I discovered Katherine Howe at our local library when I picked her latest novel, Conversion, from the "new books" shelf at the library. I, then, ordered The House of Velvet and Glass and was not disappointed.
It's 1915 and Sibyl lives in Boston with her irascible father and ne'er-do-well brother. She is getting "long in the tooth" and is not married. She had a suitor but he married someone else. Her life is going nowhere so she turns to a medium to seek the spirits of her mother and younger sister who died when the Titanic sank.
Her brother is expelled from Harvard and the events surrounding his expulsion are mysterious. Sibyl seeks help from Benton Derby, her former swain, who is back, widowed and working in Boston at Harvard. The adventure moves from the opium dens of the city's Chinatown to the high-society parlours of the upper crust. Under the influence of "the poppy", Sibyl is able to scry using a glass (somewhat like a crystal ball) from her father's study. She can see the future and that isn't always something a person wants. Sometimes it's better not to know what is coming.
I am an avid reader and like to share some of my "finds" with others.