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Ratings and Reviews (4 5 star ratings
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    A phantasmal adventure

    Seances are for Suckers by Tamara Berry is the first installment in A Eleanor Wilde Mystery series. Eleanor “Ellie” Wilde makes a living with her business Eleanor’s Cleansing Service. She cleanses houses of ghostly spirits or at least that is what she tells her clients. Ellie has learned that many things can cause the noises (from rats to noisy pipes), but to satisfy the client, she must put on a show. While Ellie’s brother, Liam does not approve of how she makes a living, it does pay for Happy Acres Sanctuary where their catatonic sister resides. After finishing her latest job, Ellie is ready to head off to two weeks in Mexico when she is approached by Nicholas Hartford III. Nicholas does not believe in ghosts, spirits or goblins, but his mother is convinced their ancestral estate is haunted by a mischievous spirit named Xavier. Nicholas wants Ellie to find out what or who is behind the various incidents, take care of the problem and then convince his mother that Xavier has moved on. Ellie arrives in England ready to tackle her new job, but she is unprepared for eccentric Hartford family, the worn dorm room furniture in her bedroom and the lackluster food served in small quantities. She begins her assignment by getting to know the Hartford clan, poking around the house and investigating the local museum. Xavier is proving to be a challenge which Ellie thrives on. Things get tricky when she stumbles upon a body in the kitchen which vanishes by the time Ellie returns with help. Ellie will need to pull out all the stops if she is to unveil the entity behind the illusive poltergeist. Seances are for Suckers is a comedic tale. You will find yourself laughing your way through this spirited cozy mystery. Ellie was not one for academics. After an auto accident when she was eighteen which resulted in her mother’s death and putting her sister in catatonic state, Ellie needed to find a way to earn good money. Her flair for the dramatic plus her practical nature along with an eye for detail combined into Eleanor’s Cleansing Service. People seem to believe in a supernatural cause for their problems over a practical one. Ellie takes care of the problem (rats, bats, noisy pipes, and problematic house cats) and then puts on a show for the client to eliminate the vexing apparition. Ellie is a smart, plucky woman who loves her family and her job. Nicholas is handsome, intelligent, level headed and wise to Ellie’s ways of eliminating problems, but he admits that she comes highly recommended and always leaves a satisfied client. I especially enjoyed Nicholas’ droll wit. He has some great lines in the book. The author took the time to develop the characters. Rachel, Nicholas’ niece, is entertaining and provides a different perspective. She also gives Ellie with some needed intel and a sidekick along as food is provided (the mother’s cooking is abysmal). The story is told from Ellie’s point-of-view and her train of thought (practical insights) provide many laugh out loud moments. The mystery is complex and multi-faceted with red herrings, multiple suspects and unexpected twists. However, avid cozy mystery readers will have no problem solving this ghostly whodunit. This book has romance, quirky characters, a charming village, an ancestral estate, humor, spooky elements, and a puzzling mystery which have been combined into one entertaining cozy mystery. I am giving Seances are for Suckers 4 out of 5 stars. I look forward to Ellie’s next phantasmal adventure.
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    Gold Mine

    I had to keep going back to make sure this was the first book in the series because it was written so well and the characters were so established. Ellie is fabulous and the way her sister finds her voice is definitely unexpected. Her brother is a great foil for Ellie. To be honest, I don't feel like I know enough about her sister to have a firm grasp of her personality. I can't wait for more adventures with Ellie but I do have to admit that it was written so that it could have been the end of the series or even a stand alone. Knowing that it is the first in the series, I had to remind myself that as the series evolves, so will Ellie and I really can't wait to see what will happen next for her. Thank you to Kensington Books, Tamara Berry, and NetGalley for giving me the chance to read this story and share my honest thoughts and opinions with others.
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    Want to read more!

    You ever read a book not expecting anything, and you read it, and think “that wasn’t what I expected?” Well, this book was that for me. Don’t get me wrong, this book was well-written, fun, level-headed (you have to read it know what I mean), and was captivating. I love how even though Ellie is “tricking” people, she still tries to give people their money’s worth because she’s only doing this to take care of her sister, and people want to believe more in ghosts than real-life issues. I really, really enjoyed this book except for a little bit of confusion on my part at the end. I thought someone was the villain, and it turns out he wasn’t, but not in the way you’d expect which really threw me off at the end. This book was an unexpected surprise, and I can’t wait to read the next one in the series even though I’m not sure where we’ll go from the end of the book. Highly recommend this 4 1/2 star read! I was provided the e-book which I voluntarily reviewed.
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    A strong start to a promising new series

    Ellie Wilde is a ghost hunter, realist, and triplet. While she doesn’t truly believe in ghosts, the service she provides “Cleanses” homes of ghosts and brings peace to families who have been living with them. After all, Ellie’s always been able to find what’s causing the supposed hauntings and sets them right, all while putting on a good show. While her brother doesn’t agree with her line of work, it pays the bills, particularly the medical care that their sibling who is in a coma requires. When Nicholas Hartford III, as much of a skeptic as Ellie when it comes to the supernatural, hires Madame Eleanor to rid his family estate of a ghost, things turn deadly. While Ellie finds herself taking a shine to the family, whomever is playing ghost is putting Ellie in danger…and she’s far from home in a foreign country. I loved the author’s portrayal of Ellie. The way she speaks and carries herself is real and relatable. The final reveal will surely surprise you! A fun new series that I look forward to following as Ellie and the crew move forward.
5

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