Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Book Review: Whispers Beyond the Veil by Jessica Estevao (Change of Fortune Mysteries #1)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters and story
Cons: I’m not a fan of the spiritualism aspect of the book
The Bottom Line:
Rudy runs to Maine
Starts promising new series
Sure to create fans

I Will Not be Whispering My Feelings for This Debut

It gets harder and harder to stay away from the paranormal end of the cozy spectrum when authors you know you like jump into the subgenre.  That’s why I found myself picking up Whispers Beyond the Veil, the first in a new series by Jessica Estevao, also known as Jessie Crockett.  Despite my misgivings, I found myself enjoying it.

Ruby Proulx has been raised by her father, a fast talking seller of medical miracle cures.  Being 1898, these miracle cures are often suspect at best.  When his latest get rich scheme goes horribly wrong, Ruby finds herself alone racing across the Canadian/US border to the resort town of Old Orchard, Maine, and the hotel owned by her late mother’s relatives.

Ruby has never met her mother’s family, and she is delighted to be welcome with open arms by her aunt.  The family hotel is just about to reopen as a haven for spiritualists of all types.  However, much is riding on this season if the family is to keep the hotel.  Just as Ruby is beginning to think she’s found a place where she belongs, new dangers enter her life, including a murder.  Can she survive the forces coming her way?

Just about every form of spiritualism is represented in the cast of characters from palm readers to mediums to tarot card readers.  Ruby has a gift as well, of course, she can hear a voice that gives her guidance.  Personally, I don’t believe in any of this, but I found this to be a part of the story without overwhelming it.  The answer doesn’t just fall into Ruby’s lap from these gifts, which also really helped me like the story.

If you are reading this just for the mystery, you’ll find the early portion of the book slow.  However, I still really enjoyed it.  This part sets up the characters and sets up some of the conflict that leads to the murder.  There is still plenty here to keep your interest as Ruby navigates this new life she’s landed in.  Once the murder does happen, the pace never lags.  The climax felt a bit rushed, but it does wrap everything up nice and neatly for us.

These may be new characters, but they are already strong.  I felt like I got to know Ruby, her aunt, and several other potential regular characters very well, and I really enjoyed my time with them.  The suspects are also strong characters.

We get the story from Ruby’s first person point of view and the third person point of view of Yancey, the police detective in town.  It’s an interesting way to tell the story, and I felt it really worked here.  Since some of the conflict comes from their relationship, this helped showcase that and it helped give us a deeper view of the conflicts going on in town than we’d get from just Ruby alone.  I’m anxious to head back and see where the seeds planted here lead.

And I loved the setting.  Pretty much any resort town appeals to me, and this one was no exception.  It’s almost like being on vacation myself.  Being back in 1898 just added to the fun.  I’d love to visit the real Old Orchard someday and compare what it looks like today verses the image in my head from 1898.

So I’m glad I picked up Whispers Beyond the Veil.  The characters are wonderful, the plot is strong, and the setting is fun.  What more could you want in a book?

NOTE: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of this book to give away.  Because it is a physical book, the contest is limited to residence of the US.

Just leave me a comment with your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you if you win.  I will pick the winner next Tuesday, September 13th, so please leave your comment before 12:01AM Pacific Time on 9/13.  You will have until midnight on 9/18 to get back to me, or I will choose a new winner on 9/19.


  1. I would love to read this! Thanks for the contest. :) 2boys4me (at) gmail (dot) com.

  2. Wow. Sounds fabulous, great review!

  3. I'm intrigued by this mystery because during the time period mysticism was such a big deal - like you I don't believe in any of it but it can add an interesting element to a mystery story if it's done correctly. Thanks for the chance at the giveaway!
    maria63303 at gmail dot com

  4. Thank you for the chance to win. This is in my wish list. Dmskrug3 (at) hotmail (dot) com

  5. I love books set in historical times. Thank for the opportunity to enter the giveaway for a copy. robeader53@yahoo.com

  6. Sounds great! Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy!

  7. Sounds good! I've been reading more and more paranormal so I'm becoming more okay with it though it always drives me crazy when they get some massive clue from a voice or a ghost or whatnot.I'll have to add this to my TBR! Katherine.e.pitts(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. I love to win this...lizhunter1980@gmail.com.

  9. This story sounds just so good and I am super excited that you have the book to give. Being disabled i am overjoyed when the actual book is the prize and not an ebook. Thanks so much for your time that you put into all of this. ptclayton2@aol.com

  10. Love this author & can't wait to try this new series. Really enjoyed your review. doward1952@yahoo.com

  11. This sounds like an interesting series.

  12. Sounds good...I love historical cozies...the whole thing is perfect for my Halloween read. Thank you for the chance.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com


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