In 1872, the American merchant vessel Mary Celeste was discovered adrift off the coast of Spain. Her cargo was intact, but the crew was gone. They were never found. While on a voyage to Africa, an unproven young writer named Arthur Conan Doyle hears of the Mary Celeste and decides to write an outlandish story about what took place.
This story causes quite a sensation back in the United States, particularly between sought-after Philadelphia spiritualist medium Violet Petra and a journalist named Phoebe Grant, who is seeking to expose Petra as a fraud. These three elements - a ship found sailing without a crew, a famous writer on the verge of enormous success, and the rise of an unorthodox and heretical religious fervor - converge in unexpected ways.
"The Ghost of the Mary Celeste is a wonderfully ingenious novel, compelling, convincing, and exciting." (John Banville)
"Valerie Martin has written a splendid, mysterious, and beautiful new novel. She writes about great ocean voyages and storms that tear apart both ships and hearts. She tells a seafaring tale in the tradition of Melville, and conjures up a mystery worthy of Arthur Conan Doyle, who actually appears as a character and plays a vital role. She writes about spiritualism with both clarity and skepticism, and in Violet Petra she has created a woman for the ages." (Pat Conroy)
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