Delia’s Shadow

Delia's Shadow by Jaime Lee MoyerTitle: Delia’s Shadow

Author: Jaime Lee Moyer. This is her first novel and the first in a series.

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Readers: Stay-at-home mom Kristi, policy wonk BakingSuit, metrics analyst Mary and editor Kristina.

Summary: It is the dawn of a new century in San Francisco and Delia Martin is a wealthy young woman whose life appears ideal. But a dark secret colors her life, for Delia’s most loyal companions are ghosts, as she has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with an ability to peer across to the other side.

Since the great quake rocked her city in 1906, Delia has been haunted by an avalanche of the dead clamoring for her help. Delia flees to the other side of the continent, hoping to gain some peace. After several years in New York, Delia believes she is free…until one determined specter appears and she realizes that she must return to the City by the Bay in order to put this tortured soul to rest.

Our Take: A mix of paranormal, historical and serial killer thrill-age, 3 of 4 readers give it a thumbs up. They do note it was a bit “trite” and “convenient,” though, so if you get kind of picky about these things, you may find yourself leaning more towards our dissenting reader’s opinion.


This book contains all the ingredients to be one I should love: mystery, strong female protagonist, police procedure, ghosts, and history, yet while I liked the book, I felt like it read more like a beginning of a series. Then I looked it up, and it IS the beginning of a series.

Delia Martin can see ghosts. Orphaned by the great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, Delia had moved to New York to get away from all the memories, and the ghosts, of that disaster, but the story begins with Delia’s move back to San Francisco to see the Panama–Pacific International Exposition, and because six months before, a ghost began shadowing her every move. Delia returns to live with her best friend Sadie, whose fiance Jack is a police sergeant working a serial killer case. Matchmaker Sadie introduces her to Gabe Fitzgerald, Jack’s Captain and friend on the force. As the killer becomes more deranged, the four friends become personally involved in the case.

The book opens slowly, and builds momentum toward the end. In the beginning, you can put the book down. I wasn’t racing to read the next chapter. It was a good story, but didn’t hold me hostage the way some books can… until I got closer to the end. The breathless race to the finish kept me up an hour past my bedtime, even when I thought I knew how the story would end. And even then I was a little creeped out, and made sure to keep my feet completely on the mattress so the monster that lives under the bed wouldn’t grab me!

I enjoyed learning some of the history of the 1906 Earthquake, as well as about the Exposition. The descriptions of the clothing and setting had just enough detail that I could picture everything, without overwhelming with reader with too much verbiage.

Grade: B



This book was simple, the plot lines were convenient, the romance was a little cheesy, and the paranormal aspect of it was a little trite; basically it had all the ingredients of books that I usually do not like. But oh, how I loved Delia’s Shadow.

I loved how you get a real feel for the time period. The descriptions are great – you can picture the clothes, buildings, food, etc. It was also interesting to read about the 1906 earthquake and its aftermath. I really loved the characters and their interactions with each other, even when it felt a little forced. The mystery kept me guessing and the paranormal aspect, while not necessarily unique, was intriguing and creepy.

Even though we’re at the end of summer, I would classify this as a good “beach” read – it’s easy, entertaining, and keeps you turning pages. I’m happy that it’s the first in a series – I’m definitely excited to see what happens to the characters.

Grade: A-



Delia’s Shadow was interesting I suppose. It wasn’t bad, but there was very little to knock my socks off and keep me glued to my reader. I think the best line in the whole book was halfway through the first chapter.

“Ever since I was a small child I’d caught glimpses of people my parents couldn’t see, or faces peering at me from corners in an otherwise empty room.”

There was really so much potential that failed to develop and I had a hard time keeping my mental picture in the right era. Time and again I was jarred back to 1915 and felt that I had to reread sections to re-imagine the story in that setting. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it well enough, but found that the plot was a bit predictable and I was left feeling indifferent about it in general. I wanted to know more about certain aspects of the story and characters and felt the story lacking without it.

This was just too flat to catch my interest. It was Sixth Sense meets Zodiac Killer and might be one of those books that might actually be better as a movie.

Grade: C



This was an interesting book. The characters were very believable and well-formed. They seemed to fit together and it was fun to read about their lives. I found myself invested in them and wanting things to work out for them. The descriptions of the time period were wonderful. It was nice to learn more about the 1906 earthquake and the Panama–Pacific International Exposition. I enjoyed the descriptions of the food and clothing as well.

The book starts a little slow, but soon starts to grab you. The plot line moves along at a nice pace. There were times when I was scared to find out what happened next. The book is definitely creepy. I liked reading it best during the daytime.

I enjoyed most of this book. It kept me reading and interested even as it was scaring me.

Grade: B


 Find Delia’s Shadow at:

Amazon |  B&N | Goodreads | Indiebound | Powell’s


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