Séances are for Suckers (Eleanor Wilde Mystery #1)
When something goes bump in the night . . . it’s most likely a plumbing problem, or something equally mundane. But fake medium Eleanor Wilde is happy to investigate and cleanse your home of spectral presences—for a fee. Hey, it’s a living . . . Ellie has an ailing sister to care for, and working as a ghost hunter who doesn’t believe in ghosts helps cover the bills for both of them. When she’s lucky, it also pays for the occasional tropical vacation. Her brother doesn’t exactly approve, but Ellie figures she’s providing a service. On her latest job, though, she may be in for some genuine scares.The skeptical, reserved, and very rich Nicholas Hartford III has flown her all the way to his family’s ancestral estate in England—supposedly haunted by a phantom named Xavier. Nicholas thinks it’s all just as much a crock as Ellie’s business is, but the fact remains that something is causing the flashes of light, mysterious accidents, and other apparent pranks in the chilly, eerie castle. His mother is sure that Xavier is real, and he’s willing to employ Ellie if she can get to the bottom of it and put a stop to the nonsense.While the food and accommodations are somewhat disappointing (dorm-room furniture? Really?), Ellie is finding it an adventure to get to know this eccentric family and their houseguests, and to poke around in the nearby village for clues. But when an actual dead body appears—and subsequently disappears—at Castle Hartford, she’ll have to apply her talent for trickery and psychological insight to solve a flesh-and-blood murder.

Séances are for Suckers (Eleanor Wilde Mystery #1) Details

TitleSéances are for Suckers (Eleanor Wilde Mystery #1)
Author
ReleaseOct 30th, 2018
PublisherKensington
Rating
GenreMystery, Cozy Mystery

Séances are for Suckers (Eleanor Wilde Mystery #1) Review

  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    Séances are for Suckers by Tamara Berry is the first book in the new paranormal cozy Eleanor Wilde Mystery series. Eleanor Wilde or Ellie as she likes to be called is a fake medium, well fake as in she let's her customers continue in their belief of a ghost when she's moving rats out of the attic that actually went bump in the night.. After an accident ten years ago in which Ellie survived but lost her mother that night and her sister was left in a coma Ellie has had to do whatever she can to pa Séances are for Suckers by Tamara Berry is the first book in the new paranormal cozy Eleanor Wilde Mystery series. Eleanor Wilde or Ellie as she likes to be called is a fake medium, well fake as in she let's her customers continue in their belief of a ghost when she's moving rats out of the attic that actually went bump in the night.. After an accident ten years ago in which Ellie survived but lost her mother that night and her sister was left in a coma Ellie has had to do whatever she can to pay the medical bills. She doesn't think of herself as a con artist or fake when she is preforming the service she's been hired to do but it's a thin line she's walking nonetheless. Just as Ellie is about to head on vacation after her latest cleansing she's approached by Nicholas Hartford III who is in need of Ellie's skills. Now Nicholas seems to know Ellie is a fake and just doesn't care, he's willing to try anything to rid his family's home of Xavier the ghost that his mother insists is perfectly real. Séances are for Suckers was one of those cozies that I just found an absolutely fun read all around. I was liking Ellie by only a couple of pages into the story and her whole fake medium act but color me surprised when we actually do get a bit of paranormal added in too. But the setting and secondary characters all had an appeal on top of thinking Ellie was a fun lead then pile on a unique mystery with disappearing corpses I didn't want this one to end. Definitely recommend checking this one out to the fans of a more quirky cozy. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
    more
  • Eve Recinella (Between The Bookends)
    January 1, 1970
    This book was one of the best cozy mysteries I have ever read. The writing was fantastic. The mystery was well plotted and had me guessing until the end. It had a great cast of secondary characters. I wasn't sure at the start I was going to like Ellie. She is, after all, a con-artist that prays on people's fears for her own financial gain. And I am still not 100% onboard with that, but perhaps the author will take her in a different direction (hopefully) after the events of this book. With that This book was one of the best cozy mysteries I have ever read. The writing was fantastic. The mystery was well plotted and had me guessing until the end. It had a great cast of secondary characters. I wasn't sure at the start I was going to like Ellie. She is, after all, a con-artist that prays on people's fears for her own financial gain. And I am still not 100% onboard with that, but perhaps the author will take her in a different direction (hopefully) after the events of this book. With that being said, I still found myself liking her character. The other element that I surprisingly liked was the budding romance between Ellie and Nick. I am usually not a fan of romance in my cozy mysteries, but the author made it work quite well here. I am interested to see where she plans to go with that in future books. So yea, this turned out to be a delightful read. Bring on book two!
    more
  • Gail C.
    January 1, 1970
    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 contin 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.
    more
  • LORI CASWELL
    January 1, 1970
    Dollycas’s ThoughtsIn this 1st book of this series, we meet Eleanor Wilde, a self-proclaimed fake medium. She is a ghost hunter that doesn’t believe in ghosts. Eleanor is turning peoples fears into profits to help pay the bills for her sister in a long-term care facility. Her current job takes her to a musty old castle in England. Nicholas Hartford III doesn’t believe in ghosts either but he is hoping Ellie can convince his mother that her ghost, Xavier has left the building. Ellie is up for the Dollycas’s ThoughtsIn this 1st book of this series, we meet Eleanor Wilde, a self-proclaimed fake medium. She is a ghost hunter that doesn’t believe in ghosts. Eleanor is turning peoples fears into profits to help pay the bills for her sister in a long-term care facility. Her current job takes her to a musty old castle in England. Nicholas Hartford III doesn’t believe in ghosts either but he is hoping Ellie can convince his mother that her ghost, Xavier has left the building. Ellie is up for the job but the rest of the Hartford, staff, family and their guest takes crazy to a whole new level. She is surprised by her accommodations and the food served is horrible, but she needs the money and she is not a quitter. Even after she stumbles upon a real dead body she doesn’t give up. In fact, solving a real murder could be quite interesting . . . if she lives to tell about it.I really enjoyed the twist of a ghost hunter that knows she is a fake even though her customers may not. I also enjoyed the way this character evolved throughout the story. We learn why she has this job. People will pay exorbitant amounts of money to have “ghosts” removed from their lives and she has a very good reason for needing the money. A strong woman with fantastic observation skills that has not had an easy life, but still has a great sense of humor. She also has a connection, a secret, something I truly appreciated.Enter Nicholas Hartford III who has his own motives for employing Ellis’s services. This character made me feel a gambit of emotions as the story continued. His mother was a very interesting character and at times made me laugh out loud. The rest of the supporting characters are all cleverly created and help to take this mystery through many twists and turns.The castle is a fun setting for the book. The staircases, hidden spaces, long hallways, rooms, and gardens all have a truly creepy feel.The story unfolds at a perfect pace and like our protagonist has many layers. The story was much more than I expected and was full of surprises. Especially the very end. So much happens within the pages and I found myself slowing down to savor the story to be sure I did not miss a single thing. At points the word that popped into my head was mayhem. I learned quickly to really expect the unexpected. This time a cat plays a crucial role. A cat we didn’t even meet until we were well into this story.I was surprised by how much I came to care about Ellie and her sister Winnie. Her brother played a part too, but I was very attuned to the sisters.If you love mysteries cozy or traditional this is a fun read you really need to pick up today. It is really different from the usual cozies I read.I am very excited about this series and where the author will take Ellie next after the way the book concluded. Potions Are for Pushovers will be released next December. I hate having to wait that long but if this story was any indication it will be well worth the wait.
    more
  • ABCme
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Netgalley and Kensington Books for the ARCEllie Wilde is a ghosthunter who doesn't believe in ghosts. However, she does believe she can help her clients get peace of mind from whatever it is that's haunting them. Faking the tricks of the trade, she's made quite a name for herself. Then one day when visiting her twin sister in a care facility, she's whisked away by this stranger, Nicholas, to join him at Castle Hartford in England, supposedly to help his family get rid of their ghost. E Thank you Netgalley and Kensington Books for the ARCEllie Wilde is a ghosthunter who doesn't believe in ghosts. However, she does believe she can help her clients get peace of mind from whatever it is that's haunting them. Faking the tricks of the trade, she's made quite a name for herself. Then one day when visiting her twin sister in a care facility, she's whisked away by this stranger, Nicholas, to join him at Castle Hartford in England, supposedly to help his family get rid of their ghost. Ellie agrees, while not believing a thing about there being a ghost. But from the moment she arrives this beast is on a rampage, causing havoc in the castle, almost taking our ghosthunter down.Ellie's a really good investigator though and pretty soon all family members are suspects. The mystery turns into murder, adding another exciting level to the story. The writing is fluent, taking the reader deep into the secrets of the Hartford family. I laughed out loud at Ellies hilarious train of thought. I enjoyed the telepathic contact she has with her twin sister back in The States. I loved the banter with her brother. The book tells of family bonds, the good and bad, the joy and sadness. It ends with an unexpected twist.'Séances are for suckers' is a fun read, filled with quirky characters and one very clever cat. I'm looking forward to more Ellie Wilde adventures.
    more
  • Shelly
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of the best cozies I have read! I had my doubts at first because initially the main character, Eleanor, came off as a bit unlikable for a cozy character. She is a psychic swindler with some harsh world views, but as the story progresses the author adds layers and complexities to Ellie. She quickly becomes quite relatable. She is devoted, intelligent and making the best out of the cards life has dealt her. Rarely are main characters painted with so many layers in a cozy mystery. The m This is one of the best cozies I have read! I had my doubts at first because initially the main character, Eleanor, came off as a bit unlikable for a cozy character. She is a psychic swindler with some harsh world views, but as the story progresses the author adds layers and complexities to Ellie. She quickly becomes quite relatable. She is devoted, intelligent and making the best out of the cards life has dealt her. Rarely are main characters painted with so many layers in a cozy mystery. The mystery unfolded seamlessly and the twists and turns kept coming. I looked forward to picking the book back up every time I was forced to set it down. Five stars.
    more
  • Caitlyn Lynch
    January 1, 1970
    Madame Eleanor Wilde is a con artist, and like all the best con artists, she knows the best way to con someone is to show them exactly what they expect to see. She’s a very successful medium and ghost exorcist, and when she’s hired to go to England by an intriguing aristocrat who knows exactly what she is and wants to hire her to con his mother, she can’t quite resist the challenge.Nothing is quite as it seems at the Hartford Estate, though. And when a real dead body turns up, Ellie starts to th Madame Eleanor Wilde is a con artist, and like all the best con artists, she knows the best way to con someone is to show them exactly what they expect to see. She’s a very successful medium and ghost exorcist, and when she’s hired to go to England by an intriguing aristocrat who knows exactly what she is and wants to hire her to con his mother, she can’t quite resist the challenge.Nothing is quite as it seems at the Hartford Estate, though. And when a real dead body turns up, Ellie starts to think maybe she’s in over her head.This was such a fun read! Ellie’s cynicism and the way she read people made her so relatable and funny, and it was obvious she and Nicholas were striking sparks off each other right from the start. A cozy mystery with a healthy dollop of romantic comedy, I was giggling more than a few times while reading. There’s a fair bit of real emotion there too, because the reason why Ellie chooses to make a living conning people is to raise funds to keep her comatose sister Winnie in a comfortable care home. A triplet, Winnie and her brother Liam are the only people who really matter to Ellie, and her love for them and determination to do what’s right by those who need her most was genuinely heart-warming.I absolutely loved this, and I really hope to read more Ellie Wilde books in the future. She’s a warm, funny, relatable heroine. I could wish for a bit more insight into Nicholas, her love interest, but since this is told in the first person from Ellie’s point of view, perhaps we’ll come to know him better in future books. Five stars.Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.
    more
  • Jeri
    January 1, 1970
    This book was cute. Having a major paranormal twist to it was a plus for me. Eleanor Wilde works as a psychic so she can afford to pay for her sisters care. When she's asked to go to England to get rid of a ghost by a wealthy man she can't resist. Even though they both know she is a fake and things aren't always as they seem. But this case is a bit different and there is more to the story than at first glance. Ellie will have to put herself in a bit of danger to uncover what is really going on i This book was cute. Having a major paranormal twist to it was a plus for me. Eleanor Wilde works as a psychic so she can afford to pay for her sisters care. When she's asked to go to England to get rid of a ghost by a wealthy man she can't resist. Even though they both know she is a fake and things aren't always as they seem. But this case is a bit different and there is more to the story than at first glance. Ellie will have to put herself in a bit of danger to uncover what is really going on in this drafty estate.I was given an eARC by the publisher through NetGalley.
    more
  • Rima Aiello
    January 1, 1970
    This book had it all! I strong story line, great settings, super funny main character, and a plot line that is just different enough to stand out! I really did love everything about this story, it was different which was a nice breath of fresh air. I love that the main character was quirky in a way that wasn't annoying at all. I had a hard time putting it down, it was just that good. I hope to see a lot more in this series!
    more
  • Lisa Leone-campbell
    January 1, 1970
    Eleanor (Ellie) Wilde has an interesting profession. She rids houses of ghosts. She is a ghost hunter. Some call her a medium others like her brother Liam call her a fake. Ellie Wilde is a fake ghost hunter, Thus begins the book Seances Are for Suckers by Tamara Berry. Ellie, who is the breadwinner of their small family...only because her brother Liam decided to go into a real profession as a teacher... financially supports their other sister Winnie, (they are triplets), who has been in a catato Eleanor (Ellie) Wilde has an interesting profession. She rids houses of ghosts. She is a ghost hunter. Some call her a medium others like her brother Liam call her a fake. Ellie Wilde is a fake ghost hunter, Thus begins the book Seances Are for Suckers by Tamara Berry. Ellie, who is the breadwinner of their small family...only because her brother Liam decided to go into a real profession as a teacher... financially supports their other sister Winnie, (they are triplets), who has been in a catatonic state since a terrible accident years ago.After her last exhausting exorcism Ellie is on her way to Mexico for some relaxation when she is hired by Nicholas Hartford a wealthy Englishman who flies her out to his ancestral estate in England to help his mother who believes there is a ghost (Xavier) whispering in her ear and wreaking havoc on the family,Estate life is not all that it is cut out to be as we see at the Hartford Estate. The place is cold, dark and falling apart. The family pinch pennies and food is a necessity not a luxury. But the sherry does flow freely! And needless to say there are a cast of characters; Vivian, the aged mother who hears but does not see Xavier the ghost, Rachel the niece a teenager who is virtually a shut in, Fern the sister of Nicholas whose beauty is truly superficial, Cal, Fern's wealthy boyfriend and of course, Thomas the butler/handyman.Things immediately begin to go bump in the night and mayhem ensues. All but Nicholas thinks she is a real ghost hunter. Ellie must use her "powers" to figure out just who is ghosting who and how. And just how many ghost could there possibly be?Anyone who enjoyed the Ellie Haskell series by Dorothy Cannell will enjoy this heartfelt, very funny quirky story with some romance and craziness thrown in.I hope this is the first in a series of Ellie Wilde books. The book will be out October 30. For more book reviews please visit my book blog at Lisascubby.com. Happy reading!
    more
  • Kristin Cochran Schadler
    January 1, 1970
    Awesome book. Very different from the usual cozy mystery, but very intriguing. The ending was intense and constantly kept you guessing. Loved the characters, loved the connection to her other siblings. Really fun read! Can't wait to read more.
  • Kristina
    January 1, 1970
    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 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.
    more
  • Diane Hernandez
    January 1, 1970
    Séances are for Suckers is a humorous take on old school romantic mysteries like The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart.Ellie is the youngest of a set of triplets. On her eighteenth birthday, her mother is killed and her sister descends into a vegetative state. Her brother is an elementary school gym teacher. To earn the money for her sister’s long-term care, Ellie works as a fake medium. Ridding families of their ghosts frequently means more psychological than psychic assistance.When Nicholas approac Séances are for Suckers is a humorous take on old school romantic mysteries like The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart.Ellie is the youngest of a set of triplets. On her eighteenth birthday, her mother is killed and her sister descends into a vegetative state. Her brother is an elementary school gym teacher. To earn the money for her sister’s long-term care, Ellie works as a fake medium. Ridding families of their ghosts frequently means more psychological than psychic assistance.When Nicholas approaches Ellie with a project, she can’t resist even though Nicholas knows she is a fake. He wants Ellie to prove to his elderly mother that her ghost, Xavier, is someone’s childish game.Once at the family’s ancient estate, Ellie suspects everyone including Nicholas of causing the ghostly events. It doesn’t help that Nicholas is devilishly handsome and apparently rich too. Plus there is the man-of-all-work, Thomas, who is equally handsome but so much less complicated than Nicholas. When Ellie literally stumbles over a corpse who is gone before she returns with help, Ellie begins to believe that this particular ghost may be real.I actually liked the romance more than the mystery. Like Ellie, I started to feel like part of the family and really wanted it not to be an intentional fake haunting for profit. Séances are for Suckers is a very enjoyable romantic read perfect for a cozy night in with only your cat (or dog, if you are one of those people) for company. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars!Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for an advance copy.
    more
  • Penny Noble
    January 1, 1970
    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, re 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! I was provided the e-book which I voluntarily reviewed.
    more
  • Lisa Morin
    January 1, 1970
    The title really intrigued me, so I had high hopes for this book.Unfortunately, I had a hard time engaging with any of the characters and the story did not grab my attention.I volunteered to read and review an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.
    more
  • Toni Laliberte
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed the story, characters, setting and humor, of this cozy mystery. Had good heart too, about siblings. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
  • Jessica Smith
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Eleanor Wilde advertises herself a psychic medium, and comes highly recommended. However, there's one thing a little bit different about Eleanor, she is a complete skeptic when it comes to the supernatural. She employs tricks of the trade in order to convince her clients that she has in fact helped a restless spirit move on and vacate their house, and if she can smash an expensive bottle of wine fr I received a copy of this book from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Eleanor Wilde advertises herself a psychic medium, and comes highly recommended. However, there's one thing a little bit different about Eleanor, she is a complete skeptic when it comes to the supernatural. She employs tricks of the trade in order to convince her clients that she has in fact helped a restless spirit move on and vacate their house, and if she can smash an expensive bottle of wine from her collection in the process as part of her cleansing, even better. Her belief is put to the test when Nicholas Hartford finds her at Happy Acres, where her comatose sister resides, and asks for her help to cleanse his family castle in England. Nicholas knows that she's a fraud, but still wants to hire her so that his mother will give up with believing in Xavier, the supposed restless spirit. Reluctantly Ellie agrees to take the job and finds herself in good old England. This job isn't the same as her others, she finds that she doesn't need to employ her usual "haunting" tricks, because someone else is doing it for her. When she comes across a dead body in the kitchen, that disappears as soon as she runs for help, she finds herself embroiled in a murder mystery that makes her appear delusional. Who was the murdered man? Is Xavier real? And is she really hearing her sister's spirit voice talking to her for the first time in a decade? Only time will tell, and time is running out. I found this to be a truly refreshing foray into the psychic medium and supernatural world, the fact the Eleanor is a complete skeptic lends a freshness to the genre that I feel can get a bit stale at times. I love that the author has included a lot of the cold reading in Eleanor's character that is prevalent in majority of the 'psychic' practitioners around. Eleanor was fantastic at making her clients believe in what she did and what she could do for them. Yes, she offered a kind of comfort, which can be a big part of it, but she also swindled them out of a lot of money for her "cleanses". The story itself, I really enjoyed, I found myself completely immersed and taken along for a fantastic ride. The whole time I was wondering, is Xavier real? Or is this actually the cause of someone living in Hartford castle, I felt as lost and clueless and Eleanor. I was excited at the prospect that maybe Eleanor was wrong, and she really IS a psychic medium who can convene with the dead. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire mystery surrounding this story, and felt that it was all brought together and tied up at the end beautifully. I really enjoyed the characters as well. Eleanor was an easygoing, relatable character, after all, she may be in a slightly dishonest line of work, but she's doing it for a good cause. Ellie does what she does purely to give her comatose sister Winnie, the best that she possibly can. Making sure that Winnie can stay at Happy Acres, which is more that suitable, is Ellie's prime care, nothing else matters as much as this. Her brother Liam isn't as enthusiastic in Ellie's line of work, but he can understand her driving need to look after their sister. I loved Rachel, a teenager who's never aloud to leave the house pretty much, she is overexcited when Eleanor comes calling, and gets swept up in believing that Ellie is the real deal. I enjoyed how blase Nick was, he knew Ellie was a fraud, but was incredibly interested in how she was going to pull of her normal charades. The mystery was done incredibly well, I had no idea who done it, right up until the reveal, when all of a sudden, so much came to light and suddenly everything made sense. I found myself unsure of who to trust and who to run away from, which I found fantastic. I'm really looking forward to see what comes next, and can't wait for the next installment.
    more
  • Lenissa Davis
    January 1, 1970
    The moment I picked this up I knew I wouldn't be able to put this down. The author can tell a story good and leave you wanting to continue on because you just have to know what's going to happen next. While visiting her sister in a home, a client, Nicholas, interrupts their 'talk' by wanting to hire her so she can put this ghost talk of Xavier out of his mother's mind. Shortly after Ellie hops on a plane to England and makes her way to Hartford Castle. There we meet Rachel, Nicholas's niece, F The moment I picked this up I knew I wouldn't be able to put this down. The author can tell a story good and leave you wanting to continue on because you just have to know what's going to happen next. While visiting her sister in a home, a client, Nicholas, interrupts their 'talk' by wanting to hire her so she can put this ghost talk of Xavier out of his mother's mind. Shortly after Ellie hops on a plane to England and makes her way to Hartford Castle. There we meet Rachel, Nicholas's niece, Fern, his sister, Cal, Ferns beau, and Vivian, the mother. Ellie had it all figured out, thinking it's one of the family members or Cal, but after getting to know them she's not so sure. Just like Ellie I had in mind who's doing the 'haunting', but it was way different than hers, even when she revealed who she thought it was like. I was like "Oh yeah, that made sense, even though you convinced it wasn't." Around the 90% things started to really get good that it was making me so nervous. I was confused for the most part until it was explained. The ship in this book...baby Cheesezus, the ship in this book makes me so happy. I haven't felt this way about a ship in so long. So thanks for that. All the characters in here are my favorite, okay maybe Rachel is my favorite by far, but still. They have their own personalities and backstories that aren't flimsy you know. Their relationships to one another is great to see unfold and seeing the results of certain things being revealed coming to light. Tamara had me believing everyone was in on it and I'm just...no words. The writing and the story telling is so good. I'm looking forward to reading more books from her.
    more
  • Laura Reading
    January 1, 1970
    Before I write my review I want to beg Tamara Berry - PLEASE write the next book in this series quickly. I want to read it ASAP!!!I was immediately drawn into this book and only tore myself away when the dog could not wait any longer to get outside. This book will make you smile. It will make you laugh. It will make you GASP and wonder what is going on! And then the major twist... made me do a double-take, or at least pause and flip back to see if I really understood how that could happen.Madame Before I write my review I want to beg Tamara Berry - PLEASE write the next book in this series quickly. I want to read it ASAP!!!I was immediately drawn into this book and only tore myself away when the dog could not wait any longer to get outside. This book will make you smile. It will make you laugh. It will make you GASP and wonder what is going on! And then the major twist... made me do a double-take, or at least pause and flip back to see if I really understood how that could happen.Madame Eleanor Wilde is not a real psychic medium. She is a creative problem solver. Then again, don't we ALL have a bit of psychic ability? You could argue that she is just more observant than most. I fell in love with her from the very beginning, felt sympathy for her brother Liam. I was surprised how deeply I came to care for Winnie. (Not to do a spoiler but I was relieved in the very end.) Which is why I want the next book NOW!Nicholas is another matter. He knows from the start that Ellie's powers are not "real" which is precisely why he seeks her out. At first I was amused by him, then confused, then annoyed, etc. He did take my emotions on a bit of a ride. There are other secondary characters who will also muddy the waters for a bit. Talk about a dysfunctional family!Do not peek ahead. Enjoy this story just as it unfolds. Have fun with it.I have discovered a new favorite series.
    more
  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    This series is off to a great start. I hope it has a long run, it's that good. Ellie is a ghost hunter who doesn't believe in ghosts but, hey, a girl has to make a living. Her sister is in a coma with huge medical costs and her brother is a teacher - they are triplets. Some would call her a con artist but that's the way it goes. Her clients are okay with it. After finishing an exorcism, she has not even had time to catch her breath when a wealthy Englishman approaches her to come with him to Eng This series is off to a great start. I hope it has a long run, it's that good. Ellie is a ghost hunter who doesn't believe in ghosts but, hey, a girl has to make a living. Her sister is in a coma with huge medical costs and her brother is a teacher - they are triplets. Some would call her a con artist but that's the way it goes. Her clients are okay with it. After finishing an exorcism, she has not even had time to catch her breath when a wealthy Englishman approaches her to come with him to England and rid his family home of the resident ghost, Xavier. (He is offering lots of money to take the gig. and Ellie really needs the money) .Well, at least his mother believes in the ghost, . Now Ellie and Nicholas, the Englishman who hired her, know she is a fake but others in the family believe. I'm reminded of "it takes a con to catch a con". Fine, until a dead body turns up. Can Ellie figure it out, ghost or no ghost? I'm not going to give anything away that would spoil it.It's a refreshing mix of cozy mystery, humor, paranormal and a bit of romance. Ellie is quite a character and I liked her from the very start. She made me stay up way, way past my bedtime, always the sign of a well written book. More, please.My thanks to the publisher, Kensington and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
    more
  • Book
    January 1, 1970
    This new series featuring Eleanor Wilde, a ghost hunting cleanser, is somewhat unusual and very interesting. Seems Eleanor now uses the theatrical effects expected of medium/psychic types, since good investigative techniques apparently disappointed her clients when she found mundane reasons for their “spirits”.After an especially dramatic purification ritual, Eleanor is approached by Nicholas Hartford III to come to Castle Hartford, his family’s ancestral estate, to get rid of Xavier, a ghost th This new series featuring Eleanor Wilde, a ghost hunting cleanser, is somewhat unusual and very interesting. Seems Eleanor now uses the theatrical effects expected of medium/psychic types, since good investigative techniques apparently disappointed her clients when she found mundane reasons for their “spirits”.After an especially dramatic purification ritual, Eleanor is approached by Nicholas Hartford III to come to Castle Hartford, his family’s ancestral estate, to get rid of Xavier, a ghost that whispers in his mother’s ear. Interesting note: Nicholas knows Eleanor puts on a show, but actually gets to the bottom of any “spiritual” mystery, his primary requirement.Playing along with Eleanor’s mystic persona for his mother Vivian’s sake, Nicholas brings Eleanor to England to ferret out Xavier. When Eleanor begins exploring the castle, looking for signs of Xavier, she stumbles across a dead body that mysteriously disappears when she goes for help. However, a decades old skeleton, is found in the hideaway under the back stairs where Eleanor found the fresh dead body.A well-thought out mystery complete with relatable characters, Seances Are for Suckers is a fun and engaging read, the outcome somewhat unexpected.
    more
  • Kendrea Parsons
    January 1, 1970
    It's not often that I find a mystery that I just don't want to put down for anything, but Seances are for Suckers by Tamara Berry definitely falls into that category. I would've read it all in less than a day, but I had to eat and sleep eventually. I loved Ellie, a.k.a. Madame Eleanor. The author made her seem so real. She was funny, but also serious when she needed to be. The other characters were very well-developed, too. I also really loved how the story wasn't predominantly a murder mystery. It's not often that I find a mystery that I just don't want to put down for anything, but Seances are for Suckers by Tamara Berry definitely falls into that category. I would've read it all in less than a day, but I had to eat and sleep eventually. I loved Ellie, a.k.a. Madame Eleanor. The author made her seem so real. She was funny, but also serious when she needed to be. The other characters were very well-developed, too. I also really loved how the story wasn't predominantly a murder mystery. It reminded me a lot of a Nancy Drew book, but for adults. The plot was mostly trying to figure out the source of the ghost haunting a family's castle. A dead body and murder didn't even factor in until right around the middle of the book. Now, normally I don't like for the murder part of a murder mystery to take that long, but the author did such a fantastic job crafting the ghost mystery part of the plot that I didn't mind. I truly cannot wait for the next book in this series. I hope there are many more because I'm already attached to Ellie and can't wait to see what happens in future books.Note: I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.
    more
  • Sandra
    January 1, 1970
    Seances Are for Suckers by Tamara Berry is the first what appears to be a fantastically fun and entertaining new series.Although I am not a fan of paranormal, cover and short description seemed very interesting and I decided to give it a go, and I am so happy I did.It started light and easy, almost as a paranormal parody, morphed into a very touching tale of family and sibling relations, ghost story with a touch of romance.Ellie is a fake medium who rids people's houses of ghosts. Not a dream jo Seances Are for Suckers by Tamara Berry is the first what appears to be a fantastically fun and entertaining new series.Although I am not a fan of paranormal, cover and short description seemed very interesting and I decided to give it a go, and I am so happy I did.It started light and easy, almost as a paranormal parody, morphed into a very touching tale of family and sibling relations, ghost story with a touch of romance.Ellie is a fake medium who rids people's houses of ghosts. Not a dream job but her sister is seriously ill and needs to be kept in an expensive institution that Ellie pays for.A very rich English gent hires her to help him get his mother's home free of the ghost. Even though he knows she is fake.Full of humor and extremely interesting bits and pieces about the medium trade, with many laugh out loud moments, full of witty retorts and an exciting and cleverly disguised mystery.Eccentric but likable characters, gloomy and spooky setting as befits the genre with a cleverly written story this is the perfect cozy mystery choice.I received an ARC copy from NetGalley and Kensington Books for an honest review.
    more
  • Edel
    January 1, 1970
    Eleanor Wilde is the main character of the story , she is a fake medium with the good luck of actually being very perceptive . Eleanor is a triplet and is very close to her siblings William and Winnie , one of which is in a home , her family keep her rooted and her relationship with Winnie is especially touching . When asked by a very unlikely believer to come to a Castle in England to work her magic and get rid of a ghost , Eleanor jumps at the chance and gets more then she bargained for across Eleanor Wilde is the main character of the story , she is a fake medium with the good luck of actually being very perceptive . Eleanor is a triplet and is very close to her siblings William and Winnie , one of which is in a home , her family keep her rooted and her relationship with Winnie is especially touching . When asked by a very unlikely believer to come to a Castle in England to work her magic and get rid of a ghost , Eleanor jumps at the chance and gets more then she bargained for across the pond . I loved Eleanor , she is a smart cookie and not afraid to take a few risks when she is on the tail of a mystery . The setting was brilliant , a big old castle in England where more then a few things go bump in the night , I loved every minute! I recommend this to all mystery fans .I received this book from Netgalley for review.This book is being published October 30th and will then be available for purchase whereever good books are sold .
    more
  • Leah Green
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book as an ARC. This is the story of Madame Eleanor Wilde. Ellie, as she likes to be called, is a pretend medium. She pretends to commune with the dead. That is her means to an end. Her job. A well paid con artist. However she actually does help rid people of whatever is causing their particular haunting. So she actually performs her job. Just not in the capacity her employers believe. Ellie is visiting her invalid sister. At her long term care facility. When she is approached by I received this book as an ARC. This is the story of Madame Eleanor Wilde. Ellie, as she likes to be called, is a pretend medium. She pretends to commune with the dead. That is her means to an end. Her job. A well paid con artist. However she actually does help rid people of whatever is causing their particular haunting. So she actually performs her job. Just not in the capacity her employers believe. Ellie is visiting her invalid sister. At her long term care facility. When she is approached by Nicholas Hartford III. He wants to hire Ellie to sleuth out who is behind the haunting at his family ancestral estate. Money talks. Curiosity wins. This book is endearing. It was comical as well as mysterious. Very much a humorous Agatha Christie type novel. I loved the characters. Especially Cal and Rachel. Very entertaining. I can't wait to read future novels about Madame Eleanor Wilde.
    more
  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    Right up front- Ellie is a con artist- but she's a con artist for a reason. She's supporting her sister Winnie, who is comatose and in a care facility. Normally exorcising ghosts is a sorta easy way to make some money (even if her brother Liam does not approve.). This time she thinks working for Nicholas Hartford at his grand family home in the UK to rid it of the ghost Xavier is going to be cake (and sort of a nice break.). NOT! There are some interesting twists and turn here as Ellie discovers Right up front- Ellie is a con artist- but she's a con artist for a reason. She's supporting her sister Winnie, who is comatose and in a care facility. Normally exorcising ghosts is a sorta easy way to make some money (even if her brother Liam does not approve.). This time she thinks working for Nicholas Hartford at his grand family home in the UK to rid it of the ghost Xavier is going to be cake (and sort of a nice break.). NOT! There are some interesting twists and turn here as Ellie discovers that there's more to the story. There's all sorts of family secrets and dynamics which she must deal with to make things right. There's more to this whole story as Ellie is more well rounded than many cozy heroines. Thanks to net galley for the ARC. This was a unique and entertaining read (and the paranormal part never gets too woohoo.)
    more
  • Susan Edmondson
    January 1, 1970
    This was a great start to a new series and I cannot wait until the next one comes out. Ellie is a "psychic" who does not believe in the paranormal. She start as a ghost hunter in the past but clients did not like being told that they were not being haunted by a ghost but had mundane problems. The perfect case came her way with a client who knew she was a fake. He hired her to get rid of his fake ghost in his castle. The plot and storyline keeps you so interested in finding out who is the ghost. This was a great start to a new series and I cannot wait until the next one comes out. Ellie is a "psychic" who does not believe in the paranormal. She start as a ghost hunter in the past but clients did not like being told that they were not being haunted by a ghost but had mundane problems. The perfect case came her way with a client who knew she was a fake. He hired her to get rid of his fake ghost in his castle. The plot and storyline keeps you so interested in finding out who is the ghost. Their is a side mystery of a murder also that Ellie decides she has to solve as well as finding the ghost.
    more
  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't really like any of the characters and I thought Eleanor could have handled things better than she did. She's supposed to be relatively savvy. There was also a few elements that we're introduced but not developed, though the ending leads one to think that they'll be addressed in the next book.I'm curious enough to give the next book a shot, but I'm not eager.I received my copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
    more
  • Kylene
    January 1, 1970
    My rating is more like a 4.5. I loved this book except for a few things towards the end that could have been a little clearer. With a few exceptions, many of the cozy mysteries I've read have been similar. This one is different. I liked that Ellie had a different type of job than most and wasn't as prone to do really stupid things for absolutely no reason. Although not really spooky, I enjoyed the paranormal aspect as well. I am looking forward to the next book in the series!
    more
  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Tamara Berry, Kensington Books, and Netgalley for the pre-pub access.I really liked this book much more than I expected I would. Based on the synopsis and the cover, I expected a fun/silly read, which it was, but it was also smart, self-aware even, in places where the characters didn't fall into cliches. It's definitely a series I will keep my eye out for in the future!
    more
Write a review