The setting of Delia's Shadow is San Francisco in 1915. Delia had left San Francisco after the horrible earthquake and fire killed her parents in 1906. She has returned because she is being haunted. That's right. Delia has always been able to see ghosts, but now there's a particular female ghost that has been following her around. She feels like it's time to return to her home.
After Delia's parents died, her best friend Sadie's mother took Delia in, and treated her like her own daughter. Since Delia has been gone, Sadie has fallen in love and become engaged to Jack. Delia is hoping her ghost will go away, and she can concentrate on helping Delia plan her wedding. Delia's mother, Esther, is on her death bed, so Delia also wants to be able to say goodbye. But the ghost wants something. She won't leave until Delia figures out what it is.
Jack is a police officer and his partner and boss is Gabe. So, of course being the matchmaker she is, Sadie makes sure that Delia and Gabe get to spend time together. Gabe also lost his pregnant wife in the earthquake.
Gabe and Jack are working on a serial killer case that no one knows about. You see, the city is hosting the Pan-Pacific Exposition, and there are people visiting from all over the world. Gabe believes this is the same serial killer that his policeman father tried to catch 30 years ago.
The ghost haunting Delia has something to do with these old murders. Delia sees what happened to her in dreams. The four main characters consult a spiritualist, Dora, who assists the investigation. In the meantime, the girls are being threatened, there's a big twist, Gabe and Delia are slowly falling in love, and people are still dying.
Delia's Shadow truly kept me entertained the whole way through. I loved the historical setting and the reality of the effects of that horrible earthquake. The romance was slow and sweet. And the danger, while not really that palpable, was still there and the mystery intriguing.
The secondary characters added a lot of flavor to fill out Delia's Shadow. Annie, the housekeeper; Marshall, the police officer guarding the women; and Esther, who adds to the story even though she's dying, were all interesting characters that I enjoyed getting to know.
Delia's Shadow, even though there are ghosts and murders, didn't seem dark and heavy. There's just the right balance of romance and friendship to make the book a fairly light, quick read, if at times predictable.
There's much to enjoy here for both teens and adults. I would recommend Delia's Shadow to those who like their mysteries light, their ghosts fairly benign, and their romance sweet.
P.S. I don't often comment on covers, but can I just say this is a beautiful cover and perfect for the book!
Published by Tor Books, September 17, 2013
eBook obtained from NetGalley
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