Author: Cordelia Frances Biddle
Published: February 6, 2007 by Thomas Dunne Books of St. Martin's Minotaur
Series Name: The Martha Beale Series
Category: Historical Mystery
Main Character: Martha Beale and Thomas Kelman
SYNOPSIS OF The Conjurer Thomas Dunne Books Intrigue, passion and murder surround the suspicious disappearance of Philadelphia financier, Lemuel Beale, in the winter of 1842. A victim of accidental drowning, according to the local constabulary, Beale’s legacy is a sinister web of political and financial machinations, and a troubling relationship with his daughter, his only child. Unmarried at twenty-six in an era when women were expected to become brides before turning twenty, Martha Beale’s conflicted search for her father eventually emboldens and frees her, bringing her love in the person of Thomas Kelman, an assistant to Philadelphia’s mayor - and a man whose business is homicide. The inquiry into Beale’s disappearance uncovers connections between the city’s most affluent and its most destitute: an escaped inmate from the infamous Eastern State Penitentiary; the freed African-American prisoner, Ruth; the ritual slayings of several young girl prostitutes; and Eusapio Paladino, a conjurer and necromancer who claims to communicate with the dead.