It’s World War I and the Allies are trying their hardest to fight the Central Powers. They’ve even got a secret weapon, the Spirit Corps, which employs mediums to talk with dead soldiers. In this work of alternate history, it turns out that Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini’s takedown of spiritualists was a ruse, a plan for the British to get a supernatural competitive advantage. But soon things start going badly, with a bombed hospital and rumors that wounded soldiers are being blinded by the enemy. One medium, Ginger Stuyversant, has a spirit report in that he was murdered, confirming that there’s a traitor in the midst. Along with her fiancée, an intelligence officer, and a few members of her spirit circle, Ginger takes on a mission to locate the leak and solve a connected murder. Lauded fantasy writer Mary Robinette Kowal is a master at genre bending, and her new novel is filled with what-ifs and world building. But this new series would be at home in the mystery world as well, and I can’t help thinking that fans of Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs will find Ghost Talkers an appealing surprise.— Daniel Goldin
“Powerful, laden with emotion, and smartly written.” —Brandon Sanderson, author of Mistborn and The Way of Kings
A brilliant historical fantasy novel from acclaimed author Mary Robinette Kowal featuring the mysterious spirit corps and their heroic work in World War I.
Ginger Stuyvesant, an American heiress living in London during World War I, is engaged to Captain Benjamin Harford, an intelligence officer. Ginger is a medium for the Spirit Corps, a special Spiritualist force.
Each soldier heading for the front is conditioned to report to the mediums of the Spirit Corps when they die so the Corps can pass instant information about troop movements to military intelligence.
Ginger and her fellow mediums contribute a great deal to the war efforts, so long as they pass the information through appropriate channels. While Ben is away at the front, Ginger discovers the presence of a traitor. Without the presence of her fiancé to validate her findings, the top brass thinks she's just imagining things. Even worse, it is clear that the Spirit Corps is now being directly targeted by the German war effort. Left to her own devices, Ginger has to find out how the Germans are targeting the Spirit Corps and stop them. This is a difficult and dangerous task for a woman of that era, but this time both the spirit and the flesh are willing…
Forest of Memory
Glamour in Glass
Of Noble Family
Shades of Milk and Honey
Valour and Vanity
Without a Summer
About the Author
MARY ROBINETTE KOWAL was the 2008 recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and a Hugo winner for her story “For Want of a Nail.” Her short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Asimov’s, and several Year’s Best anthologies. She also writes the Glamourist History series, which began with Shades of Milk and Honey. A professional puppeteer and voice actor, she spent five years touring nationally with puppet theaters. She lives in Chicago with her husband Rob and many manual typewriters.