Thursday, March 25, 2021

ARC Review: Phantoms and Felonies by Lucy Ness

Phantoms and Felonies

Lucy Ness
Series: A Haunted Mansion Mystery (Book 2)
Publication: Berkley (April 6, 2021)

Description: 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.

When a local theater troupe puts on a new play at the club, manager Avery Morgan is excited. This is just the sort of event that's destined to bring in potential new members. Okay, millionaire banker Bob Hanover has more bucks than talent and has used his position to grab the lead role, but that seems like a small price to pay...until Bob is found dead backstage.

Bob rubbed many people the wrong way, but would anyone want him dead? The short answer to that is: Who wouldn't want him dead? His long-suffering wife had to put up with years of womanizing. The show's playwright has been tricked out of his one great idea by Bob, who claimed it as his own work. And Bob bankrupted one of the town's small businessmen. The choices are many and the time to find the killer is running short.

Avery is working overtime to keep the club open and find the killer. Fortunately, she has help with the latter task. Clemmie Bow was once a singer in the speakeasy in the club's basement. Now she's a ghost who's also a top-notch detective. Together Clemmie and Avery will find the killer—even if it kills one of them.

My Thoughts: Avery Morgan's latest idea to revitalize the Portage Path Women's Club is to host a murder mystery dinner. She has to deal with a prima donna author, a banker turned actor with ideas of his own about the story, a club member who thinks the whole thing is a bad idea, and a number of other characters with their own agendas.

When the banker turned actor winds up dead before the play is well under way, Avery needs to help her boyfriend Oz find the killer. She really hopes that it isn't another club member which would really ruin her plans for good PR for the Club.

Avery is assisted by ghost Clemmie Bow who was killed in the speakeasy in the basement during the 1920s. Part of this case included keeping Clemmie secret from her Aunt Rosemary who is a noted medium from Lily Dale. Aunt Rosemary decided to surprise her niece by attending the mystery dinner but wasn't expecting to discover the body and be accused of murder. She has always thought that Avery had some psychic powers though Avery had constantly denied any such talent.

This was an entertaining cozy mystery with interesting characters and an engaging plot. 

Favorite Quote:
"You haven't seen anything in the house? Anything that makes you think you're being Visited?"

That capital letter is my own doing, of course, but there are certain words Aunt Rosemary uses and a certain inflection in her voice that always make me think capitalization is in order."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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