San Francisco Novellas , feature minor characters from the series.

390 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 8, 2011

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About the author

M. Louisa Locke

33 books459 followers
After being a professor of history for over 30 years, I am now retired and writing full time. The books in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series are based in part on my dissertation research on women who worked in the Far West at the end of the Nineteenth Century, and they feature Annie Fuller, a young widow who gives domestic and business advice as the clairvoyant, Madam Sibyl. She is aided in her investigations into crime by Nate Dawson, a local lawyer, and the residents in the boarding house she owns.

Maids of Misfortune, the first in the series, finds Annie investigating a murder by going undercover as a domestics servant. In Uneasy Spirits, she is asked to investigate a fraudulent trance medium, and in Bloody Lessons, she is asked to find out who is attacking local public school teachers. The fourth book, Deadly Proof is set in the printing industry in San Francisco, and in the fifth book, Pilfered Promises, Annie and Nate investigate theft and murder in a modern department store.

Book six in this collection, Scholarly Pursuits, takes Laura Dawson and her friends (introduced in Bloody Lessons) across the Bay to Berkeley to attend the university where unexpected skulduggery is afoot. In Lethal Remedies, Annie is tasked with uncovering who is trying to ruin a clinic run by and for women, and in Entangled Threads it is a woolen factory that is the site of her investigations.

Volume One of my collection of short stories about minor characters, Victorian San Francisco Stories, are free to anyone who signs up to my newsletter. (see my website for sign up at http://mlouisalocke.com)

Not content with just writing about the past, under the pen name Louisa Locke, I have now turned to the future with a new science fiction series set in the collaborative world of the Paradisi Chronicles.

As an indie author I absolutely depend on the readers who have read and liked my cozy historical mysteries and spread the word. This second career has turned out to be more fun and rewarding than i ever thought possible. So thanks to all of you!

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 350 reviews
Profile Image for Zain.
1,462 reviews154 followers
October 13, 2021
A True Psychic?

In this episode, Annie Fuller is called upon to investigate the machinations of a family of psychics.

Having her own persona as a psychic (as Madam Sybil), Annie feels offended that someone would use the spiritual life to take advantage of anyone.

Although her intentions are honorable, Annie’s life is in constant danger, but from whom? With so many suspects thrown in, the page-turning is ferocious!

And just when is she and Nate going to make it official?
Profile Image for Historical Fiction.
924 reviews603 followers
February 12, 2012
Find the enhanced version of this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

Dandy Detects was an entertaining short but it was Maids of Misfortune that captured my attention and piqued my interest in Uneasy Spirits. I looked forward to the book for months and now, after reading the book, I find I have very mixed feelings.

I obviously enjoyed the book. A four star rating isn’t exactly a finger in the eye but I found that while I appreciated the piece, many of my pre-read expectations were only moderately satisfied. Dandy Detects was cute and I was so absorbed by Maids of Misfortune that I hardly found time to put it down. I expected the same humor and captivating storytelling in the newest installment of the Victorian San Francisco Mystery series. I didn’t find it. I had absolutely no problem setting this book on my side table, consuming it in small doses over the course of eleven days.

I hope I haven’t scared anyone away from Uneasy Spirits by that admission. I am not implying that the sequel is of poorer quality, just that I found the reading experience differed dramatically novel to novel. In terms of content, the book is no less interesting or engaging than its predecessors. For instance I found that Annie’s struggle over the morality of her occupation offered fascinating insight to her character while keeping the character fresh and new for those already familiar with the boarding house matron.

Kathleen was by far my favorite character to read. For much of book, her scenes offered the most movement in terms of plot but she is also the individual most desperate to achieve something against the mystery at the center of the novel. Where Nate is struggling with his feelings for Annie and Annie is having reservations regarding Madame Sibyl, Kathleen is determined to prove herself useful and worthy of the trust her mistress places in her.

It is my opinion there are two particularly noteworthy aspects to the novel. The intricacies of Evie May’s story are truly astounding and will hold the imagination long after the final page. I also found Locke’s foray into the late nineteenth century obsession with spiritualism wonderfully illustrated and entertaining. Madame Sibyl’s work as a palm reader and astrologer are relatively tame compared to the elaborate shows invented by those claiming contact with the other side. I found I quite liked the chance to explore the more dramatic side of Annie’s trade.

The richly imagined recreation of Victorian era San Francisco offers a delightful backdrop for Locke's indomitable heroine. Once again, I applaud Ms. Locke's work. A must read for anyone who appreciates cozy historical mysteries.
Profile Image for Petra.
1,148 reviews15 followers
September 11, 2018
An interesting cozy mystery. Better than the first book, which is often the case. The characters are familiar and we learn more about them. I enjoy a book that takes into account a character's internal struggles.
There's also a look at psychological issues, trying to see them from the perspective & knowledge of Victorian San Fransisco. The situation was warmly and kindly portrayed.
As in most cozy mysteries, this one is light, enjoyable and keeps one interest.
I look forward to picking up the third of the series one day.
Profile Image for Barb.
1,193 reviews128 followers
May 7, 2015
I enjoyed the first book in this series 'Maids of Misfortune' and looked forward to reading another mystery with the charming characters Ms. Locke created. Unfortunately I did not care for this story and was disappointed by the lack of growth and development the characters undergo during the course of this book. I felt I had a better sense of the characters at the end of the first book than I did after reading more than three hundred and fifty pages about them in this book.

I thought much of this mystery was dull, the story was filled with mindless chatter about every movement and conversation Annie Fuller had. I thought the dialog was unrealistic, the relationships Annie had with the servants were too familiar, the period details were far and few between and some events just weren't believable. There was very little emotional depth to any of the relationships between the characters.

I was disappointed by this book and then surprised when the author picked up an interesting thread three hundred and forty pages into the story and gave it an exciting ending. I might try this author again but I will wait and let others test the waters before me next time.
Profile Image for Cindy Amrhein.
Author 13 books29 followers
September 13, 2012
I got hooked into this book as soon as I started it. Victorian era is a favorite time period of mine. I found an instant connection with the character of Annie Fuller, a widow who owns a boarding house and sidelines for extra cash as a clairvoyant, Madam Sibyl. The difference is she doesn't believe in such things, but it's a means to take a woman seriously when giving financial advice learned from her father. Think about that--people wouldn't take advice from a woman, but from their dead uncle? Heck yeah!

I like the advertisements that begin each chapter. As a historian, I read these ads all the time in the newspapers of the late 1890s to early 1900s. (Wrote a couple articles on local spiritualism for our quarterly at work, so I could relate to the subject.)

I found the bits at the end of each chapter intriguing. I realized it would eventually tie in and I pondered the theories on how it was connected as I read on. Towards the end I was trying to guess if Evie May had split personalities or was she really able to speak to the dead?

I like the mishaps with Nate and Annie's relationship, the banter with themselves in their head as the go back and forth trying to figure each other out. The descriptive quality of the setting is spot on too. Not over wordy, but just enough to set the Victorian era scene.

My only nit pick: Some of the scenes remind me of a cut away in a movie. It just gets some suspense going, and then we switch scenes to Annie recapping to her housemaids. This was OK for the most part, so the author doesn't repeat what has just happened. But the one scene where Annie and Nate are hiding in the cabinet, damn close to getting caught ... switch scene to the next morning and Annie back at her house, kind of killed the tension that was built. That was my only peeve. Other than that I really enjoyed the book. The beginning of the spiritualism movement fascinates me and it was done very accurately, and the plot kept me turning my digital page. A great read!
Profile Image for Linden.
1,530 reviews1 follower
October 28, 2020
It’s 1879, and Annie Fuller runs a boarding house in San Francisco. One of her boarders, Miss Pinehurst, asks her to investigate some self-proclaimed spiritualists who have convinced people that their dead relatives are present at seances. Annie starts to attend the seances, and learns things which put her own life in jeopardy. I loved the quotes from the 1879 San Francisco Chronicle which start each chapter, and the fact that the author, a retired history professor, has done thorough research to recreate the ambiance of 19th century San Francisco. Coupled with a captivating mystery and well-drawn, believable characters, this series is a must read for fans of historical mysteries.
142 reviews1 follower
February 11, 2020
Yes. Scholarship does add immensely to my enjoyment of a book. I might even go on to read some of Dr. Locke's scholarly writing about the lives of 19th century women.
Lately I've felt inspired to seek out books about powerful women. So many authors think that means a man in heels. Locke has created a believable, very female, protagonist who has found ways to build her own life within the constraints of her time. Her culture makes it very difficult to find love without sacrificing her self-determination but she does her best to find her way. I love the way the male lead struggles to balance his admiration of her power with his expectations of what a marriage should be.
Oh... there was a mystery in there, too. I guessed some of the outcome but not all of it. The newspaper headlines at the beginning of each chapter grounded the story in San Francisco's actual history. I can still see the places she describes in modern-day San Francisco.
This book was great fun. I'm very glad there are more of them. I'll definitely be back for more.
Profile Image for Nola Arganbright.
1,590 reviews28 followers
January 11, 2019
Great mystery

I enjoyed book two of this series more than book one. I became very engrossed in the story and the characters. Extremely good plot.
Profile Image for Hilary.
2,005 reviews52 followers
April 13, 2014
3.5 stars

One of Annie's boarders asks her to investigate a pair of mediums who, Miss Pinehurt is sure, are damaging her sister's already fragile state of mind. During the course of the investigation Annie is forced to confront her own alter ego as Madam Sibyl: is she just as bad as they, misleading clients for her own ends, or is she justified because of societal restrictions?

Not quite as good as Maids of Misfortune, but I still enjoyed it. The subject matter is a little strange, but as I generally enjoy historical stories for a glimpse into the past, I picked it up anyway, and as a cozy historical mystery it still fits the bill. The writing didn't seem to be as strong, overusing the device of recap, switching abruptly to either another character or a completely different plot thread during suspenseful moments, and taking too long to draw the two together.

What made me give it 4 stars was the mediums' secret weapon.
Profile Image for Degeorgetown.
37 reviews1 follower
November 12, 2012
I hate that I could only give this book three stars. I loved the characters and the setting so much but there were just too many flaws in other parts of the book.

What I loved: Annie and Nate are such well written characters and I found myself really invested in their romantic subplot. The author also does an amazing job describing victorian era San Francisco, I loved the descriptions of what the characters were wearing and how they celebrated halloween. The main plot about Annie investigating the mediums was also interesting, it was fun to see her discover how all their tricks were done.

What I hated: The book starts with the murder of an old lady but doesn't pick back up on that plot thread until about 75% of the book was read. Just seemed like a bad way to start the story when the core of the book seems to be about Annie trying to find evidence that the mediums are scammers.
Annie is portrayed as being very independent and very intelligent. After learning who the bad guy was, why would she go to the house alone?? Especially after three attempts on her life had been made! Her independence should not trump her intelligence. The deus ex machina ending. Ugh, this just made me sick. Instead of having Annie use her brain to get out of danger, Nate came to save the day again... that's not exactly a bad thing... except that he didn't come to save her because he put 2 and 2 together and realized where she was but because another medium had a vision that she was in danger. So an enjoyable historical mystery became a lame paranormal mystery. Yuck.
Profile Image for Marla.
309 reviews
February 12, 2012
Again, I started reading this in fits and starts, getting distracted by other books, but once I started reading larger chunk of it at a time I enjoyed it more. I didn't quite have it all figured out before they gave us the reveal and there were some things that felt like loose ends but had only been in there to throw us off the trail I suppose. Still it all came to a satisfactory conclusion and I really like the descriptions of San Fransisco in the 1890's, including the little blurbs from the paper at the beginning of each chapter.
Profile Image for Madelon.
803 reviews10 followers
January 27, 2018
I read a lot of grit, murder, mayhem, and mosters, so it is always refreshing to read a book that looks at life through the rose colored glasses of gentility. Very often, this can only be accomplished by reading books published in the nineteen thirties and forties. Even during that period, hard boiled noir seems really tame by today's standards. Ms. Locke's descriptions of various locations in San Francisco eschew Victorian gentility while making the locales come to life.

The Victorian Era was rife with the spiritualist movement. Seances were all the rage, and money was made exploiting the bereaved. Barbara Hewitt, one of Annie's lodgers, broaches the subject of unscrupulous mediums taking advantage of her younger sister's loss with Annie, more or less on the basis of 'it takes one, to know one' given Annie's alter ego, Madam Sybil.

Much that is currently written with a Victorian backdrop, involves a woman acting contrary to that which is expected of her by men and women alike. Quite often this does not spring from active rebellion but from innate intelligence. There is always a man ready to come to the rescue for all the wrong reasons. Such is Mrs. Annie Fuller's dilemma as she finds herself falling for Nathaniel Dawson, Esq. Here we have two people well suited to each other at odds because although they talk to each other, they never really say what's on their mind until it's too late. Clearly a situation of one step forward, two steps back.

As is so often the case with a mystery series, where the mystery intrigues, the backstory is the driving force to read the subsequent tale. With each novel, we learn more about not only Annie and Nate, but the other recurring characters that loom large in the boarding house, both residents and staff. By making these folks both human and interesting, one feels compelled to read on to see what is happening to this circle of friends. I look forward to reading the next novel in this series.
Profile Image for Betty.
547 reviews49 followers
March 27, 2017
This is the first book by this author I have read, and I am sure to read more! I enjoy the history of Spiritualism in a time when palmists, palm readers, tarot, mediums and seances were extremely popular. One thing I found interesting in the book was the beginning of each chapter featuring a news headline, which I firmly believe is an actual headline from the 1870s. That said, this is a particularly well-written story with great character portrayals. The book is suspenseful, intriguing, and strangely captivating in its portrayal. The characters are consistent, except possibly in the case of Evie May. Evie May is totally unique and fascinating. Who is Evie Mae really? Annie Fuller, hearing some possibly unscrupulous practices about a mesmerist and a medium who hold seances, decides to investigate, hoping to help save her clients and other people from being duped. Aside from the investigation, the book is really in the category of a "mystic" but deadly mystery, and I for one am glad to see it is a series. I can hardly wait to both catch up by reading Book 1, then following the further adventures of Annie. M. Louisa Locke is the perfect author for this series. I loved it!
Profile Image for Sam.
3,228 reviews234 followers
March 31, 2020
This is the second in the series and finds Annie Fuller drawn into another investigation, this time something a little closer to home as she investigates a couple that claim to be able to contact the dead and pass on messages from the other side. Of course, things start off simply enough as an acquaintance asks for her help but things escalate as she begins to uncover the truth. As ever Annie's is determined to see things through despite the risk of exposing her own alternative persona and despite threats and attempts on her life and advice from her boarders and a ever-frustrated Nate. I do like Annie's determined independence and ability to see things through to the end, this makes for a much refreshing change from many historical fiction works, even those with female leads.
Profile Image for Amanda.
92 reviews
July 17, 2022
A book that contains literally all of my interests! Not only a mystery set in Victorian San Francisco, but one that revolves around communicating with spirits! Did M. Louisa Locke and I just become best friends?? Amazing installment in the series, my favorite so far. I really enjoy these books because woven throughout the story is so much cool San Francisco history! I loved this book so much that I read the Misses Moffet novella immediately after because I wasn’t ready to leave Annie’s boarding house yet!
Profile Image for Erik Quinz.
2 reviews
June 5, 2017
I would argue that this book has a gloriousness that examines how hard the passion it takes to accomplish a thing and is not possible with ordinary passion and sometimes makes the spirit disappear and becomes bored, the book has a good selection of language and understanding of how that spirit should,
Profile Image for Nina.
1,543 reviews11 followers
November 19, 2019
The widowed San Fransisco boarding house operator who moonlights as a fortune teller is invited by one of her boarders to investigate some local spiritualists who appear to be up to no good. Her investigation leads to attempts on her life and she is neatly rescued twice by her lawyer-suitor. Nate confesses his love to Annie and all ends happily. A sweet little Victorian mystery.
Profile Image for Maureen.
714 reviews44 followers
December 31, 2017
I looked back at my review of the first book in this series and saw that I finished it two days before Christmas last year. An odd coincidence. I enjoyed this second entry more than the first actually. The subject matter was more engaging for me this time around. Pleasant entertainment.
Profile Image for R.P. Dahlke.
Author 18 books685 followers
October 19, 2011

This is Ms. Locke’s delightful sequel to Maids of Misfortune, and the second in the Annie Fuller historical mystery series. Set in the late 1800’s in one of my favorite cities, San Francisco, California, I felt like I was there, walking these streets as they were a hundred years ago.
By day, Annie Fuller makes her living as the proprietor of a respectable and well established boarding house, but at night, she becomes Madame Sybil, fortune teller. Annie may have been brought up studying finance at her father’s knee, but this is the only way any grown man in the 1800’s will accept the financial advice from a twenty-six year old woman, much less pay for the privilege. And, Annie, has finally found someone who isn’t like her dead husband in the attractive young lawyer, Nate Dawson whose awkwardness around Annie, is both touching and charming.
The story opens with the scene in which we witness the murder of an elderly woman, and in a totally separate venue, we’re introduced to a very strange young girl. The two incidents, we later learn, are intricately woven together and the result will culminate in a surprise ending.
Annie gets involved when one of her boarders, Miss Pinehurst, fearing for her sister’s sanity, begs Annie to help her prove that the clairvoyants her sister insists upon paying, are fake. Stepping into the world of Simon and Arabella Frampton, Annie is sure that Miss Pinehurst is right and determines to expose them… until she meets with Evie May, the odd child we saw in the beginning.
Evie May is a chameleon, a child whose different personas are used by the unscrupulous Simon and Arabella Frampton as a way of making lots of money.
But, there’s a more sinister plot underway here between the Framptons and a shadowy figure who is actually directing the whole show from the sidelines.
Nate and Annie become pawns of this person’s nefarious plans, and though we don’t find out who this person is until almost the end, there’s every reason to believe that one or both of these young people may become the next victim.
This is a skillfully crafted mystery with wonderful recurring characters who are the kind of people that live with the reader long after the book is finished. And of course, the bad and really bad characters get what’s coming to them… perfect!
Last, but not least, when I read this book I was reminded of one of my favorite historical mystery authors, Anne Perry. I’ve read almost all of her books, and I can honestly say that Ms. Lock’s work is right up there with Anne Perry’s.

AMAZON/KINDLE TOP 100 Mysteries/women sleuths http://tinyurl.com/6hdg3bf

Profile Image for Thom Swennes.
1,822 reviews55 followers
March 21, 2017
San Francisco, from the mid to late nineteenth century was, by far, the largest and most diverse city on the west coast of the United States. It served as a magnet, attracting peoples of all nationalities and walks of life, making it an interesting concoction of humanity. As in all cities, crimes, intrigues, and machinations run amok as everyone competed to stay ahead in the game of survival.
Twenty-six-year-old Annie Fuller, while living in a large house she had inherited, found it difficult to make financial ends meet. The large house leant itself to the role of boarding house, which Annie immediately embraced. That, however, wasn’t enough to keep her and her small domestic staff above water. To add to the household income, Annie took on the role of Madam Sibyl, palm reader and clairvoyant, specializing in business and domestic life. She knew that she had no real ability to see in the future but by using her common and business sense, had many satisfied customers. Annie had another interest and talent, that of detective and guardian of the oppressed and downtrodden and she practiced it often.
A chaste relationship between Annie and Nate Dawson, adds a little spice to the tale but, in my opinion, could have been more physical and passionate. If this were done, the interested reading groups would dramatically augmented. Alas, it is what it is.

The reader is almost immediately sunk deeply in a quagmire of intrigue and mystery. A group of charlatans is up to no good and Annie takes on the mission to expose them as frauds. The story jumps from one to another anonymity, like a frog over water lilies on the surface of a stagnant pool of water.
I love words and try to discover and use at least a new one every day (not that this helps me communicate better with my fellow man as generally, I have to explain in layman terms what this or that strange word means) but it is a quest and test I’ve embraced and has now become a part of me, This story is a treasure of such unique words and has added greatly to my growing vocabulary.

Profile Image for Kristy.
46 reviews
February 20, 2012
I cannot begin to express how much I love this series. I have never been a particular fan of Victorian settings...thinking them of no particular interest, but M. Louisa Locke has changed that!

Annie Fuller is such a refreshing character. Having been shaped by her misfortunes in life, she is determined to carry on as a successful business woman, despite the restrictions imposed by society of the time.

And what can I say about Nate Dawson. A similiarly flawed hero to match Annie's personality. He is a strong willed but surprisingly comprising, and entirely frustrating & delightful all at the same time!

I am a fan of mysteries and this one really had me playing out the suspects close to the very end before all was revealed! Would most definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good who-done-it!!!
10 reviews
August 21, 2017
Found entertaining and a very enjoyable read. Would enjoy reading others in the series about Mrs Fuller and friends.
Profile Image for KL Caley.
180 reviews5 followers
July 17, 2017
I stumbled across this book by chance when it showed up rather cheaply on a Kindle titles sale and the outline sounded quirky and I must say I am very pleased with the find. I didn’t realise it is actually the second in the series and I’m quite glad as I think that would have put me off but actually, it was very easy to read without having read the first. You could quickly pick up who the characters are and each of their rough backgrounds, but you are also not swamped with information about them learning more as the book goes on.

This Victorian thriller is set in San Francisco, in the world of Annie Fuller (who doubles as clairvoyant Madam Sibyl). Annie actually doesn’t believe in any of the astrology or palmistry but as an intellectual woman, she uses it as a front to help give her clients business advice. When she is asked to investigate some mediums (the Framptons) who claim to be talking to deceased relatives of their clients Annie and her kitchen maid Kathleen soon step into a very dangerous world.

Discovering the truth about the Framptons may just expose Annie’s own secret that she is not really clairvoyant, can she take that risk to help her friend. The line between helping and deceiving suddenly becomes very blurred for Annie and she’s not too sure where she stands on it.

There is also an underlying love story between Annie and Nate, an up and coming lawyer who is desperate to break out of the shadows of his Uncle’s law firm. Their story is very sweet and Nate is a great character, but perhaps a little overshadowed in this story by Annie and Kathleen. I suspect he will be much more interesting in the other books as their storyline develops.

The historical descriptions are great in this book, and as some other reviewers have mentioned it’s actually set during Halloween so some of the details are really interesting.

This book can certainly be read as a standalone, but as more is revealed about the characters and their relationships develop as the series progresses, it might be best to start from the first book in the series, Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery (which I am hoping to do). I certainly will return to read more books by this author in future.

Please leave a like if you think my review/feedback of the item was helpful to you. Alternatively, please contact me if you want me to clarify something in my review.
Profile Image for Bonnie.
Author 11 books5 followers
February 26, 2018
“Uneasy Spirits” is the sequel to “Maids of Misfortune”, and is part of M. Louisa Locke's Victorian historical mystery series featuring Annie Fuller, a young widow running a boarding house in San Francisco. Recurring characters include her young Irish maid Kathleen Hennessey, her cook Beatrice O’Roarke, and various boarders. To make ends meet, Annie takes on the persona of a clairvoyant named Madam Sibyl.

Annie is asked by one of her boarders, Miss Pinehurst, to help her expose a fraudulent medium, Arabella Frampton, who is causing Miss Pinehurst’s sister, Sukie, great distress (under the guise of allowing Sukie to speak with her deceased son). Annie agrees to help, and arranges to interview with Arabella Frampton’s husband, Simon, to see if she will “fit in” with their séance group.

The game is on! With the help of Kathleen and Nate Dawson. A young San Francisco lawyer with aspirations of marrying Annie, a whole other side of the seemingly innocent séances emerges.

I love the Victorian era, and San Francisco, and feel that they are portrayed well. Both Annie and Nate could be stronger people, but they are products of both their upbringing and their time. The world of spiritualism was presented quite well, as was the backdrop of the physical being of San Francisco, the dress and the manners of the time.

The story is well developed – each character at the séances has a personal history that brought them there, and “secrets” that they wish to hide. Then there is Evie May, a young girl who is under the power of Simon Frampton (who, amongst other things, is a mesmerist). Her many personalities are quite the sight to behold!

“Uneasy Spirits” is a great read on all levels.
540 reviews
September 23, 2018
I had mixed feelings about this book. I love the setting of Victorian San Francisco and its brief inclusion of the politics of the time. I think Annie is an interesting protagonist and her feelings on the role of women do not seem overly modern and anachronistic. Still, despite the large circle of people who care about her, she continues to set off on her own (ok) without telling anyone where she is going(not ok) and consequently finds herself in a dire situation requiring rescue.

So often in these types of books the introduction of a love interest means the predictability of a man, however well intentioned, constantly telling the woman how to behave. I would prefer that Annie develop some female peer relationships instead of always relying on her older boarders and her staff. Because of the mores of the times it will be difficult for Annie and Nate to be considered equals, but I cannot continue with this series if he becomes too bossy and she becomes too dependent.
921 reviews5 followers
November 8, 2022
Kathleen Hennessey, Annie Fuller's young Irish maid, has a plan. When her mistress is asked to expose a fraudulent trance medium, Arabella Frampton, Kathleen is determined to assist in the investigation, just like the Pinkerton detectives she has read about in the dime novels.
Nate Dawson, up-and-coming San Francisco lawyer, has a dilemma. He wants to marry the unconventional Annie Fuller, but he doesn't feel he can reveal his true feelings until he has a way to make enough money to support her.
In Uneasy Spirits, this cozy, historical mystery of romantic suspense, Annie delves into the intriguing world of 19th century spiritualism, encountering true believers and naïve dupes, clever frauds and unexplained supernatural phenomena.
Well written continuation of a mystery series taking place in Victorian Saan Francisco. A bit scary for me but the plot continues at a fast pace and so does the romance! Worth the read!
Profile Image for Rachel Friedland.
172 reviews
May 16, 2018
This was a great follow-up to the first one. Almost all of the characters in Maids of Misfortune are back, and there has been some character development in a good way. Nate and Annie, especially, do spend some time reflecting on their relationship in a way that really works with the story as a whole.

One thing I thought was really interesting was the exploration of spiritualism in the 19th century, from multiple sides of the issue, and it was interesting to read the excerpts from the San Francisco Chronicle that began each chapter that pertained to the book's events.

This one was a bit slower to start than the first, but probably due to the fact that there has not been a murder to start off. But I do like the way the mystery unfolds and makes a lot of sense in the end, and I plan to continue with this series.
Profile Image for Maggie.
59 reviews
April 1, 2019
The second book in the Victoria San Francisco mysteries series. I truly enjoy this series of cozy mysteries. This book was a bit more exciting than the first and definitely had some extra twists. This time around, I had an idea of "who dunnit" but couldn't grasp the entirety of it until the end.

I was disappointed that there was more swering in this book. The majority of it happening all together made it even worse. The clean nature of the first book was one of the reasons I invested in the next few books. There is also a paragraph that was more descriptive than necessary of "hoping to wake up next to" someone. It wasn't erotic but still more description than I was hoping for. Not quite the what I expected after the first book.

Overall, I still really enjoyed the book and look forward to starting the next one.

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1,447 reviews
October 10, 2019
I already had this book, but waited to read it until after I acquired #1 in the series. In this one, Annie is trying to investigate a medium and her husband. Her maid Kathleen also gets involved, and they get Kathleen's friend Biddy a job in the mediums house to try to get inside information. Annie begins to attend seances, and is intrigued by a young girl who projects 'spirits', seemingly changing her personality, voice, and even to some extent, her looks, according to the 'spirit' she is speaking for. The seances are also causing problems for some of the other attendees. Annie gets her lawyer boyfriend Nate involved, although he is always worried about her. With good reason, as it turns out. This was interesting enough that I decided to buy the next two books in the series, since they weren't outrageously priced.
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