Alone and in a new, unfamiliar place, a young witch discovers a murderous plot to turn the tide of the Civil War—which also might be the key to getting her powers and place in society back, if it doesn’t kill her first.
After using a forbidden spell to wring a confession from her faithless lover, young witch Joya Shaw finds herself stripped of her power and banished to the magical backwater of the Colorado Territory.
But it is 1862, the American Civil War is raging, and going west doesn’t mean leaving the battlefields behind. When Joya arrives at a homesteader’s cabin and discovers the occupants savagely slain, she knows it is no mere murder: traces of demon magic cling to the bodies. Days later, a Union patrol is wiped out the same way, and Joya begins to suspect that someone is trying to create a new weapon for the rebel arsenal.
She gambles that thwarting the plot could be the key to ending her exile. But demon hunting is a dangerous game, and it’s all too easy for the hunter to become the prey. Trapped, Joya enters into an uneasy alliance with a demon. She must find a way to free herself or bend its power to her will. If she fails, she will forfeit not only her life, but also her soul—along with the chance to stop the tide of the war from turning in an unspeakable direction.
Stacie Murphy, author of the acclaimed A Deadly Fortune, grew up near Nashville, Tennessee. She began writing historical novelsas a way to force herself to stay off Twitter in the evenings. She lives in Northern Virginia with her family.
“Murphy serves up a dark side of the Gilded Age with intrigue, historical detail, and captivating characters. This is a mystery to savor!”
– Dianne Freeman, award-winning author of the Countess of Harleigh mysteries
"Stellar. Convincing characterizations, taut plotting, and vivid depiction of the class, gender, and racial tensions roiling Gilded Age New York make this entry a standout. Murphy is a historical writer to watch."
– Publishers Weekly (starred on The Unquiet Dead)
"The 1893 world of the infamous lunatic asylum on Blackwell's Island comes alive in frightening and horrific detail as a string of murders for profit is discovered when a young woman with a gift for contacting the dead becomes an accidental patient. She must fight for her life as well as her freedom in this engrossing mystery that reveals that all was not golden in Gilded Age New York.”
– Rosemary Simpson, author of Death Brings a Shadow: A Gilded Age Mystery
“Stacie Murphy proves herself to be a masterful storyteller with A Deadly Fortune—an elegantly written, fast-paced mystery that blends the dark side of the Gilded Age, great characters and a paranormal twist. Impossible to put down.”
– Julie McElwain, author of the Kendra Donovan Mystery Series
"This engrossing mystery, rich in period detail, probes the dark side of Gilded Age New York and the even darker side of life at the insane asylum on Blackwell’s Island. Amelia has a special gift that both helps and complicates her search for the truth, making her a unique heroine. A Deadly Fortune builds to a satisfying conclusion that will whet the reader’s appetite for more of Amelia’s adventures!”
– Clarissa Harwood, author of Impossible Saints and Bear No Malice
"Sterling debut. Murphy chillingly evokes some social ills of 19th-century America, including the complete control of women by their husbands."
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