ARC REVIEW: London Seance Society


This ARC (advanced reader copy) was kindly gifted to me by Netgalley. And don’t worry, ARC reviews will always be spoiler free so no need to run!

Initial thoughts

I’m a sucker for whodunnit plots, and even more so when the setting is in two countries close to heart – England and France.

I was quite interested to discover how the author would incorporate the mystical, spiritual element in, without making it too tacky. When I’m visualising, I want good imagery – not the stereotypical ones.

Background of author & novel

Author: Sarah Penner
Pages: 328 
Genre: Paranormal & Mystery
Publication Date: 21st March 2023


Having read the book, I can understand what the references in the cover are alluding to. However, I feel like at first glance, the cover is too cheery and doesn’t give any mystical vibes!


A séance led by a world renowned spiritualist is to occur at an abandoned chateau in Paris. Unlike other spiritualists, of which most are fraudsters, Vaudeline D’Allaire is able to assist murder victims find justice by identifying the killers.

Lenna, following the harrowing death of her sister, has joined Vaudeline’s group as an understudy in order to find closure and the killer’s identity. However, along the way she struggles with her belief in all things spiritual vs all things factually proven by science.

In the end, what appears to to be a singular crime appears to all contain dark connections, and perhaps more than one life has been claimed…


Considering the book is set in the Late Victorian era, it embodies that quite well with the characters reflecting the social norm of that time in their thoughts and actions. It’s quite evident the oppression of women exists, and that sexuality was a taboo subject in most places. It was also a period where we begin to see a shift towards beliefs being founded on science rather than the traditional authority or religion and spiritualism. This ties in well with some of the characters unwavering loyalty towards seances and its outcomes, but also some characters doubt.


The plot was quite intricate and well weaved. It wasn’t predictive and each character had a solid backstory that added value to the overall story.


The visual imagery was sufficient and I could tell a great depth of research went into seances. However, it was never forced down the reader’s throat, rather gracefully intertwined into the plot. At times, the pace of the novel did feel like it was slightly dragging but overall, thoroughly enjoyed the story.


We see some romance blossom between some of the characters, but at times it seems unnecessary and not adding value to the overall plot, or it seems to spring up at unsuitable moments – like I didn’t need to know in that much detail considering the overall genre of the book! (but maybe I’m just a hater of people being happily in love).

AND that brings this review to an end. Let me know if you’ve been enticed enough to add this book to your to be read list?

What are you currently reading now?

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2 thoughts on “ARC REVIEW: London Seance Society

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