In 1899, a séance was held at the Morley Mansion in Boston, Massachusetts. The millionaire Roderick Morley was desperate to contact his murdered friend. He hoped to clear himself of suspicion by identifying the true killer. The séance went horribly wrong, though, and Morley left the room—to commit suicide.
By 1903, the Morley Mansion was deemed haunted! The new owner hired Vera Van Slyke, an odd but brilliant ghost hunter. With her assistant, Lucille Parsell, Vera quickly realized that, to banish the ghost, the two would have to solve the murder.
But a fugitive murderer wasn’t the only shadow cast over the Morley Mansion. A fake medium had performed at that séance, a shame-ridden woman who called herself: “Lucille Parsell.”
And, sometimes, guilt is a ghost that can never be banished.
$15.99, trade paperback, 274 pages
The Second in the Series, But…
If you’re new to the Vera Van Slyke Ghostly Mysteries series, Guilt Is a Ghost is a good book to read first. I call it the “synquel” to Help for the Haunted: A Decade of Vera Van Slyke Ghostly Mysteries. It’s not a prequel — and it’s not a sequel — because the two books overlap in terms of time. In other words, they’re companion volumes. You can start with either one.
That said, Guilt Is a Ghost gives a full account of the meeting between Vera and her “Dr. Watson,” Ludmila Prášilová (aka Lucille Parsell). It then jumps over the first four cases in Help for the Haunted as the ghost-hunting duo return to the house where they met. (It’s haunted now, you see, and their history there is mingled with that haunting!) While Help for the Haunted is a “composite novel,” comprised of thirteen distinct yet interwoven adventures, Guilt Is a Ghost is a more traditional novel featuring a single, complex investigation.