Review: Phantoms and Felonies by Lucy Ness

Phantoms and Felonies by Lucy Ness

Synopsis and Details:

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-suffereing 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. 

Series: A Haunted Mansion Mystery #2  |  Genres: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal  |  Release Date: April 06, 2021  |  Publisher:  Berkley |  Length: 336 pages  |  ISBN: 978-1984806796  |  ASIN: B08CD291YV  |  Format: ARC  |  Source: NetGalley

Review with Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The first book in this series, Haunted Homicide, really focused on introducing the Portage Path Women’s Club (PPWC) and its members as well as the ghost that now haunts its halls. In Phantoms and Felonies, things have settled a bit and Avery has become accustomed to the fact that she has a friend who is a ghost. What she was not prepared to do was share her new found paranormal knowledge anyone, especially with her Aunt because, hey, Avery had been trying to leave the “woo-woo” stuff her Aunt was into behind. 

Even though things were moving along nicely at the club, if they wanted to remain solvent, they needed to start exploring different ways of increasing their revenue stream. In an attempt to bring in more business, the club members were hosting a murder mystery event. It should have been a simple, yet elegant, affair that would have put the PPWC back on firmer financial ground but murder always has a disastrous effect on well laid plans. 

The last thing Avery wanted to do was get involved in another case of murder but with someone’s freedom on the line, as well as the reputation of the PPWC, a manager has to do what a manager has to do. Besides, Avery was coming to realize that she had a knack for shaking out information from the unlikeliest of sources. What she failed to consider was just how desperate the killer was to cover their tracks and the lengths they would go to make their point. 

An amateur sleuth doing her best to uncover clues to help clear someone she cares for, the cozy element in Phantoms and Felonies was nicely done. In addition, Clemmie was a very memorable ghost and her being a flapper really adds a nice touch to the story. Although, her slang is just way out there for me, ha ha ha. I haven’t looked it up to see if it is accurate but it always makes me wonder what people will think of our slang words in one hundred years. Overall, a handful of suspects with multiple motives, an intriguing twist surrounding the women in Bob’s life, and a budding romance made Phantoms and Felonies an engaging story with paranormal fun.

*Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group & NetGalley for this eARC of Phantoms and Felonies*

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This review is based on a complimentary book I received. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.

About the Author:

A pseudonym used by Kylie Logan.

Lucy Ness is an established mystery author. She has written the League of Literary Ladies Mystery series and the Button Box Mystery series.

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Categories: Published in 2021, Review

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