Welcome back, bookish friends. Today, I’m excited to be sharing an excerpt from Stacie Murphy’s newest book, A Deadly Fortune. Just the excerpt of this is giving me the chills! I can’t wait to read it.
A historical mystery in the vein of The Alienist, in which a young woman in Gilded Age New York must use a special talent to unravel a deadly conspiracy.
Amelia Matthew has done the all-but-impossible, especially for an orphan in Gilded Age New York City. Along with her foster brother Jonas, she has parleyed her modest psychic talent into a safe and comfortable life. But safety and comfort vanish when a head injury leaves Amelia with a dramatically-expanded gift. After she publicly channels an angry spirit, she finds herself imprisoned in the notorious insane asylum on Blackwell’s Island. As Jonas searches for a way to free her, Amelia struggles to control her disturbing new abilities and survive a place where cruelty and despair threaten her sanity.
Andrew Cavanaugh is familiar with despair. In the wake of a devastating loss, he abandons a promising medical career—and his place in Philadelphia society—to devote himself to the study and treatment of mental disease. Miss Amelia Matthew is just another patient—until she channels a spirit in front of him and proves her gift is real.
When a distraught mother comes to Andrew searching for her missing daughter—a daughter she believes is being hidden at the asylum—he turns to Amelia. Together, they uncover evidence of a deadly conspiracy, and then it’s no longer just Amelia’s sanity and freedom at stake. Amelia must master her gift and use it to catch a killer—or risk becoming the next victim.
Late February 1893
She had him. She was sure of it. Amelia studied the young man from beneath her eyelashes. He perched on the edge of his seat, hunched forward and eyeing the deck of cards as though it were a coiled serpent. She let the weight of the moment hang for another breath, then slid the stack across the table with an abrupt little movement. He flinched. The corner of her mouth twitched, but she smothered the smile before it could emerge.
“We might try again,” Amelia said, her tone warm and encouraging. “Perhaps the second card will reveal what the first could not.”
He swallowed hard and reached to cut the deck with a hand that did not quite tremble.
Amelia gave the cards a final shuffle. Their worn edges, full of tiny nicks and creases, were as readable as labels. With the barest glance, she chose the card she wanted. A practiced flick of her fingers floated it to the top.
She drew and turned: the Chariot, reversed. She sighed, a hint of regret in the sound.
His head jerked up. “What do you see?”
“I’m sorry.” Her face was grave. “The answer is much the same. This is a card of uncertainty. Risk. It implies a journey.” She hesitated. “It’s also a water card, although—”
He leapt to his feet, knocking his chair to the floor. With a wild look around the room, he rushed for the door.
“Fate has a plan for us all,” she called after him, half-standing. “All we can do is meet it with fortitude.”
A muffled curse and a slammed door were the only response.
Amelia lifted her chin and allowed herself a satisfied grin. Served him right.
The sound of his exit had barely faded before the door began to open again. Amelia hurriedly resettled herself on the upholstered chair, spreading the skirt of her gown so the green silk puddled around her, shimmering in the gaslight.
She looked up, her face and posture inviting.
“What on earth did you do to that one?” Jonas said as he appeared in the doorway. “He lit out of here like the hounds were after him.”
Advance Praise for A Deadly Fortune
“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
“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. Plucky Amelia Matthew rises to the considerable challenges that surround her, uncovering increasingly dangerous secrets that point to the presence of a murderer in the asylum. 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
“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
“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.
A DEADLY FORTUNE BY STACIE MURPHY
Publication Date: January 5, 2021
Genre: Historical Mystery
About the Author
Stacie Murphy grew up near Nashville, TN. She began writing A Deadly Fortune in 2017 as a way to force herself to stay off Twitter in the evenings. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, daughter, and the worst cat in the world.
Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, January 12
Excerpt at Probably at the Library
Thursday, January 14
Feature at The Lit Bitch
Friday, January 15
Review at A Darn Good Read
Monday, January 18
Review at Novels Alive
Tuesday, January 19
Review at Rajiv’s Reviews
Wednesday, January 20
Guest Post at Novels Alive
Thursday, January 21
Feature at What Is That Book About
Friday, January 22
Review & Excerpt at Books & Benches
Monday, January 25
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals
Tuesday, January 26
Review at Bitch Bookshelf
Wednesday, January 27
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, January 28
Excerpt at Always With a Book
Monday, February 1
Review at Book Bustle
Tuesday, February 2
Review at Tangents and Tissues
Friday, February 5
Review at Passages to the Past
Enter to win a copy of A Deadly Fortune by Stacie Murphy & a $50 Gift Card to Amazon or your favorite Indie store. Winner’s choice.
The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on February 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Thank you to Amy at HFVBT for graciously letting me be a part of this blog tour. Don’t forget to subscribe to get each new post sent straight to your inbox. Happy reading! Melissa