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Spitting Gold by Carmella Lowkis
Historical fiction

Spitting Gold


We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Carmella Lowkis, on your first book!

by Carmella Lowkis

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Quick take

Vengeful spirits, spunky frauds, and all manner of queer affairs lurk in the shadows of this gothic Parisian fable.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LGBTQ

    LGBTQ+ themes

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_International


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Siblings



Paris, 1866. When Baroness Sylvie Devereux receives a house call from Charlotte Mothe, the sister she disowned, she fears her shady past as a spirit medium has caught up with her. But with their father ill and Charlotte unable to pay his bills, Sylvie is persuaded into one last con.

Their marks are the de Jacquinots: dysfunctional aristocrats who believe they are haunted by their great aunt, brutally murdered during the French Revolution.

The scheme underway, the sisters deploy every trick to terrify the family out of their gold. But when inexplicable horrors start to happen to them too, the duo question whether they really are at the mercy of a vengeful spirit. And what other deep, dark secrets may come to light?

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Spitting Gold.
Spitting Gold


July 15, 1866

I am working on a pair of gloves. They are for a man. I wonder who he will be, if he will know where his gloves began their life.

Really, I do not need to do this: we mere accused are not obliged to do any work. Most of us choose to, even so. The sewing is something familiar to cling to in this place. From aristocrats to slum dwellers, we women are all united by our ability to wield a needle and thread. There are no distinctions in Saint-Lazare: all the accused are housed together in the common dormitory. Regardless of crime or class, we all rise together at five a.m., we pray together, we eat the same broth—which includes meat only on a Sunday—and we exercise in the same yard. There are prostitutes, drunks, thieves, vandals, swindlers—some of them children no more than twelve—and murderesses, like me. Word gets around quickly about us, and we are left to ourselves, so I am not bothered by any of the petty infighting I sometimes see among the others awaiting sentence.

This is a kind of purgatory, for none stays here long. We all wait to hear where we will be sent next. If we are lucky, it may be hard labor in the provinces; if we are unlucky, the Grande Roquette, and the guillotine that resides there. But I do not need to rely on luck.

I am going to walk free.

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Why I love it

Let’s set the scene. You’re in Paris. It’s 1866 and your estranged sister has come to you asking for your help…one last con and then she’s out of your life forever. Would you say yes? This one question sets the stage for a captivating story about two sisters who are in the business of conning people and have trouble following each choice they make. It’s easy to get swept up in Spitting Gold, a world rife with deceptions and secrets around every corner.

Baroness Sylvie Devereux has put her sister and her past as a spirit medium—where she and her sister would swindle clients out of money—behind her. So, when Charlotte asks for help on one last job, her immediate answer is no. But after some cajoling, Sylvie finally agrees: one last job and then she can go back to her new life. Upon meeting her clients, Sylvie learns that they believe they’re being haunted by their great aunt who was brutally murdered. As the sisters get to work trying to convince their clients that their home is haunted, strange things begin happening. Soon enough the sisters start to question if there really is a vengeful spirit in the house.

Spitting Gold is the perfect gothic mystery for anyone looking to find an immersive historical read with a few surprises along the way. Make sure to add this one to your box and enjoy the journey.

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