When I found myself working with Madam Petalungra, world famous medium, in the cosmopolitan Louisiana city of New Orleans, I discovered a world hidden to most people. And I began to realize many things about my chosen line of work. The first is that I have no real ability to see spirits. Madam, who is a true talent in the spirit world, said I might eventually learn sensitivity to the specters trapped between realms, but that nonetheless I was her ablest assistant because while I could not see the dead, I do have an ability to read the living. Madam, who is a true talent in the spirit world, said I might eventually learn sensitivity to the specters trapped between realms. Nonetheless I was her ablest assistant because, while I could not see the dead, I have an uncanny ability to read the living. My years of working with Madam were the beginning of a very strange path.
Not so long ago, I was attending Madam at one of her regular séances. Her New Orleans home is a frequent stopping place for the famous and wealthy, including Mr. Doyle, the English writer of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. But on this particular night, it was a young female writer who caught my eye. Raissa James was in the company of her uncle and two friends and they’d arranged to attend Madame’s session. The rest, as they say, is history.
I returned to Mobile, Alabama with Raissa and her uncle to investigate a series of unexplained incidents in the magnificent Caoin House. The mystery we uncovered was far more complex and devious than I’d ever anticipated. But I also discovered in Raissa a young woman who doesn’t judge my lifestyle and who also keeps my secrets. Now we’re business partners in the gumshoe agency, Pluto’s Snitch. Our specialty is solving mysteries with a supernatural influence. And in our second case, we’re working for none other than the most modern woman in America, Zelda Fitzgerald.
Our adventure will take us to Montgomery, Alabama where Mrs. Fitzgerald’s childhood friend is suffering from what she calls a possession. Camilla Granger has been institutionalized in the state mental hospital, a voluntary commitment. Described as a sweet, meek young woman, Camilla has twice tried to kill her fiancé, a man she claims to love. She is either mentally ill, in which case we won’t be able to help, or some entity is deviling her. If her erratic and dangerous behavior is the result of some kind of haunting, perhaps Raissa and I can intervene.
We’ll travel up the Alabama river on one of her uncle’s steamboats. I hope to get some gambling in along the journey and replenish my threadbare finances. As I mentioned, I’m pretty good at reading people and in my past life, I’ve learned how to survive. Gambling is generally easy money. Raissa has never traveled by river, and the trip will give her time to work on the stories she wants to write and publish. She is quite talented. This slow pace traveling up-river will allow us time to put the finishing touches on our approach to this case.
If we complete this case successfully, then I see a bright future for Pluto’s Snitch. For those who aren’t familiar with the slang of the day, snitch mean private investigator, and for those who enjoy mythology, Pluto was the god who ruled the land of the dead. Hence our clever name!
Madam has a number of clients who will hire us to resolve hauntings, strange phenomena, and resolve crimes that have no apparent explanation. Raissa and I are both single. She is widowed and my lifestyle doesn’t allow for a marriage, so we are free to travel to various locations. Resolving hauntings requires that we be on-scene. I may not see spirits but I am sensitive to gut feelings, and I believe Pluto’s Snitch will be a service much in demand.
Come and share the mystery of the haunting of Camilla Granger with us in The House of Memory, the second book in the “Pluto’s Snitch” mystery series, coming June 27, 2017.
Raissa James not only sees the dead but she’s caught the ears of the living—especially now that she’s solved her first case. Word of Pluto’s Snitch, her private-investigation agency specializing in the occult, has spread far and wide. It’s even come to the notice of Zelda Fitzgerald, the nation’s most celebrated flapper. And Zelda’s in need of its services.
Along with Reginald Proctor, her partner in detection, Raissa travels to Montgomery, Alabama, where Zelda’s friend Camilla has suddenly become prone to violent fits and delusions. Has Camilla gone mad. . .or has she been possessed?
Raissa and Reginald soon discover that Camilla’s not the only young lady in the area to fall victim to something unnatural. Now it’s up to the Snitches to follow the clues and save Camilla, locked away behind the walls of the formidable Bryce Hospital asylum. But the key to her rescue might not lie among the living at all. Because Raissa knows that the dead have their secrets, too.
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About the author
Carolyn Haines is the USA Today bestselling author of The Pluto’s Snitch mystery series set in 1920. The Book of Beloved is the first book in the series. Haines is also the author of the Sarah Booth Delaney humorous mystery series and the Familiar, black cat detective series. She does see ghosts—but runs away because she’s afraid. And she operates an animal rescue on her Alabama farm. You can learn more about her at the following links. Connect with Carolyn at carolynhaines.com, on Twitter, on Instagram, on her Amazon Author page, on BookBub, and on Facebook.
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