Looking back on some of the books I’ve read over the past year, I realized I missed the publication date for one of the most fun reads I’ve enjoyed over the year. On the surface, it’s a cozy mystery with a very slight paranormal side to it. In reality it’s much more than that. It’s a mystery, for sure. It also has a strong British element to it in that it takes place in a family owned, centuries old castle. Finally, it has a strong element of humor to it. Not the kind of humor that has you laughing out loud like stand up comedy; but rather the quiet kind of humor that leaves you feeling just a little lighter.
The uplifting feeling you get from infusing that kind of humor into your day is worth its weight in gold. It’s something that can bring relaxation at the end of a hard charging day or something that can offer some relief when you have been under stress from any number of reasons.
Reading is one of the ways I choose to relax. In truth, with a few exceptions, I would rather read than watch television. This book, Seances Are for Suckers by Tamara Berry is one of those that not only offered an opportunity to relax, but one that provided a good feeling that lasted for quite a while after the book had been closed and put away for the evening. If you are looking for a book that you might read for nothing more than sheer fun, this is one I highly recommend. Here’s a copy of the review I wrote when I first finished the book.
Seances Are for Suckers by Tamara Berry; what a delightful read. Take a psychic who doesn’t believe in psychic phenomenon and hire her to rid an English castle of the non-existing ghost who’s haunting it. Of course she knows it’s a scam, as does the insanely rich man who has hired her for the job, but what do they care? The job will allow her to earn enough money to pay exorbitant medical bills for her comatose sister. All she needs to do is find out who’s behind the occurances while she continues to convince her brother he shouldn’t worry about her.
Do the siblings seem close? Maybe it’s because they’re triplets, although each one is so different from the other as to only connect in that way that is often described as belonging to twins, triplets, etc. While not a major part of the book in terms of interactions between the three, their relationships are essential to the book and their individual personalities add to the richness of the characters.
So, off to England to place a lot of high-end spy equipment and find out who is “haunting” the castle. Madame Eleanor, the psychic, isn’t an ordinary charlatan, though. She takes the job seriously. When she is hired to rid any dwelling of an unwanted spirit she understands the truth is that there is a physical world issue that is causing the unexplained activities within the house and she takes on the task of ridding the structure of whatever is causing the problem be it a person playing pranks, rats in the attic, or anything in between.
Early on in the book the reader begins to wonder just what kind of book is it? Is it a paranormal adventure? Is it a murder mystery? Is it a romance novel? All these questions and more keep the reader guessing as to what to expect next because the book doesn’t follow any apparent traditional pattern. Sure, when you get to the end it all hangs together beautifully, but the questions make the getting there even that much more enjoyable.
To give many details would spoil some of the exploration, so I will refrain from doing so in this review. I will recommend you get the book, free some time on your schedule, and sit down ready to enjoy a story that includes some fascinating people (and spirits), interesting places, and unexpected activities. There are surprises galore, encompassing the characters in the book, the locations and the clues. Are there red herrings? Yes, but even they may not be exactly what the reader is lead to believe they are.
Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing me with an advanced digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I highly recommend this one, and look forward to more from Ms. Berry.
Now, if you are the type of person who wants to read something hard charging, that gets your heart rate up and has you sitting on the edge of your seat, this may not be the book for you. However, just because it doesn’t have that kind of intensity doesn’t mean you will find this one easy to put down when it’s time to turn out the light either. My bet? You’ll find yourself wanting to read “just another half hour” or “just another chapter” or some other arbitrary stopping point you pick for yourself, only to find yourself extending that cut-off time, maybe more than once until you finish the book.
So, if you’re looking for a book to lift your mood a bit on these colder, darker winter evenings, this is one you might check out. Happy Reading.