The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

This historical occult thriller (384 pages) was published in April of 2010 by Hachette Books. The book takes you to an abandoned mansion in Salem, Massachusetts. Melissa read The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if she didn't recommend it.

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The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

Katherine Howe

This New York Times best seller embodies adjectives like spellbinding, beguiling, enchanting, and bewitching.

It begins in an abandoned mansion, just as a good story set in Salem, Massachusetts, should. Our heroine Connie Goodwin (note the subtle nod to infamous Salem witch trial victim Goody Proctor), is summering in witch town to finish her doctoral research. She’s also been recruited by her mother to sell her deceased grandmother’s decaying estate.

Whilst rambling through the house, Connie discovers an antique key inside a seventeenth-century Bible. Attached to the key is an aged slip of parchment inscribed with a name: Deliverance Dane.

Connie does what any alarmingly curious researcher would do: She begins a quest to learn everything she can about Deliverance Dane and the mysterious power of the physick book, thought to be a repository for lost knowledge. Her little detective project comes with unexpected side effects, including but not limited to, disturbing visions, library sleuthing, a touch of romance, and the growing realization that she and the legacy of the house might have more to do with Salem’s dark past than she knew.

Katherine Howe’s writing drives the story forward with a nicely coiled plot and end-of-chapter cliffhangers — all of which make the pages almost turn by themselves. The atmosphere is appropriately eerie, and the female characters of each generation of Connie’s family demonstrate their mettle (and witchy charm) through the centuries.

She was always puzzled that people say that darkness falls. To her it seemed instead to rise, massing under trees and shrubs, pouring out from under furniture, only reaching the sky when the spaces near the ground were full. — Katherine Howe

Don’t miss Katherine Howe’s latest The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs, the sequel to Deliverance Dane.

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Set in Sweden, Scotland, England, Canada, and Salem, Massachusetts, these stories place memorable characters in dire circumstances so we can live vicariously — and safely — through them. Welcome home.
Who could possibly resist the allure of secret family history, a crumbling mansion, a hidden 17th-century book, and an antique key?! Certainly not our heroine Connie Goodwin, which makes for a great story, indeed.

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