Riddle of Spirit and Bone

Regal House Titles
$19.95 - $29.95
Current Stock:

Expected release date is 4th Feb 2025

In contemporary Buffalo, Dan’s world is upended when he unearths a young woman’s skeleton while replacing the gas mains in a city neighborhood. Using the meager clues available, he and his archaeologist friends embark on a quest to piece together the mystery of her death. In 1851, the newly widowed Madeleine Talmadge and her orphaned nieces, Jane and Lydia, seek the aid of a cunning spiritualist, Alexander Dodge Lewis. Lewis leads them on a perilous journey from one séance to the next, attempting to summon the spirit of Madeleine’s late husband and promoting Lydia’s latent abilities as a medium. Jane, suspicious of his motives and fearful of his influence, seeks to disentangle her aunt and cousin from Lewis’s beguiling sphere—with dire consequences. As the past collides with the present, layers of time peel back to reveal long-buried secrets of loss, love, and murder. Alongside its riveting plot, Riddle of Spirit and Bone offers subtle rumination on what can be observed, what can be known, and what can be trusted.

Praise for Riddle of Spirit and Bone

“In nineteenth-century America, orphaned cousins are thrust into the world to make their way—but this Jane Austen-like story is entwined with an archeological mystery when human bones are unearthed in contemporary Buffalo. Like roots wrapping a skeleton, the story of the cousins is itself enfolded in spiritualism, women’s rights, and a landscape being changed by new methods of transportation. Each time period is distinctly and beautifully drawn, the descriptions as sharp as though limned in pen and ink by a master artist. Carolyn Korsmeyer has delivered a dual page-turner in Riddle of Spirit and Bone!”

—Valerie Nieman, author of In the Lonely Backwater

“The past meets the present when the skeletal remains of a young woman are discovered by a utility worker in Buffalo, New York. Long-buried secrets are exposed in this gripping dual timeline tale of innocence lost, deception, and the ultimate betrayal.”

—Gail Olmsted, author of Landscape of a Marriage

“Spiritualism lures three impoverished women down a devastating path in a brooding gothic mystery. I savored the spooky theme and dual timelines, anticipating the reveal with sad anticipation along with the modern-day characters.”

—Sandra L. Young, author of The Divine Vintage series

“Carolyn Korsmeyer’s atmospheric mystery Riddle of Spirit and Bone is a dual-timeline treat. Moving effortlessly between 1851, when three newly bereft women become caught up in the murky new world of spiritualism and seances, and 2015, when an excavation for replacement of gas mains in a Buffalo neighborhood reveals the skeleton of a young woman entangled in tree roots and launches local archaeologists in a search for her story, this subtly told tale ruminates on knowledge and deception, representation and vision.”

—Karla Huebner, author of In Search of the Magic Theater