Delia's shadow had my full attention right from the beginning. Aside from the absolutely gorgeous cover, the story takes place nine years after the great San Francisco earthquake so the historical setting was extremely interesting. Our main characters, Gabe and Delia had both lost loved ones in the quake or in the fires that followed and that broken part of their personalities added depth of character in the form of strength and heartache. Delia had the double whammy because she is able to see the ghosts of those who stayed behind, especially Shadow, who follows her, pleading silently for Delia's help. To have that kind of burden seems overwhelming to me but Delia handles it as a true heroine would, with grace and the determination to do what was right though the whole story.
The story blends several genre but mostly historical fiction, paranormal, and murder mystery. It is not however, for the weak of heart. The murder victims are described in detail when they are found and there is quite a bit a heartache to go around as our characters desperately try to solve the case and bring the serial killer to justice before he kills someone close to them. I loved the edginess of this side of the story. The reader could easily understand how much harder it was to catch a killer during this time. The rules were much different and the resources were few. There was a constant frustration as the killer continually added more and more victims to his tally.
The dual narration also added to the uniqueness of the story. I really liked how chapters alternated between Gabe and Delia's point of view. You don't always get to read the male perspective and this increased the level of engagement for me. The slow but evident romance between these two characters was always present but never overdone. They were brought together in a way that would have been perfectly proper in the early 1900's. The investigation was also double sided. We saw it from the law enforcement perspective and we also read how the supernatural element was involved through Delia and Isadora, the medium who helps Delia understand her ghost and how it connects to the case.
This book had everything I wanted; mystery, action, romance, and the paranormal. There were an abundance of ghosts and I wanted to know all of their stories. I think it would make a great movie and hope that someone is intelligent enough to snatch it up.
I know there is a sequel and this time, I don't plan on putting it on the bottom of my TBR list. It will be moving right to the top!