The Blackheath Seance Parlour – Alan Williams – Genre – Fantasy / Historical Fiction / Gothic / Bonkers
Two sisters dabble in the dark arts in Victorian London in this tale featuring murder, vampires, malevolent spirits, and a life-size chocolate gorilla. For fans of the classics—Holmes, Dickens, and Abfab.
In 1842, two drunken sisters debate their future. Business at the family chocolate shop has ground to a halt, and change is needed. For once, domineering elder sister Maggie doesn’t get her way, and a month later Judy, Maggie, and Netta Walters—a medium with big hair and a bigger secret—open their séance parlor. The locals are shocked, but soon the shop is crammed with people wanting to contact the dead. Despite their change in fortune, a rift grows between the sisters, as Judy gets her gothic novel published, finds a man, and proves to be more capable of contacting spirits than Maggie, who can only read tea leaves. Spurred on by jealousy, Maggie tries harder, and soon her talents surpass those of her smug sister. She fills halls with folk wishing to witness her powers, and is even consulted by the Queen. As word spreads, the Church decides that Maggie must be stopped, and Maggie is tricked into a carriage—destination Bedlam Hospital. She then has to choose between publicly declaring herself a fake and returning to obscurity, or being incarcerated forever with the insane.
My review: I LOVED this incredible book by Alan Williams. I don’t want to give anything away however I need to let you know this is my favourite book of the Autumn so far. There are so many words to describe it…. BONKERS, Brilliant, Weird, Wacky, Sad, Funny, Strange, Gruesome, Peculiar. But above all it is definitely DIFFERENT! I gave it 5 stars xx