Category Archives: historical mystery

The Gentle Ghost of Santa Fe NM - Julia Staab - La Posada

Flash Briefing – New Mexico Ghost Stories: La Posada Part II

Join host Kari Bovee, award-winning author of historical fiction as she shares stories of strong women of history combined with mysteries of the past.

>> Listen to Flash briefing HERE. <<

Welcome back to the continuation of Ghost Stories of New Mexico on Where History Meets Mystery. Today we continue with of the story Julia Schuster Staab, the Gentle Ghost of Santa Fe, who also haunts one of the state’s iconic historic hotels, the La Posada, once called the Staab House.

 

A guest staying at the hotel decided to see for himself if the ghost of Julia Staab really existed. When he and his wife decided to visit the hotel, they requested to stay in Julia’s room. Hearing that Julia’s ghost was very particular about things in her room, when they retired to bed that night, he purposely left the top dresser drawer opened. Later that night, he and his wife were awakened by the sound of the drawer being slowly closed.

 

I became fascinated with the story of the La Posada Hotel after our daughter decided she wanted to be married there. She, her fiancé and I took the hour long drive to Santa Fe to stay the night in the hotel and speak to the event planner who worked there. As luck would have it, the engaged couple was put up in one of the casitas, and I was assigned to a room on the second floor of the mansion—the room right next door to Julia’s. I had heard some stories that the hotel was haunted, but at the time, I didn’t know Julia’s story, or that hers was the room next door. Which is probably a good thing. Fortunately, the only thing that kept me up that night was the rowdy party in the bar downstairs.

 

Months later, while on another visit to Santa Fe, I wandered into the lobby of the La Posada and saw the book American Ghost by Hannah Nordhaus, great-great granddaughter to Julia Staab. sitting on the concierge’s desk. When I asked the concierge about the book, she proceeded to give me the highlights and told me some of the fascinating stories other staff and guests had told about Julia’s ghost. I asked if she had any similar experiences. She told me that after her final chemotherapy treatment, she and her daughter decided to celebrate with a weekend stay at the hotel. They requested Julia’s room in the hope they would get a visit from the familiar “gentle ghost” and sat up all night waiting for her. In the wee hours of the morning they fell asleep and slept undisturbed. The concierge believed that Julia was too shy to make an appearance when someone was expecting her. She said she’d rent the room again sometime.

 

Well, that concierge is braver than I am. Now that I know the story, I’m not sure I’d request to stay in the main house again. In fact, I would definitely request one of the casitas.

 

Come back tomorrow to hear about some other famous ghosts of New Mexico. In the meantime, head on over to my website at Karibovee.com. Once there you can subscribe to my newsletter and receive Shoot like a Girl, the prequel novella to my Annie Oakley mystery series for free!

ghosts who reportedly reside at the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico.

Flash Briefing – New Mexico Ghost Stories: St. James Hotel Part 4

Join host Kari Bovee, award-winning author of historical fiction as she shares stories of strong women of history combined with mysteries of the past.

>> Listen to Flash briefing HERE. <<

Welcome back to the continuation of Ghost Stories of New Mexico on Where History Meets Mystery. I hope you enjoyed last week’s ghost stories of La Llorona and the spirits who haunt the St. James Hotel in Cimarron.

 

Today I’m talking about Julia Schuster Staab, the Gentle Ghost of Santa Fe, who also haunts one of the state’s iconic historic hotels, the La Posada once called the Staab House.

 

Abraham Staab, a Jewish German immigrant, came to New Mexico in 1846 to establish himself as a merchant on the Santa Fe Trail. After Abraham became a wealthy businessman, he went home to Germany to find a bride. He found Julia Schuster, the daughter of a wealthy merchant from his home village of Ludge. Having come from the same small village, it is thought that perhaps Abraham knew Julia’s family before he left to find his riches in America. With great expectations he brought Julia back to his new home in the high desert city of Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1865.

 

Completely out of place in the village of Santa Fe with its mud houses and arid landscape, Julia had been accustomed to a more elegant lifestyle and a grand home. Eager to make his wife happy, Abraham built Julia a beautiful white mansion. The Staab House, a Victorian masterpiece with a large ballroom on the third floor, suited Julia’s excellent taste.

 

The couple had seven children, but at the death of their eighth, Julia changed both physically and mentally. She became sad, depressed, chronically ill and inconsolable. It is said her hair turned gray overnight. Her grief took a toll on the couple and they slowly grew apart. This did not help Julia’s situation, and some say she went insane. She spent most of her latter days locked in her bedroom until she died in 1896, under somewhat mysterious circumstances. Rumors of Abraham’s extramarital affairs and Julia’s possible murder or suicide were never proven.

 

Come back tomorrow to hear about sightings of the enigmatic, gentle ghost.

 

In the meantime, I have some exciting news to share with you! I am releasing a new novel. It’s a bit of a departure from my other works featuring the iconic Annie Oakley as a crime solver, and 1920’s Broadway ingenue, Grace Michelle, as a reluctant amateur sleuth, but it features a badass female protagonist all the same—archaeologist Ruby Delgado. In 1952, while on a dig in Northern New Mexico, Ruby finds herself entrenched in the mysteries of an ancient secret society–whose members are curiously dying. Can Ruby find the killer or will hers be the next body laid to rest? Bones of the Redeemed is scheduled for release November 3rd, but it’s available for pre-order right now on Amazon.

ghosts who reportedly reside at the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico.

Flash Briefing – New Mexico Ghost Stories: St. James Hotel Part II

Join host Kari Bovee, award-winning author of historical fiction as she shares stories of strong women of history combined with mysteries of the past.

>> Listen to Flash briefing HERE. <<

Welcome back to The Ghost Stories of New Mexico on Where History Meets Mystery. Today features the continuation of the ghosts who reportedly reside at the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico.

 

According to an article on the Legends of America website, the second floor of the St. James is the most active with spirit and ghostly activity. The staff and guests of the hotel have told stories of the smell of cigar smoke lingering in the halls—strange because smoking is not allowed in the hotel. A former owner claims one night, she saw a cowboy in 1800’s dress standing behind her in the mirror on the front of the bar. The bar was closed.

 

One of the most notorious otherworldly guests at the hotel is the ghost of Thomas James Wright who bled to death from a gunshot wound in Room 18. Reportedly, Wright had just won the rights to the hotel in a poker game and as he made his way up to his room, someone shot him in the back. He continued to the room and died there, and apparently he hasn’t left.

 

One former owner said she often saw an orange light floating in the upper corner of the room and was once pushed down while cleaning the room.

 

Today, Room 18 remains locked, and people are rarely allowed to enter. If you are one of the lucky ones who can enter, you will find inside a bedframe with no mattress, a coat rack, a rocking chair and a bureau graced with a Jack Daniels bottle, basin and pitcher, chewing tobacco tin, and shot glasses sitting on top of it. And if you do visit the room, don’t stay long. Rumors abound about a number of mysterious deaths occurring in that same room before it was permanently inaccessible to guests.

 

Come back tomorrow to hear about two more mysterious spirits who supposedly haunt the St. James.

 

If you are interested in learning more about me and my books, hop on over to my website at www.Karibovee.com. And, if you subscribe to my newsletter, you’ll receive Shoot like a Girl, the prequel novella to my Annie Oakley mystery series.

ghosts who reportedly reside at the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico.

Flash Briefing – New Mexico Ghost Stories: St. James Hotel Part I

Join host Kari Bovee, award-winning author of historical fiction as she shares stories of strong women of history combined with mysteries of the past.

>> Listen to Flash briefing HERE. <<

Welcome back to The Ghost Stories of New Mexico on Where History Meets Mystery. Today I am going to introduce you to the ghosts who reportedly reside at the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico.

 

Many of New Mexico’s old hotels are said to be haunted. One of the most famous is the St. James Hotel in Cimarron. The St. James, once the Lambert Inn, was built in 1872 by a Frenchman named Henri Lambert. Lambert, personal chef to President Abraham Lincoln, decided upon Lincoln’s assassination to move west in search of gold. He first settled in Elizabethtown, New Mexico, but ended up in Cimarron where he built the Lambert Inn, a saloon for cowboys, traders and miners. The saloon became so popular that Henri decided to add guest rooms and made it one of the most elegant hotels west of the Mississippi River.

 

Many famous guests came to stay at the hotel including Wyatt Earp, Jesse James, Doc Holliday, Billy the Kid, Pat Garret, Lew Wallace, and famous author Zane Grey. Other distinguished guests included Buffalo Bill Cody and, one of my personal favorites, Annie Oakley. The books in my Annie Oakley mystery series do not feature Annie Oakley in New Mexico, but I suppose there is always room for another installment. Perhaps she could team up with Wyatt Earp to track down the notorious criminals and murderers that were said to have stayed at the Lambert Inn?

 

Back in the late 1800’s law and order were in short supply in New Mexico. It is reported that over 26 men were shot and killed within the Inn’s adobe walls. When Lambert’s sons replaced the roof in 1901, they found more than 400 bullet holes in the saloon’s ceiling. Luckily, a double layer of heavy wood prevented the guests upstairs from harm.

 

Many of those gunslingers are said to still haunt the place. In fact, the spiritual activity of the hotel is so well known, it has been featured on the television shows Unsolved Mysteries and A Current Affair. Psychics who have visited the hotel have identified the strong presence of at least three restless spirits inhabiting the hotel today.

 

Come back tomorrow to hear about the mysterious ghosts that haunt the St. James Hotel.

If you are interested in learning more about me and my books, hop on over to my website at www.Karibovee.com. And, if you subscribe to my newsletter, you’ll receive Shoot like a Girl, the prequel novella to my Annie Oakley mystery series.

La Llorona New Mexico Ghost Stories

Flash Briefing – New Mexico Ghost Stories: La Llorona Part I

Join host Kari Bovee, award-winning author of historical fiction as she shares stories of strong women of history combined with mysteries of the past.

>> Listen to Flash briefing HERE. <<

As we move into October, I think it’s time for some ghost stories!

 

Having been born and raised in New Mexico, I grew up hearing fascinating tales of New Mexico’s history, its multi-cultural legends, and it’s haunting ghost stories. Infused with lore from the Mexican, Spanish, Native American and Anglo cultures, I can tell you, New Mexico’s past is alive and well, even in the modern age.

 

Perhaps the most famous ghost of New Mexico is La Llarona (The Weeping Woman). We share her with many states in the southwest and even with parts of Europe and Latin America. Texas, Arizona and New Mexico all claim La Llarona as their own, and we will probably never know where she actually originated, but her story is no less haunting, no matter where she came from.

 

Some tales say she was an Aztec woman named La Malinche who became the lover of Hernan Cortes, the Conquistador who came to the Americas in the 16th century to help Spain gather new territories and build a new empire. La Malinche had two sons by Cortes and the couple was reputed to be very happy. However, as one story goes, the King and Queen of Spain feared that Cortes would attempt to build his own empire and they demanded he return to Spain. When he refused, they sent a very rich and beautiful Spanish lady to the Americas to seduce him and bring him back. The ruse worked, but Cortes would not leave without his sons. On the night of his departure back to Spain, La Malinche, crazed with jealousy and grief, took back her sons, stabbed them in the heart and threw them into a nearby lake. This particular story says she lived another ten years, but throughout that decade she was seen on the beach of the lake moaning, “Oh, hijos mios!” (Oh my children!)

 

Come back tomorrow for more spooky tales of La Llorona.

 

I have some exciting news to share with you! I am releasing a new novel. It’s a bit of a departure from my other works featuring the iconic Annie Oakley as a crime solver, and 1920’s Broadway ingenue, Grace Michelle, as a reluctant amateur sleuth, but it features a badass female protagonist all the same—archaeologist Ruby Delgado. In 1952, while on a dig in Northern New Mexico, Ruby finds herself entrenched in the mysteries of an ancient secret society–whose members are curiously dying. Can Ruby find the killer or will hers be the next body laid to rest? Bones of the Redeemed is scheduled for release November 3rd, but it’s available for pre-order right now on Amazon.

 

Folly at the Fair - Historical Fiction Books to Read by Kari Bovée

It’s Release Day!

Chicago World’s Fair, 1893. “Little Sure Shot” Annie Oakley is exhausted from her work with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. But when a fellow performer scuffles with a man who threatens her harm, she has to keep her eyes peeled. And when the man is found dead under the Ferris Wheel, Annie won’t rest until she proves her defender is innocent.

Before she can rustle up any clues, an old friend asks Annie to protect her young daughter. And as more bodies turn up around the grounds, it’s clear there’s a serial murderer on the loose. Annie is going to need all her wits and sharpshooting skills just to stay alive, and to protect those she loves.

Can Annie live up to her reputation and put a bullseye on the killer?

Folly at the Fair is the third book in the Annie Oakley Mystery series. If you like strong heroines, Wild West adventures, and suspenseful twists and turns, then you’ll love this fast-paced whodunit.

Folly at the Fair - Historical Fiction Books to Read by Kari Bovée
Folly at the Fair – An Annie Oakley Mystery

That is the description of my latest release, Folly at the Fair, the third full-length novel in the Annie Oakley Mystery series .

By the time Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World came to Chicago to participate in the fair, Annie Oakley had become the darling of America, and in fact she’d become a world-wide sensation. Her skill with the shotgun and rifle had garnered her a loyal following. Her act often consisted of shooting live birds released into the air, splitting a playing card in two, and—a crowd favorite—shooting a burning cigarette out of her husband’s mouth.

After two wildly successful tours in Europe with the Wild West Show, Annie had performed for hundreds of thousands of people, and had hobnobbed with members of all socio-economic classes, from the poorest of the poor, to the nobility including Kings and Queens.

In this novel, Annie’s mettle is tested with the appearance of a long lost friend, a demanding schedule, a possessive fan, marital troubles, and murder. But with the help of her old friend, investigative journalist Emma Wilson, Annie is determined to set things right in the White City.

I had so much fun researching and writing this novel, and I hope you’ll like it, too!

Buy on Amazon

 

 

Historical Fiction Books - HIstorical Mystery Hidden Gems - Kari Bovée Historical Mystery Author


8 Historical Mystery Hidden Gems

Historical mystery combines historical fiction and mystery fiction. Enjoy the best of both worlds in these historical mystery hidden gems! Give yourself the gift of these “whodunits” or impress your friends with these suggestions at your next bookclub meeting!

Historical Fiction Books - Historical Mystery Hidden GemsThe Portrait of Molly Dean by Katherine Kovacic

An unsolved murder comes to light after almost seventy years…

In 1999, art dealer Alex Cayton stumbles across a lost portrait of Molly Dean, an artist’s muse brutally slain in Melbourne in 1930. Alex buys the painting and sets out to uncover more details, but finds there are strange inconsistencies: Molly’s mother seemed unconcerned by her daughter’s violent death, the main suspect was never brought to trial despite compelling evidence, and vital records are missing. Alex enlists the help of her close friend, art conservator John Porter, and together they sift through the clues and deceptions that swirl around the last days of Molly Dean.

Historical Mystery Hidden Gems Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Read more about this novel HERE.

 

Historical Fiction Books - Historical Mystery Hidden Gems - The Art of Theft by Sherry ThomasThe Art of Theft by Sherry Thomas

As “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” Charlotte Holmes has solved murders and found missing individuals. But she has never stolen a priceless artwork – or rather, made away with the secrets hidden behind a much-coveted canvas.

But Mrs. Watson is desperate to help her old friend recover those secrets and Charlotte finds herself involved in a fever-paced scheme to infiltrate a glamorous Yuletide ball where the painting is one handshake away from being sold and the secrets a bare breath from exposure.

Her dear friend Lord Ingram, her sister Livia, Livia’s admirer Stephen Marbleton – everyone pitches in to help and everyone has a grand time. But nothing about this adventure is what it seems and disaster is biding time on the grounds of a glittering French chateau, waiting only for Charlotte to make a single mistake…

Historical Mystery Hidden Gems Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Read more about this novel HERE.

 

Historical Fiction Books Kari Bovee Indie Book AwardsPeccadillo at the Palace by Kari Bovée

It’s 1887, and Annie and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show are invited to Queen Victoria’s Jubilee celebration in London, England. But their long journey across the Atlantic takes a turn for the worst when the queen’s royal servant ends up dead and Annie’s husband, Frank Butler, falls suspiciously ill. Annie soon discovers that the two events are connected―and may possibly be precursors to an assassination attempt on the queen.

In London, it becomes clear there is rampant unrest in the queen’s kingdom―the Irish Fenian Brotherhood, as well as embittered English subjects, are teeming in the streets. But amid the chaos, even while she prepares for the show, Annie is determined to find the truth. With the help of a friend and reporter, Emma Wilson, the renowned poet Oscar Wilde, and the famous socialite Lillie Langtry, Annie sets out to hunt down the queen’s enemies―and find out why they want to kill England’s most beloved monarch.

Historical Mystery Hidden Gems Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Read more about this novel HERE.

 

Historical Fiction Books - Historical Mystery Hidden Gems - The Thirteenth Tale by Diane SetterfieldThe Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good. Margaret is mesmerized by the author’s tale of gothic strangeness—featuring the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire. Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.

Historical Mystery Hidden Gems Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Read more about this novel HERE.

 

Historical Fiction Books - Historical Mystery Hidden Gems - Searcher of the Dead by Nancy HerrimanSearcher of the Dead by Nancy Herriman

Living amid the cultural flowering, religious strife, and political storms of Tudor England, Bess Ellyott is an herbalist, a widow, and a hunted woman. She fled London after her husband was brutally murdered, but the bucolic town in the countryside where she lands will offer her no solace. She still doesn’t know who killed her husband, but she knows one thing: The murderer is still out there. This becomes all too clear when Bess’s brother-in-law, a prosperous merchant, is himself found dead—dangling from a tree, an apparent suicide.

But Bess doesn’t believe that for a moment, and nor do her neighbors. Competition is cutthroat in the 17th century, and word around the town holds that the dead man is a victim of rival merchants scheming to corner the wool market. Bess, though, is convinced the killer is out to destroy her family.

Town constable Christopher Harwoode will cross members of his own family to help Bess find the killer—whose next target may very well be Queen Elizabeth I—in this unshakably gripping, devilishly unpredictable series debut that will delight fans of Alison Weir and Philippa Gregory.

Historical Mystery Hidden Gems Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Read more about this novel HERE.

 

Historical Fiction Books - Historical Mystery Hidden Gems - The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester FoxThe Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox

Maine, 1846. Gabriel Stone is desperate to escape the ghosts that haunt him in Massachusetts after his wife’s death, so he moves to Maine, taking a position as a minister in the remote village of Pale Harbor.

But not all is as it seems in the sleepy town. Strange, unsettling things have been happening, and the townspeople claim that only one person can be responsible: Sophronia Carver, a reclusive widow who lives with a spinster maid in the eerie Castle Carver. Sophronia must be a witch, and she almost certainly killed her husband.

As the incidents escalate, one thing becomes clear: they are the work of a twisted person inspired by the wildly popular stories of Mr. Edgar Allan Poe. And Gabriel must find answers, or Pale Harbor will suffer a fate worthy of Poe’s darkest tales.

Historical Mystery Hidden Gems Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Read more about this novel HERE.

 

Historical Fiction Books - Historical Mystery Hidden Gems - The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes by Leonard GoldbergThe Daughter of Sherlock Holmes by Leonard Goldberg

1914. Joanna Blalock’s keen mind and incredible insight lead her to become a highly-skilled nurse, one of the few professions that allow her to use her finely-tuned brain. But when she and her ten-year-old son witness a man fall to his death, apparently by suicide, they are visited by the elderly Dr. John Watson and his charming, handsome son, Dr. John Watson Jr. Impressed by her forensic skills, they invite her to become the third member of their investigative team.

Caught up in a Holmesian mystery that spans from hidden treasure to the Second Afghan War of 1878-1880, Joanna and her companions must devise an ingenious plan to catch a murderer in the act while dodging familiar culprits, Scotland Yard, and members of the British aristocracy. Unbeknownst to her, Joanna harbors a mystery of her own. The product of a one-time assignation between the now dead Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler, the only woman to ever outwit the famous detective, Joanna has unwittingly inherited her parents’ deductive genius.

Historical Mystery Hidden Gems Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Read more about this novel HERE.

 

Historical Fiction Books - Historical Mystery Hidden Gems - The Anatomists WifeThe Anatomists Wife by Anna Lee Huber

Scotland, 1830. Following the death of her husband, Lady Darby has taken refuge at her sister’s estate, finding solace in her passion for painting. But when her hosts throw a house party for the cream of London society, Kiera is unable to hide from the ire of those who believe her to be as unnatural as her husband, an anatomist who used her artistic talents to suit his own macabre purposes.

Kiera wants to put her past aside, but when one of the house guests is murdered, her brother-in-law asks her to utilize her knowledge of human anatomy to aid the insufferable Sebastian Gage—a fellow guest with some experience as an inquiry agent. While Gage is clearly more competent than she first assumed, Kiera isn’t about to let her guard down as accusations and rumors swirl.

When Kiera and Gage’s search leads them to even more gruesome discoveries, a series of disturbing notes urges Lady Darby to give up the inquiry. But Kiera is determined to both protect her family and prove her innocence, even as she risks becoming the next victim…

Historical Mystery Hidden Gems Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Read more about this novel HERE.

 

Historical mystery combines historical fiction and mystery fiction. Enjoy the best of both worlds in these historical mystery hidden gems! Give yourself the gift of these "whodunits" or impress your friends with these suggestions at your next bookclub meeting! #historicalfictionbooks #historicalmystery #gems #novels #katherinekovacic #sherrythomas #dianesetterfield #nancyherriman #hesterfox #leonardgoldberg #annaleehuber #karibovee #bookclub #bookstoread