Most folks associate the city of Salem, Massachusetts, with witches, but for Lee Barrett it's home. This October she's returned to her hometown - where her beloved Aunt Ibby still lives - to interview for a job as a reporter at WICH-TV. But the only opening is for a call-in psychic to host the late-night horror movies. It seems the previous host, Ariel Constellation, never saw her own murder coming.
Lee reluctantly takes the job, but when she starts seeing real events in the obsidian ball she's using as a prop, she wonders if she might really have psychic abilities. To make things even spookier, it's starting to look like Ariel may have been an actual practicing witch - especially when O'Ryan, the cat Lee and Aunt Ibby inherited from her, exhibits some strange powers of his own.
With Halloween fast approaching, Lee must focus on unmasking a killer - or her career as a psychic may be very short lived.
©2014 Carol J. Perry (P)2015 Tantor
"The atmosphere of this mystery is delightfully spooky, and the psychic elements add mystical touches that enhance the plot." (RT Book Reviews)
Married, middle-age, owner of 3 dogs, 2 cats, and a messy house.
This story has a good premise with good characters. The main character is a young woman whose life has not gone the way she planned. This has made her strong but not bitter, and wary. I really like her.
The mystery she has to solve is complicated, and even though I figured out the big question fairly early on, it was still enjoyable to watch her sort through not only the facts, but also her emotions.
The narrator is excellent.
I listened to this in one day, as I didn't want to put it down. Not a deep, thought provoking novel, but a very well done light afternoon entertainment. I'm looking forward to the next in the series.
Oh, and there's a very cool cat. Bonus points!
I hope we get more of these as soon as possible! There is much to like about this first book, starting with the reader. She's excellent! She does opposite sex characters well, multiple different characters with distinction and interest (the voice she uses for Janice, in particular, is just amazing), and has a very pleasant voice to listen to. She doesn't get lost in her sentences, and knows her materiel.
As far as the book itself goes, the set up is unique and has room for growth. The heroine has an interesting back story, and is self assured and assertive. The setting, (in Salem, Massachusetts, right before Halloween), makes it distinctive and fascinating, and more specifically the setting in the small town TV station, with our heroine deciding to take on the hosting of the late night horror movie call-in show is funny and effective. Some of the scenes on the basement set late at night are quite creepy.
The supporting characters are probably the strongest part of the book. Some of them are funny, some of them are complex, and all of them are interesting. They are all well drawn and distinctive, and since this is the only book (so far) that takes place at the TV station, I'll miss some of them quite a bit as the series goes on. Even the victim is a strong and interesting presence.
The major weakness is that it's so clear, for so long, who the murder must be to the reader, that it's very hard to understand how Lee (the protagonist) doesn't see it as well. I enjoyed the setting and the characters so much that I didn't care much. It should be noted that in book two, I had no idea who the murder was until it was revealed, so this series gets better from that point of view.
Overall, I loved this book, and will doubtless listen to it repeatedly. I can't wait for book three!
This is a cute, if not a somewhat trite cozy mystery. It is a fun, quick read of a murder in of all places Salem, Massachusetts. Really…, and then there is O’Ryan the cat, Ariel Constellation the psychic, Crystal Moon the clairvoyant, and WICH-TV. Really… Cute is the only thing this book has going for it. I figured out whodunit WAY before our heroine.
the book started slowly, wasn't sure I would be able to get into it. The narrator seemed unsure as well, almost as if this was her first time reading aloud. But this quickly changed. I got into the story, the narrator became more relaxed and sure of herself and the story grew more compelling.
The cat on the cover caught my eye. The cat is an integral part of the story, but not the main character. He plays an important supporting role. His actions are typically feline and very believable.
This story has a character with a mental health issue. Can't say what it is or that will give away part of the story. Book includes some good information on the condition in one of its many guises.
This story has the usual cast of characters: those you want to dislike, those you want to like, those you want to avoid, those you don't trust, those you want on your side. The fun is figuring out where each character actually fits.
I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Bookseller, book blogger, librarian, actress, and artist.
Sadly, I can't recommend this particular book. The writing is perfectly serviceable and the character is fairly likable. However (CONTAINS SPOILERS)
The solution to the mystery is A) fairly obvious and the protagonist just remains oblivious for far longer than she should.
B) Incredibly transphobic. This is the sort of story that we saw all over the place in the mid-90's thrillers like Sliver. It's outdated and unfortunate and kept me from enjoying the story.
Simple but nice twist and easy to listen to without complications. Small twist in plot but obvious. The characters are likeable.
I loved the setting (Salem), the psychic phenomena (well-presented), and the cat, O'Ryan, though you don't really get to know him until the second book.
It went a little long at the end (I had already figured out the killer), but I still wanted to keep reading until the end.
This was my first book by this writer and it was most enjoyable. My favorite genre is the Cozy Mysteries but they can seem to be all the same after a while, but not this one! It is a most refreshing change of scenery and script. I highly recommend this book. Also the narrator is perfect!
The narrator is good. She has room for improvement, but I have so heard much worse on Audible. Really, the narrator is not new to reading and does an above average job. I enjoyed the plot and the addition to the broadcasting world to a cozy mystery. (Been tiring of cupcakes and coffee). Delve in and give it a try. New authors need support!
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