Thursday, July 9, 2015

Review: Other Side of Midnight – Simone St James


Title: Other Side Of  Midnight

Author: Simone St. James
(Author Website) (Facebook)

Genre: Fiction/Historical

Narrator: Mary Jane Wells 

Publisher:  Blackstone Audio, 04/07/15

Length:  10.0 hrs • 8 CDs

Source: Audiobook Jukebox‘s reviewer program

About the Book: (from

London, 1925. Glamorous medium Gloria Sutter made her fortune helping the bereaved contact loved ones killed during the Great War. Now she's been murdered at one of her own séances, after leaving a message requesting the help of her former friend and sole rival, Ellie Winter.

Ellie doesn't contact the dead—at least, not anymore. She specializes in miraculously finding lost items. Still, she can't refuse the final request of the only other true psychic she has known. Now Ellie must delve into Gloria's secrets and plunge back into the world of hucksters, lowlifes, and fakes. Worse, she cannot shake the attentions of handsome James Hawley, a damaged war veteran who has dedicated himself to debunking psychics.

As Ellie and James uncover the sinister mysteries of Gloria's life and death, Ellie is tormented by nightmarish visions that herald the grisly murders of those in Gloria's circle. And as Ellie’s uneasy partnership with James turns dangerously intimate, an insidious evil force begins to undermine their quest for clues, a force determined to bury the truth, and whoever seeks to expose it...

About the Author:  (from author website)

StJamesForweb400-200x300Simone St. James is a lifelong reader of ghost stories and other spooky reads, but it wasn’t until she was an adult that she discovered two wonderful genres: romances and old, classic gothics.

Wishing she could read something that combined the three, with a 1920’s setting thrown in as well (and having written two full novels that were rightfully rejected everywhere and will forever live under the bed), she wrote THE HAUNTING OF MADDY CLARE, which was the book she really wished to read. An agent’s representation and a publishing contract soon followed, and she has been happily writing in her chosen, made-up genre ever since. THE HAUNTING OF MADDY CLARE won two of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® awards, as well as Crime Writers of Canada’s Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Book.

Simone spent twenty years behind the scenes in the television business before leaving to become a full-time writer. She lives just outside Toronto with her husband and an elderly cat who is probably sleeping as we speak. When not writing, Simone can be found traveling, cooking, staying active and healthy, gardening badly, and reading, reading, reading. Among her favorite authors (besides the geeky history and research books she loves) are Mary Stewart, Daphne duMaurier, Deanna Raybourn, Susanna Kearsley, Jacqueline Winspear, Victoria Holt, Kate Morton, George R. R. Martin, and Stephen King. How’s that for a mix? She is also rather addicted to Sherlock on the BBC.

About the Narrator: 

MJW-8Mary Jane Wells, British actress, writer and voiceover artist.

She trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and then did theatre for 12 years in the UK and Europe. She first came to the US with French classic, The Red Balloon at the Mark Taper some years ago. She returned later that year with a solo show, Martha for the Annenberg Centre, toured to the Kennedy centre and the New Victory on Broadway, and the International showcase in Philidelphia where she won the Victor Award.

She lives in LA and have been shooting, writing and voiceovering in London and Los Angeles. She is the voice of the TV commercial campaigns for Puma Mobium, Jet 2, Sunny Finance, LinkedIn and Eharmony, and the audiobooks which have been sourced as the inspiration behind Downton Abbey.



My Review:  From the get go, Other Side of Midnight by Simone St James  had me with the engaging story line and the wonderful narration by Mary Jane Wells.   I do not believe I have listened to a book narrated by Mary Jane Wells, but glad I have discovered her.  A very engaging narrator who really performs with great emotion!

Other Side of Midnight is set in 1925 in London following World War I.   Gloria Sutter and Ellie Winter are women with true psychic powers. After the War there were plenty of charlatans playing on peoples desperate need to communicate with their lost loved ones.     Psychics, séances and spirit communication were common as death and grieve were plentiful after WWI; too many, sons, husbands and lovers lost to the war.

Gloria Sutter is murdered during one of her séances.  She left a message to be delivered to Ellie Winter, to “Find Her”, in the spirit world.  Communication with the dead was not something Ellie did anymore, she found lost things for people. Ellie investigates the under belly of the psychic world to find clues to Gloria’s murder.   She is accompanied by James Hawley an investigator wishing to debunk the psychics. 

All characters were very well developed. I was especially impressed by the development of the secondary characters.  I felt I had a good understanding of each very unique character.  They each added to the story line in their own way. I also really like the details put into the description of Ellie’s psychic powers and what it must have felt to be her.  

My Rating: 4/5 –really liked it-  If you are a huge fan of historical fiction as I am, you will enjoy Other Side of Midnight by Simone St James.  Set in 1925, in London, following WWI is such a emotionally charged time in history.    Add to that the mystery,suspense and romance,  you have one very engaging story!  I mostly listen to audio books while walking and I can tell you I got some extra miles in at the end of this book!  The twists a the end were very suspenseful.  I found the end convenient, but very satisfying.

If you are in the mood for a eerie historical mystery with a hint of romance and suspense, checkout Other Side of Midnight by Simone St James.  If you love an engaging and emotional narrative,check out the audio book narrated by Mary Jane Wells. 


My Rating Scale: 1 – didn’t like it; 2 – it was ok; 3 – liked it; 4 – really liked it; 5 – it was amazing

Other Side of Midnight was also reviewed on the following blogs: Smart Bitches, Trashy BooksThe Literary Hoarders; Bookarahma; and Miss Bates Reads Romances.   


**Disclosure – Other side of Midnight by Simone St James was received from Audiobook Jukebox’s reviewer program and Blackstone Audio in exchange for a fair review.

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