Sibyl Allston lost her mother and younger sister on the Titanic three years before this story begins. Living in Boston with her father and younger brother, she is almost on the shelf of permanent spinsterhood when Benton Derby, a former suitor reappears in her life. Helen, her mother, had introduced her to Mrs. Dee and the occult world so popular at this time and Sibyl is turning to it more often to help her with her grief and other emotions about her loss.
Benton is a total skeptic regarding the paranormal and tries to convince Sibyl that it is all sham by exposing Mrs. Dee’s trickery. While agreeing about Mrs. Dee, Sibyl begins seeing visions in a scrying orb the false medium gave her earlier. Believing she is moving closer to seeing her mother and sister in its shadowy sphere, she and Benton are surprised at what is really happening and where her apparent “gift” might take her.
House of Velvet and Glass is an entertaining picture of the society of the time with its strict rules, fascination with the occult, and burgeoning scientific knowledge.