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The Curse of Jacob Tracy Summary and Reviews

The Curse of Jacob Tracy

by Holly Messinger

The Curse of Jacob Tracy by Holly Messinger X
The Curse of Jacob Tracy by Holly Messinger
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  • Published in USA  Dec 2015
    320 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A gothic western about a psychic cowboy and the English bluestocking who wants to harness his power.

St. Louis in 1880 is full of ghosts - mangled soldiers, tortured slaves, the innocent victims of war - and Jacob Tracy can see them all. Ever since Antietam, when he lay delirious among the dead and dying, Trace has been haunted by the country's restless spirits. The curse cost him his family, his calling to the church, and damn near his sanity. He stays out of ghost-populated cities as much as possible these days, guiding wagon trains West with his pragmatic and skeptical partner, Boz. 

Then, just before the spring rush, Trace gets a letter from the wealthy and reclusive Sabine Fairweather. Sickly, sharp-tongued, and far too clever for her own good, Miss Fairweather needs a worthy man to retrieve a dead friend's legacy from a nearby town - or so she says. When the errand proves far more sinister than advertised, Miss Fairweather admits to knowing about Trace's curse, and suggests she might be able to help him - in exchange for a few more odd jobs. 

Trace has no interest in being her pet psychic, but he's been searching eighteen years for a way to curb his unruly curse, and Miss Fairweather's knowledge of the spirit world is too tempting to ignore. As she steers him into one macabre situation after another, his powers flourish, and Trace begins to realize some good might be done with this curse of his. But Miss Fairweather is harboring some dark secrets of her own, and her meddling has brought Trace to the attention of something much older and more dangerous than any ghost.

Rich in historical detail and emotional depth, The Curse of Jacob Tracy is a fast-paced and inventive debut, an intriguing introduction to a bold new hero.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Though there's a satisfying closure to Trace's arc, this should be the start of many more Weird Western adventures." - Publishers Weekly

"The Curse of Jacob Tracy is an absolute treat – a historical fantasy full of big ideas and vivid characters. Holly Messinger has crafted a debut that is weird, funny, riveting, thought provoking, and a ridiculous amount of fun." - David Liss, author of The Day of Atonement and Randoms

"Fast-paced and compelling, The Curse of Jacob Tracy plays with familiar genre tropes while being a fresh and intriguing read from start to finish. The weird western renaissance is upon us!" - Molly Tanzer, author of Vermillion

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Author Information

Holly Messinger

Holly Messinger is a writer, seamstress, and martial artist. She is best known in geek circles as a costume designer, and her costumes have graced some of the world's biggest cosplay events, including Hulu's "The Awesomes" launch party at San Diego Comic Con. She also appeared as a judge on SyFy's Heroes of Cosplay. She has been known to teach parasol self-defense workshops in a corset and petticoats.

Holly's short fiction credits include "End of the Line," which appeared in Baen's Universe; and "Moreau's Daughter," featured in Beneath Ceaseless Skies. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas, where the locals still reenact Quantrill's raid.

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