Virginia’s Ghost is a cozy mystery with a supernatural twist. The inspiration for the book came from a milieu I’m very familiar with: the auction world. For those of you who don’t know, I spent about a decade and a half of my working life at a Toronto auction house heading up the glass, porcelain, and silver departments. The day I left that job, I announced to the entire staff that they’d provided wonderful inspiration for the book I would one day write (some of them looked a little worried).
I tinkered with the novel for longer than I care to admit. My goal was to publish it while I was still fifty, and I did so on September 11, 2014, just six days before my fifty-first birthday!
So what is it all about? Read on . . .
Antiques specialist Virginia Blythe of Gable & Co. Auctioneers is working late one night when she hears mournful wailing. Following the sound to its source, she gasps in astonishment: a breathtakingly beautiful flapper who looks like a refugee from an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel is lingering in the shadows of the company’s basement.
Later the disconsolate young woman returns to offer Virginia her diary, written in 1928. It reveals she’s the ghost of wealthy Toronto socialite Constance Pendleton. What is Constance trying to tell her? Intrigued, Virginia curls up with the diary and begins dipping her toes into the elegant opulence of Constance’s Jazz Age world.
But suddenly things go terribly awry at Gable & Co. Just as Virginia’s preparing for a blockbuster auction, some valuable porcelain mysteriously goes missing and her job is on the line. The worst, however, is yet to come. A shocking murder spins the eccentric world of the auction house into chaos. Struggling to make sense of it all, Virginia turns increasingly to the secrets of the diary.
Virginia’s Ghost is a tale of ghastly crime, euphoric love, and devastating betrayal in which two women transcend time to affect each other’s lives in startling ways.
See my Facebook author page, which is dedicated to all things Virginia’s Ghost.
Book blogger Mojofiction:
“Author Caroline Kaiser is a freelance editor, but before that she worked for almost 14 years at an auction house. She uses her first-hand experience to give readers a behind-the-scenes look at what turns out to be a rather dysfunctional world. It’s a great idea, a great setting, ripe with possibilities for interesting characters, soap-opera drama, and foul play. She sets up the scene and creates the atmosphere in a realistic and inviting manner that gives the reader the “fly on the wall” feeling.”
See Mojofiction’s full review here.
Judge, 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards:
“I relished Caroline Kaiser’s skillful use of gothic details to instill and deftly heighten a sense of dread. The protagonist, Virginia Blythe, is appropriately isolated late on a blustery night in the “dark, damp basement” of the auction house where she works, cataloguing Royal Doulton figurines when she first hears whimpering somewhere in the dark behind piled-up mounds of furniture. The author’s control of her narrative is so perfectly in tune with Victorian technique that I had the sensation of reading Poe, Henry James or R.L. Stevenson. The unfolding of events succeeds in darkening the mystery surrounding the beautiful ghost from the flapper era, Blythe’s reading of her diary, and the murder that shakes up the auction house. Despite the ghost, this book often felt like a film noir. The author is adept at description, demonstrating a fine eye for detail. The employees in the auction house are realistic and somewhat dysfunctional, as befitting the stresses and pretension of the art world. I liked the character development. I also enjoyed having two threads to follow, for they intertwined and came together at the end. The cover is really good: modern and creepy at the same time. I liked the picture of what seemed to be the auction house on the back cover. Kaiser is a careful writer and I did not see any faults in grammar or punctuation.”