Death by Séance

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 14 Jun 2018

Member Reviews

This is the 3rd installment in the Ghost and Abby series. Abby is single mom with a sense of purpose and the senses of a witch. She didn't start out as one but she is quickly mastering the skills. I enjoyed reading about Abby and her crazy Mom life that includes a ghost for a boyfriend, a male-witch for a mentor who is also a distraction, a medium for a friend, and a whole cast of zany characters. A town with ghosts, witches, vamps, and the like and Abby works as a janitor in a haunted tearoom at night and as a PI during the day. She leads a complicated life but handles it as simply as she can and puts her family first and friends next. Which is what lies at the crux of this mystery when she gets guilted by her friend Joy, to take part in a first time séance that ends up with a dead body but no ghost. Abby is hired by Joy's seductive vampire boyfriend to solve the mystery of the slit secretary. The book had a Charlene Harris feel to it and I was thinking that Abby was going to be like Sokie but instead she was more of an Aura which pleasantly surprised me. So glad I didn't prejudge and finished the book.
Was this review helpful?
This was a new to me author. Third book in the series and I'm not sure I missed much. You get the basics given to you like how she got her house and whatnot but you aren't given massive spoilers. There were a few typos, just enough to be noticable but not enough to aggravate you. Parts toward the end rubbed me wrong. I think the Erik storyline went a bit darkside. This book was an odd combination of light hearted and darkness with daily life thrown in. I guess who the baddie was early on and was right but the why was different than I had thought. Lots of Harry Potter, Charlaine Harris, and other pop culture references made for an authentic and believable world. It helped to give dimension to Abby's character and her kids had me laughing. In all, this was a satisfying read and I enjoyed it. 

Thank you to NetGalley, JRT Publications, and Jo-Ann Carson for allowing me the opportunity to read this book and share my honest opinion with others.
Was this review helpful?
Death by Seance by Jo Ann Carson is the 3rd  book in A Ghost & Abby Mystery series, and it is a lot of fun.  Abby Jenkins is a widowed mom of three children who can talk to both the living and the dead.  Abby's boyfriend just happens to be a ghost, and she is a janitor in a haunted house.   This book is a quick, crazy, and funny read, that I could not put down.  I am anxiously waiting the next book in the series.   

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I just could not get into this one. I liked the description and idea of the book.

Not being a Harry Potter fan, maybe I should have been tipped off by the chapter quotes.
Was this review helpful?
I started this book three times hoping I would like it.   I like the premise but was put off by the actual story.   This is a very specific genre and I know many will enjoy the series.
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely loved this paranormal mystery! This was cozy and cute. This was so much fun to read. You have a paranormal mystery love story lol. That's the best way I can describe it. I haven't read the previous books in this series but I really want to now. Thank you to netgalley for allowing me to review this.
Was this review helpful?
Paranormal Romance for single mothers

Spoiler-ific review

I was given this book for free for the purpose of review.

Let’s start with the goods parts of this book.

I liked Abby. She’s a single mother of three children, struggling to get by as a night janitor/Private Investigator while raising toddlers. Her interactions with her children were the beating heart and soul of this story. Doing everything from spoiling them with pancakes to reading them bedtime stories, Abby was a very motherly main character.

I also liked the idea the story was advertised as. The concept of a Cozy Mystery Urban Fantasy has so much potential. The murder itself was a prototypical closed-room mystery: at a Seance the lights go out, and when they come back on someone is dead.

I liked Spark, Abby’s angry spirit animal/lynx familiar. Constantly insulting Abby and providing color commentary for the situation at hand, Spark was a hoot to have around.

I liked the author’s casual prose. Carson used a very personable style to write her book, relying on informal speech in her narrative sections. I liked it as a breathe of fresh air.

I enjoyed how the author was unafraid to show her influences on her sleeve. With constant references to Harry Potter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and TruBlood, the author shows she knows her audience.

Okay, now to discuss what I didn’t really like.

The mystery wasn’t very… mysterious. I grew up reading Sherlock Holmes, Nero Wolfe, Hercule Poirot, Amelia Peabody, Jim Qwilleran and Goldie Han. I’ve read a lot of mystery books, so when I say the mystery was lacking I come from the perspective of someone who’s sampled the breadth of the genre. The main character solved the mystery via intuition, by following her gut. And you know what? That’s awful to read about. I like ‘fair play mysteries,’ mysteries which the audience can puzzle out for themselves. There was no way for me the reader to puzzle out the villain, because the main piece of evidence Abby used to solve the crime was the main character’s intuition.

Second, I need to make an admission: I don’t like Paranormal Romances. I’ve been burned in the past, when two of my favorite Urban Fantasy series transitioned  into Paranormal Romances and the protagonists suddenly got a lot less interesting. Far be it from me to tell authors how to write, but after a certain point I get fed up reading about main characters who are stuck in love polyhedrons. This book contained a lot of emotional torment for Abby trying to decide between two perspective lovers. If you like Paranormal Romances, then you would view this as a positive and not a negative.

Finally I did not like the protagonist’s miscarried pregnancy which occurred halfway through this book. Up until this point I was mostly enjoying the story as a slightly fun, slightly silly story about a woman trying to solve a murder at a freaking Seance. So when the miscarriage happened it ruined what was promising to be a cheerful and innocent story with a woman’s horrible trauma. It was at this point I really stopped innocently enjoying reading this.

Are you a mystery reader? Than this book probably won’t be for you. But if you like Paranormal Romances, then chances are you would like this book.

Stay Sunny!
Was this review helpful?
This book is definitely a wonderful read I can't wait to read more from jo-ann Carson. I stared this book and after a few pages I was hooked i am so honored I was given a chance to read this book. You will not be disappointed when you read it for yourself. I hope this review is helpful to you. I tend not to give spoilers I feel it ruins the book. I will say that the main will are very exciting and will pull you in and you won't be able to put this book down.
Was this review helpful?
Ebook/ARC/Paranormal Mystery:  I read this book in two sittings as it is short and I would like to thank NetGalley for a copy in lieu of an honest review.  I really, really liked the first half of the book.  While it was cute and snarky, a body hits the floor early on.  I liked that it was quick and to the point right away and that I didn't need to read the first two books to understand her love life and family life.  I really didn't understand her job because she never really ever did it.  She mostly did the sleuthing, which is okay.  She is a mom of three with one on the way, which happened in the last book.  I guess I skipped over it, but I didn't understand how pregnant she is.  

 In the second sitting, the book went from cozy to way too serious.  Abby has two life-altering events and the consequences that go with it.  This book is too short to go into such a heavy topic.  She has "Anita Blake" syndrome where everyone wants her for sex and she is almost raped.  The ending solution didn't make sense as far as the murderer's identity and motive.  Without giving anything away, it was like Abby just forgot about her life-altering event just ran out without thinking, at all.  

I went from a book that I wanted to go and find the first two books and join Abby's world to a book that was average and decided to skip this world.   If I come across any of these books, I probably will read them, but I'm not going to seek them out.  Maybe, I was really mad about the end.
Was this review helpful?
In this third book in the series, private detective - and witch - Abby Jenkins investigates a murder at a séance. The book can be read as a standalone. 

*****

Abby Jenkins, a widow with three young children, lives in the Northwest Canadian town of Sunset Cove - which is chock full of witches, vampires, ghosts, and other supernatural beings. 👻 Abby, who recently became a witch herself, works as a private detective AND a night janitor at the haunted 'Sunset Cove Teahouse' - which often smells like blackberry scones. 

Abby has two hot men in her life: her boyfriend Eric, a handsome Viking ghost; and her mentor Dante, a sexy, flirtatious man-witch. Abby also has a familiar - a smart aleck lynx named Spark who accompanies her everywhere. 😼

As the story opens, Abby is disgruntled because her friend Joy is making her attend a midnight séance at the Sunset Cove Teahouse, which is owned by Joy's aunt Azalea. Joy, who can communicate with the dead, plans to open a séance business - and she's holding a session tonight. 

The séance attendees include: Abby - the witch; Joy - the dead-person-whisperer; Elif - the vampire; Kumar - Elif's day butler; Ophelia Maserati - the fashionable would-be singer; and Ming Chan - the gorgeous woman who's dating Kumar. Joy's client is café owner Margaret Gallagher, who wants to contact her former lover Nelson. 

Shortly after the séance begins, a breeze blows through the room; darkness descends; and Abby feels an icy coldness sweep through her body. When the lights are turned back on, Kumar is dead.....stabbed in the neck. 

Abby quickly calls the local cop, Zane Reynolds, who's savvy about the otherworldly residents in Sunset Cove. While Zane is on his way over, Abby swipes a locket from Kumar's body, which may be a clue to the killer. Of course, Abby doesn't report this evidence to the police. 

Hired by Elif to find his butler's killer, Abby conducts her own investigation. Abby interviews everyone who was at the séance, but she's aware that a ghost or soul from 'the other side' - or some other powerful creature - may have committed the crime. Thus Abby has a tough job ahead of her.

Meanwhile, ghostly Eric is struggling with his conscience. Eric's mästere, Guiden, has offered to make the ethereal Viking a 'breather' (corporeal being) if Eric agrees to becomes his assassin. Eric would like a solid body so he can have sex with Abby.....but the price is very high. 

The seductive man-witch Dante also has things on his mind. He wants Abby to join him in a naked dance under the full moon - which is something witches do. Unfortunately, Eric's mother Sofia isn't happy with the woman who (she thinks) is 'beguiling' her son, and leaves Abby with a bad case of hiccups....and threats to 'melt her insides.' 😳 

I suspect Abby is destined for her share of 'man trouble' in this series. She says she's in love with Eric, but finds Dante very appealing.....and is even attracted to the sensuous vampire Elif. 

In addition to all her other activities, Abby takes care of her three kids, with help from her cousin Jill. The children are: 7-year-old Jonathan - a rambunctious skateboarder who spends a lot of time in the Emergency Room; 5-year-old Jinx - who loves her Barbies; and 2-year-old Jane - who's still mama's 'baby.' The family also has a chocolate lab named Shreddie. The domestic scenes of Abby with her family - often eating pancakes - are very endearing. 

The book has a lot of humor since Abby - and her familiar Spark - are very witty and quick with the wisecracks. Abby also proves to be a skilled detective, and I look forward to her further adventures. 🙂 

This novel is a quick read and an enjoyable paranormal cozy mystery, recommended to fans of the genre. 

Thanks to Netgalley, the author (Jo-Ann Carson) and the publisher (JRT Publications) for a copy of the book.
Was this review helpful?
I picked this book as a fun read.  It was not as enjoyable as I thought it would be.  There were to many witch's ,vampires, and ghosts,  Just about everyone in town. I liked Abby as a character, but the book just wasn't that great to me.  Thanks netgalley for giving me the opportunity to check out this author.
Was this review helpful?
I'm not a big fan of paranormal cozy mystery with witches with some exceptions like Juliet Blackwell and Morgana Best so I had no high expectations even if the plot sounded good.
I was wrong because this book is a lot of fun to read, with a cast of unusual and funny characters.
The heroine is so human and her familiar could become a favourite of mine.
I will get the other instalments in this series because I really enjoyed this one
Many thanks to JRT Publications and Netgalley for this ARC
Was this review helpful?
Abby is a witch just coming into her powers. She has started a business as a private detective. She has a lover, Eric, who is a Viking ghost. Her witch mentor, Dante, also has his eyes on her. Abby is likeable and she is a devoted friend. She works to solve a murder and later, the kidnapping of her friend. This book is a fun read with relationships you want to watch grow. Abby is quirky, Eric is brooding and Dante is funny. The characters feel like friends you want to visit.
Was this review helpful?
Death by Séance

Book 3 in the Ghost & Abby Mystery Series.

Abby is a single mum to 3 mischievous kids. She is combining family life with being a Night Janitor at a haunted tea house with a bit of detective work thrown in.
Abby’s love life is complicated dating a Viking ghost called Eric and coping with her feelings for man witch Dante.
This is a fun mystery revolving round Abby trying to solve the séance murder with help from her men.
This was enjoyable fun but watch for a few dark moments.
I would recommend reading the first 2 books in the series to relate to the characters.
I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This is a fun book. It blends the supernatural with the normal life of being a mom, janitor and PI. I didn't like the character Dante very much, he is a bit smarmy and I was saddened by the miscarrage. I would definitely read more of the series. #DeathBySéance #NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
This is the third book in the Ghost & Abby Mystery Series.  In this one, Abby's friend Joy holds a seance and during it someone is mudered.  Abby helps find the murderer while also dealing with an overly attentive witch mentor, a jealous mother & a thousand year old viking lover who is intent on trading his soul for a life with Abby.

This was a quick fun read.  The characters were enjoyable and the book was packed with lots of things going on.
Was this review helpful?
For full disclosure, I read the first book in this series, but for some reason, I didn’t read the second. I don’t think I’ve missed much, but just in case, I thought I’d disclose that. Overall, I did really like this book, but there were a couple things that did hinder my full enjoyment. First, though, the book was well-written, and it did have an interesting mystery. I liked the way Abby went about solving the mystery, and I was surprised at the end. I also really enjoyed the characters, but I do admit I was really frustrated with how Abby’s romantic life ended up (one of the hindrances). To round out, the other item that bothered me was Abby’s son; he really needed more supervision! LOL! So, other than those couple things, I really enjoyed this book, and I am interested to see what’s going to happen next. I know I was a little vague, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers. If you like light paranormal mysteries, give this one a try. Recommend! I was provided the e-book which I voluntarily reviewed.
Was this review helpful?
Glad I found this entertaining series, I've been enjoying it along with Abby and her adventures. The witch/paranormal combination is interesting depending on how it develops and this doesn't disappoint, well written , with great characters and hard to put down.
Was this review helpful?