Spirits and Smoke

Severn House. (Mystic’s Accomplice Mystery, Bk. 2). Jan. 2022. 224p. ISBN 9780727850430. $28.99. M
Miley’s sequel to The Mystic’s Accomplice is rich in historical details of gangs and Prohibition in 1924 Chicago. Maddie Pastore, a widow, has moved into Madame Carlotta Romany’s Chicago house, where she assists the medium by acting as her investigator. When a new client requests an appointment, Maddie checks out wills and obituaries. Herman Quillen’s brother, Samuel, wants to talk with the deceased man, but Maddie’s search reveals that Quillen only had two sisters. After Carlotta accuses the man of lying, Maddie learns he’s really Louis Roth, part of Chicago’s North Side Gang. Why would a gangster want to talk to a dead bank teller? Quillen was murdered, and Roth believes he stole cash that belonged to the gang. Roth wants it back, and he suspects Maddie knows where the money is. He threatens Maddie and her baby and gives her a deadline to return the cash. Shrewd, street-smart Maddie will use all her wits and assistance from Officer Kevin O’Rourke and a new reporter friend to uncover the truth behind Quillen’s life and death, while protecting those she loves.
VERDICT Fans of fast-paced historical mysteries will appreciate Miley’s latest.
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