Friday, April 10, 2015

The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James

This is the fourth book by Simone St. James, and I must say, they just keep getting better and better. Her books are a combination of historical (1920's England), paranormal, mystery, and romance - similar to Gothic but so much better, so much more sophisticated. Someone in an Amazon review said Ms. St. James has created her own genre, and I agree. Here, have a blurb:

London, 1925. Glamorous medium Gloria Sutter made her fortune helping the bereaved contact loved ones killed during the Great War. Now she's been murdered at one of her own séances, after leaving a message requesting the help of her former friend and sole rival, Ellie Winter.

Ellie doesn't contact the dead—at least, not anymore. She specializes in miraculously finding lost items. Still, she can't refuse the final request of the only other true psychic she has known. Now Ellie must delve into Gloria's secrets and plunge back into the world of hucksters, lowlifes, and fakes. Worse, she cannot shake the attentions of handsome James Hawley, a damaged war veteran who has dedicated himself to debunking psychics.

As Ellie and James uncover the sinister mysteries of Gloria's life and death, Ellie is tormented by nightmarish visions that herald the grisly murders of those in Gloria's circle. And as Ellie’s uneasy partnership with James turns dangerously intimate, an insidious evil force begins to undermine their quest for clues, a force determined to bury the truth, and whoever seeks to expose it...


I think this book has the least 'horror" aspects of any of Ms St. James' books; there are no ghosts, at least none that form a significant part of the plot as compared to The Haunting of Maddy Clare, where the plot centered around a very real, very dangerous ghost. However, the ending is a different story, which I can't reveal because it would definitely be a spoiler. 

I like Ms. St. James' heroines. They are alone in the world, not an unusual thing for this time period, and some of them are in very dire circumstances indeed. In this book, Ellie's father died at Gallopoli and her mother not long after from cancer. Ellie herself has spent three years being a 'good' girl; no wild parties or dating for her she's learned her lesson. She's smart and strong and has always had a weakness for James, despite his job description. I also thought James' PTSD was handled well; it wasn't overwhelming for him to the point he couldn't handle himself, but he still had his moments. I imagine the majority of soldiers that have been in combat are this way, rather than the high spectrum cases we see in many romances.

So, Ellie and James come to rely on each other all the while they're solving the mystery, while Ellie tries not to get killed. Oh, and Inspector Merriken, the hero from An Inquiry into Love and Death, the second book, is the Scotland Yard detective assigned to the murder of Gloria Sutter and also plays a significant role. I love meeting up again with previous characters, it's like finding an old friend.

I also like mature characters who don't let stupid misunderstandings get in the way of the romance and that's what I got in this book and the others. 

I highly recommend all of Simone St. James' books. They are, in order of publication:


And happy reading. I'm going to reread a few of these myself; I do love her voice. Unfortunately, I have a year to wait for the next one.



  1. I am broke as hell and you have seen my TBR mountain range, yet--as happens whenever a reader wax poetic about books--I find myself needing to read this.

    *shaking fist* damn you, Carolyn!

  2. My TBR is unmanageable because of Carolyn. Geez.