The Spectral City

The Spectral City

Solving crime isn’t only for the living. In turn-of-the century New York City, the police have an off-the-books spiritual go-to when it comes to solving puzzling corporeal crimes . . .   Her name is Eve Whitby, gifted medium and spearhead of The Ghost Precinct. When most women are traveling in a gilded society that promises only well-appointed marriage, the confident ninet...

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Title:The Spectral City
Author:Leanna Renee Hieber
Rating:

The Spectral City Reviews

  • Janine

    Solving cases with the help of the dead? It certainly sounded quite interesting to me hence why I chose to read this book.

    And it was. The author made art out of spiritualism, that is for sure. I have been fascinated and wanted to know more. I think it is in human nature to ask what may come after death. I liked the sensitive way answers to that questions are given here while still maintaining some of the mystery.

    The story takes place at the end of the 19th century. Women still had to fight for i

    Solving cases with the help of the dead? It certainly sounded quite interesting to me hence why I chose to read this book.

    And it was. The author made art out of spiritualism, that is for sure. I have been fascinated and wanted to know more. I think it is in human nature to ask what may come after death. I liked the sensitive way answers to that questions are given here while still maintaining some of the mystery.

    The story takes place at the end of the 19th century. Women still had to fight for independency. Eve is a good example as are her female coworkers. Admirably, they have managed to get their own precinct, the so-called Ghost Precinct. One can only imagine how hard it is for them to be taken seriously even without their gifts. With them it is even more difficult. But no matter the obstacle they have to face, they stay strong because they never are alone. I felt so proud of them.

    The cases Eve and her ladies are working on were intriguing to read. Over time you get to see that they must all be connected somehow and I really wanted to know what was going on. There still are a lot of open questions that need answers and I would love to find them.

    Eve and the sceptical decetive Jacob Horowitz. They are so cute. I enjoyed them interacting a lot. Very slow-burn, just as I like it. Can’t wait to see more of it in the next installment of the series.

    The only thing I didn’t like was how hard it was for me to get into the story. At first I needed to get used to the style of writing. It fits the time period but I still had trouble with the talking around things. The introductory part has been quite long as well, at least it felt that way. It took about a third of the book until I started to feel at home.

    All in all, I liked reading this book. I can recommend it to those who love paranormal mystery books. Count me in for the sequel.

  • Melise

    I enjoyed this book very much. The story of a young woman named Eve, in New York around the turn of the 20th century, who is able to speak to ghosts who help her solve crimes. She has a benefactor in Teddy Roosevelt, who actually forms a division of the NYPD based around her ability to solves crimes. The book has a nice level of historical detail, with a main character who feels very contemporary in her thinking-something which normally feels jarring to me, but worked well in this book.

    I was a

    I enjoyed this book very much. The story of a young woman named Eve, in New York around the turn of the 20th century, who is able to speak to ghosts who help her solve crimes. She has a benefactor in Teddy Roosevelt, who actually forms a division of the NYPD based around her ability to solves crimes. The book has a nice level of historical detail, with a main character who feels very contemporary in her thinking-something which normally feels jarring to me, but worked well in this book.

    I was a bit worried that this book would fall within the paranormal romance/mystery genre of books like Charmaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels-which I simply do not enjoy very much. But this book did not feel like that series to me, instead reminding me more of Connie Willis’

    .

    The only issue that I had was the abrupt nature of the ending, which raises another immediate mystery for Eve to pursue. As I was reading an advanced reading copy not due for release for another two months, I am very frustrated by the prospective wait for the next book to find out what happens to Eve and her companions.

    I received an advanced reading copy from Kensington Books via NetGalley. Thanks!

  • Lauren Stoolfire

    is a promising series opener. Leanna Renee Hieber does a brilliant job of bringing the historical fantasy paranormal world of early 1900s NYC to life. I love the level of real life historical detail that she's inserted into the story. I also particularly enjoyed the paranormal elements with the ghosts, mediums, physics, and of course the mystery element of The Ghost Precinct. Basically, Eve and her team solve cri

    is a promising series opener. Leanna Renee Hieber does a brilliant job of bringing the historical fantasy paranormal world of early 1900s NYC to life. I love the level of real life historical detail that she's inserted into the story. I also particularly enjoyed the paranormal elements with the ghosts, mediums, physics, and of course the mystery element of The Ghost Precinct. Basically, Eve and her team solve crimes with the help of the dead. The cast of characters, though, is what really makes the story in the long run - the main cast and supporting characters. Eve is brilliant - I love her dedication, willingness to do whatever it takes, and her abilities of course - and it doesn't hurt that she's ahead of her time. Detective Horowitz, though, is a real scene stealer and I wish we got to see a little more of him throughout. Hopefully, we'll get to see more of all of these great characters in the upcoming sequel. Finally, there's so much to love about this historical fantasy series opener and I'm really looking forward to seeing what's next for these characters. Until then I'll need to look into more of Hieber's works starting with

    .

  • Anna Szabó

    When I think about ghost stories what comes to mind are horror stories with ghosts haunting people or houses. But The spectral City by Leanna Renee Hieber is not that kind of ghost story. It’s something else. I LOVED it!

    Eve Whitby is a medium, an especially gifted one. She talks to ghosts. And she uses this gift to help the police solve crimes or try and prevent them. And she cares about said ghosts very much. So when one of them disappears she is desperate to find out what happened. What could

    When I think about ghost stories what comes to mind are horror stories with ghosts haunting people or houses. But The spectral City by Leanna Renee Hieber is not that kind of ghost story. It’s something else. I LOVED it!

    Eve Whitby is a medium, an especially gifted one. She talks to ghosts. And she uses this gift to help the police solve crimes or try and prevent them. And she cares about said ghosts very much. So when one of them disappears she is desperate to find out what happened. What could harm something that is already dead?

    And the other mediums as well, I very much like all of them which is rare for me. They all have the gift but use different way to converse with the dead.

    The plot was interesting although it seemed a little chaotic sometimes. I was sometimes lost between all the cases they handled simultaneously. But everything connects with everything.

    The ending is not satisfying. Almost all the questions are left unanswered so I hope the next book is out soon.

    This is my first book by her but won’t be the last.

    There is a thing that I think might be a mistake in Chapter 9, when Eve is talking to a guy and he calls her Miss Whitby but then he asks for her name a couple of sentences later.

    Thank you NetGalley and Rebel Base Books for this advanced copy.

  • Anna Szabó

    When I think about ghost stories what comes to mind are horror stories with ghosts haunting people or houses. But The spectral City by Leanna Renee Hieber is not that kind of ghost story. It’s something else. I LOVED it!

    There is this sentence that caught my attention. “ There are protocols, paperwork, one can’t just barge in and begin levitating family belongings.” I just knew this is going to be fun and totally different from any other ghost related books I’ve ever read.

    Eve Whitby is a medium,

    When I think about ghost stories what comes to mind are horror stories with ghosts haunting people or houses. But The spectral City by Leanna Renee Hieber is not that kind of ghost story. It’s something else. I LOVED it!

    There is this sentence that caught my attention. “ There are protocols, paperwork, one can’t just barge in and begin levitating family belongings.” I just knew this is going to be fun and totally different from any other ghost related books I’ve ever read.

    Eve Whitby is a medium, an especially gifted one. She talks to ghosts. And she uses this gift to help the police solve crimes or try and prevent them. And she cares about said ghosts very much. So when one of them disappears she is desperate to find out what happened. What could harm something that is already dead?

    And the other mediums as well, I very much like all of them which is rare for me. They all have the gift but use different way to converse with the dead.

    The plot was interesting although it seemed a little chaotic sometimes. I was sometimes lost between all the cases they handled simultaneously. But everything connects with everything.

    The ending is not satisfying. Almost all the questions are left unanswered so I hope the next book is out soon.

    This is my first book by her but won’t be the last.

    There is a thing that I think might be a mistake in Chapter 9, when Eve is talking to a guy and he calls her Miss Whitby but then he asks for her name a couple of sentences later.

    Thank you NetGalley and Rebel Base Books for this advanced copy.

  • The Lit Bitch

    I discovered Leanna Renee Hieber way back in 2011 when I read one of her early books. I saw it in a local used book store and randomly picked it up. When I got home I started reading and couldn’t put it down.

    I loved the romance and the paranormal and her overall storytelling and because of that first book in the Strangely Beautiful series, I fell in love with this author. She writes a spicy romance with great brooding heroes so I was thrilled to read this new book.

    Ok so this book is a strong sta

    I discovered Leanna Renee Hieber way back in 2011 when I read one of her early books. I saw it in a local used book store and randomly picked it up. When I got home I started reading and couldn’t put it down.

    I loved the romance and the paranormal and her overall storytelling and because of that first book in the Strangely Beautiful series, I fell in love with this author. She writes a spicy romance with great brooding heroes so I was thrilled to read this new book.

    Ok so this book is a strong start to what will hopefully be a promising new series. I loved the idea that this book is built on—-detectives (women) solving crimes with ghosts. It’s different and interesting and I think will give fans of supernatural lit a lot to enjoy.

    Eve is so like-able. I loved her determination to solve crimes and she is dedicated to her job but what I loved the most was her abilities and how she connects to the ghosts. I loved discovering her character and getting to know her in this book. I think she will be a character that appeals to a wide variety of readers. She’s ahead of her time and quirky but yet so like-able that you can’t help but be excited to read more.

    Let’s talk about Detective Horowitz for a minute. I loved him. Every time he was in the story I was like swoon city. He was progressive and interesting and I loved that chemistry that he brought. My only bit of disappointment was that we didn’t get to see more of him in this story. I get that it’s supposed to be more about Eve, but I wanted more of Detective Horowitz.

    I think this book was a promising start. You can tell that Hieber has written a number of paranormal books because her world building was excellent. I loved the amount of historical research and facts she added into this story. I recently read The Alienist this year which featured Teddy Roosevelt and this book also featured him and I loved how she brought TDRs police background into this book.

    The only thing that I felt like was wanting in this book was the fact that not everything was resolved in this book. I am sure some of the lingering questions will be wrapped up in future books but for me I needed a little more closure and resolution. I read a few other reviews on this book as well and many said the same thing, more closure.

    Overall I would say this was a four star book for me. It was good but there was room for improvement with the ending. If you are looking for a new paranormal or para-romance style book then you should consider picking this one up. Hieber is an excellent writer with lots of stories in her arsenal. This author is one to watch!

  • Carrie

    The Spectral City by Leanna Renee Hieber is the first book in the new series by the same name. This one is perhaps one of those books that may be easier to tell what it is than what it isn’t being a bit of book soup. First you take a bit of historical fiction, set in 1899, and mix it with the paranormal, ghosts, bringing fantasy to the story then let those ghosts help solve some mysteries and perhaps even add a dash of romance.

    What we also have with The Spectral City is this is sort of a spin of

    The Spectral City by Leanna Renee Hieber is the first book in the new series by the same name. This one is perhaps one of those books that may be easier to tell what it is than what it isn’t being a bit of book soup. First you take a bit of historical fiction, set in 1899, and mix it with the paranormal, ghosts, bringing fantasy to the story then let those ghosts help solve some mysteries and perhaps even add a dash of romance.

    What we also have with The Spectral City is this is sort of a spin off of some of the author’s other work but she assures readers it’s fine to be read as a standalone. Eve Whitby who is the nineteen year old medium and star of this story is the daughter of Natalie Stewart-Whitby and Jonathon Whitby, Lord Denbury, the stars of the Magic Most Foul series.

    In this series Eve works as a medium and can communicate with ghosts. Eve is a part of The Ghost Precinct in which ladies like herself use their gifts to help solve different mysteries even working with the police to solve cases. Eve teams up with the skeptical Lieutenant Horowitz to help with his case all the while trying to figure out what is happening with the ghosts around The Ghost Precinct.

    The opener of this series certainly started off as a slow burn read so that did not gets things off to the best start for someone like myself that prefers a faster pace. However, things do pick up a bit later on in the story but dare I say it can also get a tad confusing with a lot going on there too. I would also warn that the end is a bit up in the air being the first of a series to carry over into the next read. So when adding all these things together I decided to rate this first book at three stars in the end, it’s a nice enough start but hopefully will improve in book two.

    I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

    For more reviews please visit

  • Kristine

    Post-victorian New York detective work (usually having to do with murder or kidnapping) with Eve, other mediums, spirit guides, and the Ghost Precinct. It's all kind of like a third-person-narrated Ghostbusters with a perspective from the ghosts themselves during a post-Alienist timeframe and the spooky concept that ghosts/spirits can be lost even further into the afterlife than where the Ghost Precin

    Post-victorian New York detective work (usually having to do with murder or kidnapping) with Eve, other mediums, spirit guides, and the Ghost Precinct. It's all kind of like a third-person-narrated Ghostbusters with a perspective from the ghosts themselves during a post-Alienist timeframe and the spooky concept that ghosts/spirits can be lost even further into the afterlife than where the Ghost Precinct can access. Eve approaches her work and fellow mediums with such grace and gratitude, even when she encounters people or communities who don’t believe or understand, though she struggles to cope with mean-spirited wails from the other side that distract and play with her emotions & fears.

  • Leanna Hieber

    Dear Readers, I'm not reviewing my own book here but instead offering a bit of insight into THE SPECTRAL CITY. This is not your average ghost story. As many of you know, my worlds are parallel and characters cross over from one series to the next. (Don't worry, new readers, you can start with this fresh!) But I am thrilled to return to several of my most beloved friends. Eve Whitby stars as a 19th year old medium who, alongside her favorite friendly ghosts, helps solve weird crime in 1899 NYC. S

    Dear Readers, I'm not reviewing my own book here but instead offering a bit of insight into THE SPECTRAL CITY. This is not your average ghost story. As many of you know, my worlds are parallel and characters cross over from one series to the next. (Don't worry, new readers, you can start with this fresh!) But I am thrilled to return to several of my most beloved friends. Eve Whitby stars as a 19th year old medium who, alongside her favorite friendly ghosts, helps solve weird crime in 1899 NYC. She is the daughter of Natalie Stewart-Whitby and Jonathon Whitby, Lord Denbury, the stars of my Magic Most Foul saga beginning with DARKER STILL. Eve's best friend is "Gran", her namesake, Evelyn Northe-Stewart. Together these two help navigate the difficult spectral world, trying to make sense of it as the 19th century draws to a close. There's so much heart and soul in this book. There's so much love. There's so much to make one shiver. There's so much life amidst so many spirits. There's a delicious slow-burn romance that I'm having such fun developing as the series continues. There's a wonderful group of unique individuals that come together in a found-family full of humor and purpose. I cannot wait for you to meet new friends and greet familiar faces. I cannot wait to meet new readers and celebrate with my wondrous life-long readers who have continued to be the reason I do what I do. I hope you'll enjoy this series and in its honor, I hope you'll seek out a friend, an elder, a mentor, a family member, a spirit, a stranger, and have a meaningful, life-affirming and spiritually enriching encounter.

    If anyone has any questions about the series, you're welcome to ask them, I'm not here often (find me on Twitter @leannarenee) but I'll try to respond.

    Cheers, blessings and Happy Haunting!

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