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Against a Brightening Sky, by Jaime Lee Moyer

Review copy provided by Tor. Further disclosure: Jaime has been a personal friend of mine for years.

This is the third book in a trilogy. (Which begins with Delia’s Shadow.) While the characters have room for further adventures, they also have enough closure to be satisfying. So: people who don’t buy series until they know that they have an ending: this has an ending! (I felt that the previous volumes were self-contained enough to buy already, but I know some people are hard-liners about this sort of thing.)

In Against a Brightening Sky, it’s 1919. The Great War is over, the Spanish influenza is a worry, and the Russian Revolution has produced refugees seeking asylum in other lands, including San Francisco. Delia and her friends–cops, spiritualists, and assorted others–gather for a St. Patrick’s Day parade, but it dissolves into riots and chaos–and only they know the supernatural origins of the disturbance. A mysterious type of ghost warns Delia in time to keep them safe, but she seems to want other things of them, following Delia even into her dreams.

The ghost’s identity–and the identity of a bewildered girl they meet–soon become clear to any reader with knowledge of the period. But knowing the background does not mean knowing where Moyer will go with it. Gabe and Delia continue to be a married couple who trust each other, respect each other, and work well as partners with skills that complement each other. The greatest strength in these books in my opinion is not the mystery-solving, the adventure, or the supernatural element, but the genuinely caring and supportive relationships the characters share. That’s what makes them really special and worth seeking out.

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