book cover of The Devil and Mrs. Davenport
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The Devil and Mrs. Davenport

(2024)
A novel by

 
 
The bestselling author of The Witch of Tin Mountain and Parting the Veil mines the subtle horrors of 1950s America in a gripping novel about a woman under pressure—from the living and the dead.

The first day of autumn brought the fever, and with the fever came the voices.

Missouri, 1955. Loretta Davenport has led an isolated life as a young mother and a wife to Pete, an ambitious assistant professor at a Bible college. They’re the picture of domestic tranquility—until a local girl is murdered and Loretta begins receiving messages from beyond. Pete dismisses them as delusions of a fevered female imagination. Loretta knows they’re real—and frightening.

Defying Pete’s demands, Loretta finds an encouraging supporter in parapsychologist Dr. Curtis Hansen. He sees a woman with a rare gift, more blessing than curse. With Dr. Hansen’s help, Loretta’s life opens up to an empowering new purpose. But for Pete, the God-fearing image he’s worked so hard to cultivate is under threat. No longer in control of his dutiful wife, he sees the Devil at work.

As Loretta’s powers grow stronger and the pleading spirits beckon, Pete is determined to deliver his wife from evil. To solve the mysteries of the dead, Loretta must first save herself.

Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"The Devil and Mrs. Davenport is a page-turning, twisty 1950s gothic with poignant feminist themes and tense paranormal elements. Un-putdownable!" - Megan Chance

"Paulette Kennedy has quickly become one of my go-to authors for suspenseful stories that creep into one's imagination. The reader is immediately drawn into the world of 1950s housewife Loretta, her husband Pete and their two adorable children... but things are not as idyllic as they seem. I could not put this book down and I can't wait until Paulette Kennedy takes us on another adventure." - Rosanna Leo

"Paulette Kennedy is the modern Daphne du Maurier with her dazzling ability to usher readers into any point in history while making it feel vibrant and fresh with her magical, gothic touch. Her newest novel deftly captures both the simplicity and horrors of being a midcentury housewife in a patriarchal society. With gorgeous lyricism and a determined heroine, the story spellbinds from the first page until the harrowing end." - Heather Levy

"Compelling and unique, The Devil and Mrs. Davenport is a powerful tribute to the enduring strength and resilience of women in the face of misogyny. With both domestic thriller and gothic elements, Kennedy masterfully weaves a beautifully layered, visceral novel that readers won't be able to put down." - Erin Litteken

"Powerful, poignant, and soul-stirring, The Devil and Mrs. Davenport will haunt you with its chilling supernatural phenomena and claustrophobic domesticity. Paulette Kennedy brilliantly explores the limits of forgiveness while centering deep and compassionate love. You'll weep and cheer for Loretta as she fights a truly terrifying evil. This is a book to treasure!" - Jennifer Sherman Roberts

"A brilliantly layered suspense thriller and feminist nightmare wrapped into one, The Devil and Mrs. Davenport grips you and never lets go. This book will cement Kennedy as one of the most important voices in modern feminist literature at a time when we need it most." - Constance Sayers

"Mesmerizing from start to finish! Paulette Kennedy delivers suspense, empathy, compassion, resilience, and just a hint of the paranormal in a way that keeps the reader guessing until the last page." - Mansi Shah

"Paulette Kennedy crafts a story crackling with suspense and mystery, a creeping sense of unease, and a raw look at misogyny and mental health. The Devil and Mrs. Davenport is everything the domestic gothic should be and more." - Marielle Thompson

"The Devil and Mrs. Davenport is a heart-wrenching, skin-creeping mid-century Gothic with a heroine you can't help but love and root for. The ghostly goings-on unsettle, as do the insidious tendrils of infuriating, undermining misogyny and hypocrisy that writhe through every crack in Loretta's world - but, crucially, a sense of determined strength and hope are just as palpable. Paulette Kennedy vividly renders not just distinct times and places but magnetic people, and I'm always eager to read what she writes next." - Jen Wheeler

"Kennedy expertly weaves historical fiction with metaphysical thriller to deliver a propulsive, riveting, genre-bending novel. The Devil and Mrs. Davenport explores the very real challenges many women in the 1950s faced to find their own voices, the sometimes-overwhelming power of religion, and the tragic state of mental health treatment in the era. Combine all that with a sprinkle of parapsychological magic, a dash of romance, and a sympathetic heroine I was rooting for from the very first page, and you have an unputdownable read sure to be a big hit. I devoured it in a day and was sad to see it end. Bravo!" - Samantha Greene Woodruff


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