Spirit in Time (Spirited Quest Mysteries)


MYSTERY: Jillian Winchester has an interesting job. She travels the country talking with ghosts, then she shares their rich and varied stories on her blog, aptly named Spirited Quest. But one fateful train ride leaves her waylaid in Sacramento and caught up in a not so serendipitous trip back through time. Deposited in 1872 California with no means, job, or even appropriate clothing, Jillian must learn the rules of society and find a way off the street in a hurry. While serving as a maid in the home of a noted family, Jillian notices a painting with a man in it who looks just like her twenty-first century boyfriend. Can she solve the mystery of the man in the painting and undo her predicament by hunting the spirit that dragged her back through time? Or is her fate sealed?

Julie Howard’s “Spirit in Time” is a thrilling trip back to nineteenth-century west coast America. Her depiction of late Victorian life for the lower classes is detailed and engrossing. The Gold Rush, immigration, and classism are just a few of the topics woven through this intriguing paranormal romance. Jillian is a smart and capable heroine who manages her terrifying ordeal assiduously. The romance seems to lack a little passion but does deliver some surprising twists. The side characters are engaging and well-fleshed out. The occasional over-abundance of detail may slow the pace for some readers, but the action will win them back. “Spirit in Time” is a smart, page-turning romance with an exciting mix of paranormal elements and mystery in a fascinating historical setting.

Starling Gray