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Friday, September 24, 2021

Review - Haunted Homicide

 This is a new series that I haven't heard much buzz about.  Which is a shame, because I was really captured by the concept and think it is worth more attention.  This is also fun with Halloween approaching since it has a ghost that I hope is a reoccurring character.  I will be reviewing the second in the book before the end of October as well.

Author: Lucy Ness

Copyright: Sept 2020 (Berkley) 299 pgs

Series: 1st in Haunted Mansion Mystery series

Sensuality: n/a

Mystery Sub-genre: Amateur Sleuth, Light Paranormal Cozy

Main Characters: Avery Morgan, New manager of a prestigious women's club 

Setting: Contemporary, Portage Path, Ohio, thirty miles south of Cleveland

Obtained Through: Library

Book Blurb:  "Avery Morgan has been hired to breathe new life into the Portage Path Women's Club, but first she'll have to deal with a dead body and a meddling ghost.

Avery Morgan has had a harrowing first week on the job as manager of the Portage Path Woman's Club. Not only is she in charge of a grand old home with a mountain of maintenance problems and scheduling nightmares--thanks to a recent fire in the Marigold meeting room--but she's also got Muriel Sadler to deal with. Muriel is the current president of the club, the one "nay" vote when the rest of the board voted "aye" to hiring Avery.

After a morning of dealing with another one of Muriel's snits and a meeting with the delicious and delightfully unsettling Ben Harkness, who will be handling renovations in the fire-damaged portions of the house, the last thing Avery needs is for one of the fuses to blow. Again.

She grabs her handy flashlight and heads into the basement, where she stumbles across Muriel's body. She also stumbles across an unexpected helper, Clemmie Bow, the ghost of a young woman who was accidentally killed in the building almost a hundred years ago.

Together Clemmie and Avery are determined to solve Muriel's murder before the killer sends Avery to join Clemmie on the other side."

Avery Morgan, running from her psychic aunt's influence in NY and seeking normalcy, gets a job in Ohio only to face her own psychic talent of seeing the dead.  Muriel Sadler, the victim, made Avery's first days at the Women's Club very difficult. She was mean-spirited. 

Patricia Fink, a Board member, definitely has a secret.  Gracie Grimm is the club's historian and Board member who didn't like Muriel.  Agnes Yarborough, another Board member, gets treated harshly by Muriel.  Then there is Clemie Bow, resident ghost from roaring 20s hanging around. Jack Harkness is the restorationist working on restoring a room and is maybe-not-quite a romantic interest who has his own secret.  Sergeant Alterman, known as Oz, is a romantic interest.  Quentin is the Club's chef and Geneva is the regular waitress.  These two are great and I really enjoy their characters as well as Clemie. 

The Women's Club's historic manner house is a great setting and most of the book takes place there.  It has a secret history of being an illegal speakeasy in the 1920s, which is when Clemmie died and has been hanging around the house ever since.

This debut novel in the series introduces us to mostly the Board and their backgrounds as the investigation is taking place. Muriel has a line-up of potential murderers that are uncovered as Avery asks around.  The story moved along at a steady clip and maintained my interest.

 The killer reveal was dramatic and had some thrilling moments that I thought were nicely done.  The wrap-up was short and sweet with just the right touches to leave a smile on my face.

This is a fun debut that I hope keeps up the vibe started.  It has interesting characters with a solid mystery and Avery is a good heroine I can relate to.  The ghostly touches are lighthearted and enjoyable.  Overall a well done first entry that I look forward to reading the next novel in the series.  

Rating:  Excellent - Loved it! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list 

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Mystica said...

Thanks for the review of this delightfully interesting story.

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