Review: The London Seance Society by Sarah Penner

Author: Sarah Penner
Publisher: Park Row
Released: March 7, 2023
Received: Own (BOTM)

3 1/2 kitties

Book Summary:

The year is 1873, and Lenna Wickes has no intention of letting go of her sister, Evie. Evie was brutally murdered, yet there’s no suspect and no real investigation into the case. As such, Lenna is taking the matter into her own hands. She will have Vaudeline D’Allaire teach her everything she knows about seances and solving crimes.

However, her quest doesn’t go quite as planned. Vaudeline is more than willing to help her solve the case, as she loved Evie dearly. But other things are getting in the way, such as the London Seance Society.

My Review:

I’ll first tell you how much I adored The Lost Apothecary. As such, I was desperate to get my hands on The London Seance Society (and I may or may not have wound up with two copies as a result). However, I’m sad to admit that this book didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s still a solid read. It’s simply not as polished or compelling as The Lost Apothecary. I loved the setting and the plot’s core (using seances to solve crimes). I also enjoyed the premise of our ladies battling against sexism via the London Seance Society. Despite all this, I didn’t feel as connected to the whole story.

For one thing, I found the villain to be…well, dull? It’s not hard to figure out who it is, which is fine. But more motivation behind their villainous nature would have been appreciated. 

All things said and done; I don’t think I disliked The London Seance Society. I think I probably just set the stakes (standards) too high? Such is the way of things! I fully intend to continue reading anything Sarah Penner puts out, as I’m sure it’ll be worth it.

Read The London Seance Society to tackle Victorian customs, spiritualist movements, or a good f/f romance.


  • Seances & Ghosts
  • Quest for the Truth
  • Multiple Perspectives
  • LGBT (f/f) Romance

Trigger Warnings:

  • Familial Death
  • Sexism

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About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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