"The superlative Barry creates a vividly eerie, time-bending landscape that stretches back and forth between the Salem witch trials, the Goddess Murders, and the present-day mystery ..... This spooky, multilayered medley of mysteries is sure to be a bestseller."
Booklist Starred Review
"The Fifth Petal is a literary thriller that beautifully straddles the line between sensational and sublime, illuminating history and hysteria in a fictional context that never fails to resonate as being very much of this world. Barry melds mysticism, myth, and religion in this ambitious, multigenerational saga in near-epic proportions, resulting in a veritable witches' brew. In a publishing environment that values expediency, the author -who spent five years writing this book-proves that good storytelling, like perspective, often benefits from the passage of time. Prepare to fall under her spell." The Strand Magazine, John B. Valeri
“Murder is always a dark and strangely titillating subject, but when combined with madness and magic, it weaves an even more seductive spell. This is especially so when in the hands of best-selling author Brunonia Barry. Barry's tale isn't just an intriguing and evocative story, but also a strong social commentary. Magic is not a malicious force of evil, but a natural earthy feminine power. . . . Women who wield any kind of power, supernatural or otherwise, are misunderstood or feared. Women who don't possess it are resigned to lives beyond their control. The Fifth Petal is an imaginative and haunting book that appeals to the emotions, the senses and the intellect." The Book Beat, Jeanette Bouchie
“… the power of modern magic, mythology and history … Dark and suspenseful, Barry’s well-constructed tale is filled with traps and red herrings as the truth is slowly revealed and Salem is forced to confront its sordid past.”
“Banshees, lost memories, and secret pasts each play a significant role in this novel; enthusiasts of the author’s earlier work and readers interested in the history of witchcraft and the occult will enjoy this return visit to Salem."
“The Fifth Petal is absorbing from the very first page. It is an intense, emotional, and deeply suspenseful story about relationships, prejudices, and the best and worst of human nature in the face of fear."
Mystery Scene Magazine, Rachel Prindle
“I have not read Barry's previous book, but had no difficulty at all following The Fifth Petal, and just may go looking for those earlier tales of Salem. Barry does a splendid job of giving enough backstory to welcome a newcomer to Salem. I'm certain this is not the last we will hear from her. Her writing style is spellbinding."
The Free Lance - Star, Sandy Mahaffey
“[An] entertaining occult murder mystery.”
"In contemporary Salem, a murder has taken place, with roots that reach back to the seventeenth-century witch trials. Filled with twists and turns, as well as ancient tradition and modern mystery, Barry’s story has deft pacing, a marvelous sense of place, and a quirky cast of characters. The Fifth Petal is another haunting tale by the author of The Lace Reader where past and present collide."
Deborah Harkness, New York Times bestselling author of the All Souls trilogy
“Brunonia Barry’s Salem is alive with rich history, and with a unique and colorful cast of characters: witches and healers, lace readers, the well-to-do and the down-and-out. And everyone’s got secrets. The Fifth Petal is a mesmerizing take on the ways the past affects and influences the present. “Time isn’t linear,” says one of the characters, and the way Barry artfully weaves together a modern-day crime, a twenty-five-year-old murder case, and the Salem witch trials, you’ll close the book believing that she’s absolutely right.”
Jennifer McMahon, New York Times bestselling author of The Winter People and The Night Sister
"There is true magic in The Fifth Petal, where Salem’s dark history of murder threatens to destroy yet one more young woman, a descendant of one of the accused witches. As in The Lace Reader, Brunonia Barry weaves together ancient myths, modern mysteries and the power and wisdom of a cabal of fearless women who’ve been touched by the invisible world."
Kathelen Kent, author of The Heretic’s Daughter
"Brunonia Barry has done it again. If you liked The Lace Reader, you’re going to love her new novel, The Fifth Petal. A real page-turner about murder and prejudice and love and what’s possible and what isn’t. Enjoy."
B.A. Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of The Art Forger and The Muralist
"A seductive combination of suspense, history, myth - with a sprinkling of the supernatural - The Fifth Petal is an enormously satisfying mystery novel. Brunonia Barry has created a world that is at once inviting and menacing, populated by characters both warmly familiar and surprising."
Andrew Pyper, author of The Damned and The Demonologist
"There are many writers who write wonderful books... then there are those rare writers who make magic. Brunonia Barry proves once again she is a sorcerer. Transported to Salem, I was lost in a Gothic tale that only the author of The Lace Reader could have conjured."
M.J. Rose, New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Language of Stones
"Written with pens dipped in magic and chills, The Fifth Petal uncovers hidden corners where myth, malevolence, and fervor converge in Salem, Massachusetts. Tendrils from the past and present wrap the complicated characters—and the reader’s attention—until the stunning final sentence. Brunonia Barry weaves miracles."
Randy Susan Meyers, bestselling author of The Murderer’s Daughters
"The Fifth Petal is a brilliant and suspenseful tale that prods at embers still live in a buried past. By weaving together the lost evidence of two Salem tragedies, Brunonia Barry’s novel prompts profound consideration of the respect for history, the importance of resolution, and the power of voice. Highly recommended."
Therese Walsh, author of The Moon Sisters
"Spellbinding! Clear your schedule--this beautifully written and seamlessly researched tale is a thriller, a romance, and a deeply felt investigation of the witch frenzy that haunts us to this day--and it's the book everyone will be buzzing about. Surprising, compelling and profound--even revelatory--it will stay with you long after the last page."
Hank Phillippi, Agatha, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark award winning author