The Menger Hotel, a legendary and historic establishment in San Antonio, has long been associated with tales of hauntings and paranormal occurrences. Allison Pittman’s latest novel, “The Lady in Residence,” delves into the world of ghosts and mystery within the confines of this iconic building. Set in 2017, the story follows Dini Blackstone, a fifth-generation magician who performs at the Menger Hotel and conducts ghost tours at night. Through her performances and tours, Dini unveils the tragic events and intriguing individuals connected to the hotel’s past.
One particularly captivating story that Dini shares is that of Hedda Krause, a widow who stayed at the Menger in 1915 in hopes of finding a new love interest. However, her plans are thwarted when she discovers that her belongings have been stolen. As her sanity is questioned by a discerning detective, the mystery surrounding Hedda deepens. In the present day, Dini finds herself drawn to Quinn Carmichael, the descendant of the original detective. Together, they embark on a journey to uncover the truth behind Hedda’s disappearance and bring closure to both her and Dini.
Pittman’s novel expertly weaves together elements of romance, suspense, intrigue, and drama within the backdrop of one of the most haunted buildings in the United States. The book’s pacing is consistent, with chapters seamlessly transitioning between the past and present, creating an intricate bond between the characters. To ensure authenticity and to find inspiration for her story, Pittman conducted extensive research at the Menger Hotel, immersing herself in its history and atmosphere.
Known as the oldest operating hotel west of the Mississippi, the Menger Hotel is renowned for its ghostly inhabitants. According to reports, former President Theodore Roosevelt, Captain Richard King, and Sallie White, a chambermaid, are among the most frequently sighted spirits. Sallie White’s presence is particularly significant in “The Lady in Residence,” adding an extra layer of intrigue to the narrative.
Overall, “The Lady in Residence” is a beautifully crafted novel that will appeal to both Texas natives and those fascinated by the allure of South Texas hauntings. Pittman, a critically acclaimed author and Christy finalist, has once again delivered a compelling story filled with vivid characters and a captivating mystery. Originally published in December 2020, this book is a must-read for those seeking a blend of history, romance, and the supernatural.
Allison Pittman resides in the San Antonio area with her husband, Mike. Her extensive experience as a writer and her dedication to her craft shine through in “The Lady in Residence.” Whether you’re a fan of Pittman’s previous works or a newcomer to her writing, this novel is sure to leave a lasting impression.