The La Fleur restaurant has a slew of unusual phenomena. Bonnet-clad apparitions pass through walls, blood leaks from ceilings and rats besiege the dining room. Experts from the Great Essex Witch Museum are called in to quell these strange sights. But before Rosie Strange and Sam Stone can do their thing events turn darker. For La Fleur’s chef has been strung up and slaughtered like a pig. More oddly, the only witness, the owner’s daughter Mary, swears blind a ghost did it.
Rosie and Sam must find out what’s happening before Mary takes the fall. But intuitions and tip-offs lead them stumbling into the dark waters of the past, exposing secrets of a wider conspiracy, as well as secrets all Rosie’s own. With strange chills Rosie and Sam learn that seeing isn’t always believing, while thoughts of truth may be just as illusory.
Syd Moore is best known for her Essex Witch Museum Mysteries (Strange Magic, Strange Sight, Strange Fascination, Strange Tombs and later in 2020, Strange Tricks). The series was shortlisted for the Good Reader Holmes and Watson Award 2018. She has twice been shortlisted for the CWA Short Story Dagger in 2019 and 2020. Her debut screenplay, Witch West, which she developed from an original idea, has been optioned by Hidden Door Productions and will be released in Autumn 2021. She lives in Essex.
'A fun and thrilling read, one hugely impressive element is that Moore uses her light tone and intricate character relationships to address some serious points - ranging from people trafficking through to the derogatory stereotype of the Essex Girl. Lead character Rosie Strange is a woman to be admired with her ballsy, no-nonsense attitude, excellent boots and compelling family history. I can't wait to see more of Rosie, Sam and the Essex Witch museum in the future.'
– Cathi Unsworth, author of Weirdo and Without the Moon
'She is the best thing to happen to paranormal fiction in a long, long time.'
– Starburst Magazine
‘Once again, Moore pulls off the trick of combining incisive wit and spellbinding atmosphere with multiple layers of history and contemporary issues into one potent draft.’
'Like Strange Magic, the perilous pursuits and gruesome developments are accompanied by lots of humor. And, for those of you who, like me, find living human beings far scarier than dead ones, rest assured that the book offers an abundance of plain old human evil of the sort that occurs in this life.'
– Pop Culture Association Mystery & Detective Reading List
'Sexual Chemistry and supernatural happenings come together to form a read that's part 50% Jonathan Creek, 50% Moonlighting, and 100% bloody brilliant (in more ways than one...)'
– The Bookbag
‘Moore does an excellent job here of highlighting a real historical scandal with echoes in the present day.’
‘I became totally immersed in Rosie’s world – I loved her relationship with Sam, as well as the descriptions of London. Rosie is such a strong character; her fantastic wit is weaved throughout the narrative. The plot kept me guessing right until the end. I can’t wait for the next book in the series! Highly recommended.’
– Elisabeth Carpenter, author of 99 Red Balloons
‘Forget Essex, Rosie Strange should be declared a national treasure. She is the best thing to happen to paranormal fiction in a long, long time.’ 10/10