A Haunted Mansion Mystery, Book #1
By Lucy Ness
Author Website: kylielogan.com, LucyNessAuthor (Facebook)
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
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.
Avery Morgan has had a harrowing first week on the job as manager of the Portage Path Woman’s Club. Not only is she in charge of a grand old home with a mountain of maintenance problems and scheduling nightmares–thanks to a recent fire in the Marigold meeting room–but she’s also got Muriel Sadler to deal with. Muriel is the current president of the club, the one “nay” vote when the rest of the board voted “aye” to hiring Avery.
After a morning of dealing with another one of Muriel’s snits and a meeting with the delicious and delightfully unsettling Ben Harkness, who will be handling renovations in the fire-damaged portions of the house, the last thing Avery needs is for one of the fuses to blow. Again.
She grabs her handy flashlight and heads into the basement, where she stumbles across Muriel’s body. She also stumbles across an unexpected helper, Clemmie Bow, the ghost of a young woman who was accidentally killed in the building almost a hundred years ago.
Together the Clemmie and Avery are determined to solve Muriel’s murder before the killer sends Avery to join Clemmie on the other side. (Goodreads)
Haunted Homicide is the delightful debut in the Haunted Mansion Cozy Mystery series by Lucy Ness (also known as Kylie Logan). It’s wonderful manor setting, focus on the past and present, lively ghost, fun protagonist, and intricate mystery make it a worthy read. I cannot wait to read the next book.
Avery leaves her home in upstate New York to take a job managing the Portage Path Women’s Club in Ohio, hoping for a fresh start. All but one board member, the president Muriel, voted in favor of hiring Avery, and Muriel is now out to make her life miserable. When Avery finds Muriel’s body in the club’s basement, and discovers the resident ghost Clemmie, she learns that just about everyone associated with Muriel has a motive for murder. With Clemmie’s help, she investigates to find the killer to save the club and her own future.
I really like Avery. She is the perfect balance of intelligence and curiosity without being annoyingly nosy or too stupid to live. I appreciate that she does not work against the police. Readers are introduced to local detective Oz, and whether he and Avery develop a romantic relationship remains to be seen, but their interplay is entertaining. The other characters are equally as well developed and add interesting variety to the story. I am particularly interested in learning more of Clemmie’s back story. I am sure there is a great mystery to be solved there.
Ness’s easy writing makes Muriel easy to dislike, and there are lots of clues and suspects for Avery to sort through. I vacillated between suspects and did not figure out whodunit until almost the big reveal, and I enjoyed investigating alongside Avery.
Haunted Homicide is a lot of fun, perfect for traditional and paranormal cozy readers. I look forward to many more adventures featuring Avery and Clemmie. Highly recommended.