Member Reviews

The Devil and Mrs. Davenport by Paulette Kennedy was an incredible story that I couldn’t put down.
The writing is exceptional, and the pacing is perfect, keeping readers engaged from start to finish.
The setting and dialogue are atmospheric, transporting readers back to 1950s where they can fully immerse themselves in the story.
The character’s were engaging and the haunting atmosphere created just added to the feeling of suspense and tension.
Kennedy created a haunting atmosphere throughout and tension that steadily increased as the story went on.

Thank You NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!

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What devil is worse - the known or unknown?

This book combined many of my favorite genres, with a few others sprinkled in to round out the story. It is a combination of suspense, historical, horror, paranormal, and a touch of romance.

Loretta Davenport is trapped in a marriage that has gone downhill over time. But is it her doing or her husband's fault? The answer is not that simple, and with the book set in the 1950s, there is more she has to overcome than just a bad relationship. This is a time where women were not allowed to open bank accounts without a male family member's permission and signature. That alone sends shivers down my spine. Top that with women are considered weak and crazy, it isn't hard to see why Loretta is fighting for her life and her children.

There is another twist to the story: Loretta is psychic and doesn't discover her abilities until later in life. She isn't sure what is going on, but her husband, Pete, is no help whatsoever. However, there is a psychologist who studies parapsychology, and he is able to guide her in these new abilities. It doesn't hurt that he can use her as a study subject for his field. It isn't all work for Dr. Curtis Hansen, and there is attraction and admiration for Loretta that brings them closer together.

It is hard to sum up this story in a few words or sentences. The story is gripping, and if you have ever been exposed to the Pentecostal faith and casting out of demons and such, you might understand this book a bit more. There is the time setting that works against Loretta, and then Pete's religious fanaticism causes issues for them. It is like a train wreck that you can't look away from because you know what is going to happen.

I rooted for Loretta and admired her attempts to find a way to support herself should she be able to leave her husband. It isn't easy since women aren't given high paying jobs, if they can even find one outside of the home as a housewife. But she digs down and finds a way. Top it off with these discovered psychic abilities; she is able to assist in solving several crimes. It is a good thing that some people believe in her abilities!

There are many moments that I held my breath wondering if certain situations would work out for Loretta and those around her. I also appreciated a jump forward twenty years to see where her life ended once everything was resolved.

This was a fantastic read, and we give it 5 paws up.

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This was such an engaging read, I couldn’t put it down. I ended up reading the whole book in one afternoon. The plot wasn’t surprising but everything worked well here. Especially the writing. Clear, concise, addicting in nature. Really well crafted as a story. One of those rare writers who can conjure a clear picture for the reader.

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This is yet another book I had high hopes for. There was such a compelling description. It started out interesting enough. It soon devolved not 8th the gothic style tension I expected but into a run of the mill story of a woman not being treated with respect. It felt like someone had taken one of the many books about a woman losing it and just changed the time.

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Wow, that was a ride - in the best way possible!
The story follows Loretta, a young mom in the 1950's. Living an isolated and uneventful life, with her two children and husband, until a local girl gets murdered and Loretta starts to gets visions from beyond.
This book was a mix of historical fiction, mystery and horror. I was captivated from the beginning and I can't remember a time I was that invested in a story and its characters.
The book shows the social norms and especially misogyny in the 1950's very well and it's making Loretta's life living hell. I think she was such a well rounded character and I was rooting for her and her dreams from the first minute. My heart shattered later in the book and I don't want to think about people, outside this fictional world, going through the horrors Loretta had to face.
I loved the side characters and even though this book has some very dark moments there are also equally beautiful scenes between the characters.
The Devil and Mrs. Davenport is not an easy read but if you feel ok after reading content warnings I highly recommend picking this one up. I would love to write more about this amazing novel but I also don't want to spoil the story for you, so I'll stop here. I will be thinking about this book for a long time.

Thank you to Paulette Kennedy, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

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The vintage cover and dark occult-ish 1950s setting lured me into requesting this one on Netgalley. It was an easy (if ultimately cheesy) read that took some dark turns and held my attention, but the plot was just a little too simplistic.

Loretta Davenport is a frustrated suburban housewife in 1950s Missouri, married to Pete, a Bible studies professor and religious fanatic. When Loretta begins to have visions following a dose of flu, Pete dismisses them as delusions and encourages Loretta to turn to God. Loretta seeks out the help of a parapsychologist instead to help her make sense of the visions, enraging Pete who sees it as his job to expel the devil possessing Loretta.

The book reminded me of a short story I’d have read in my mum’s Women’s Way or Reader’s Digest in the 1980s/90s, in the sense that it is well written, but fairly twee and with some quirky/bizarre elements thrown in (the crumbling house 🤷🏼‍♀️). The book has a lot to say about the role of women in society in the 1950s, even if this is a bit laboured and obvious at times. It also speaks to religious abuse, a topic as relevant today as it was in the 1950s.

If you’re looking for an easy read with a mid-century setting and a neat ending, it’s one you might enjoy.

The Devil and Mrs Davenport will be published on 7 March and available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited if you’re a subscriber. Thank you to the publisher Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley for the arc. As always, this js an honest review.

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This book is so good, I almost read it in a one day.
I’ve always been interested in ESP. I like to think it’s a gift from God and not the devil. Parts of this book really made me mad and I felt for Loretta. In this day and age I couldn’t imagine having to have your husband’s permission to open a bank account. Definitely recommend.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the early copy

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The Devil and Mrs. Davenport by Paulette Kennedy is a period piece from the 1950’s, but many parts of it are still relevant today. It’s unsettling, maddening, and sad that so little has changed.

There are many trigger warnings at the beginning: physical, emotional, sexual, and religious abuse; fatphobia; racism; homophobia; murder; self-harm; alcohol dependence; pregnancy; and abortion. While that seems like a lot, and it is, Kennedy was still able to write a novel that left you hopeful for the main character.

If you are looking for an excellent gothic novel, filled with feminist themes and the supernatural (and who isn’t!!!), I highly recommend The Devil and Mrs. Davenport.

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The title caught my attention. The Devil and Mrs. Davenport...what is that about? Well, I found out and it is not what I was expecting in the beginning. I have been a fan of Paulette Kennedy's books since Parting the Veil. Her books always have a spin that have you enticed from the moment you open the book. This book was no different. It had me entertained, yelling at the characters, and wanting to slap others. The story is well layered and has some triggers.

Loretta Davenport is a young mother of two. She has been married since she dropped out of high school to marry Pete. The man who is up for tenure and nothing can get in his way. Everything must be perfect. His home, his wife, his life. Loretta is there to handle the load most days. This fall she fell ill and started to have visions. She is not sure if she is imagining things or if there are actual people from the beyond trying to contact her? As more of these spells begin to occur, she needs answers, and she finds them in Dr. Curtis Hanson. A parapsychologist who believes that people can have certain abilities and reach beyond death. As Loretta grapples with this new way of life. Her eyes finally open and she sees what she needs for the first time.

I do not want to go into too much more detail and give everything away. There are some parts that can be difficult to read. The way in which women were treated during this time will make you want to throw the book against the wall. I loved watching Loretta blossom from a lonely, innocent young girl, into a woman who knows what she wants and has people backing her way. Thank you to Paulette Kennedy, Amazon Publishing, and Over the River Public Relations for my gifted copy of this captivating read.

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Loretta, a 50’s homemaker wife and mother of 2, wrestles with demons in The Devil and Mrs. Davenport. In the process of caring for her family, she loses her sense of self, all while her husband lords over every aspect of her life. He controls the finances and dictates her friendships. He limits her time, her freedom, and even the clothes she wears on her body. But when her ability to commune with the dead suddenly manifests itself after a serious bout of sickness, Loretta believes it’s a gift from God. As she channels the supernatural to help solve cold murder cases and bring closure to the victims’ families, Loretta also learns to tap into her own power to free herself and her children from the clutches of her abusive husband.

Everything, and I mean everything, about this novel is outstanding. The premise, the characters, the vintage setting, the oppressive horrors, the suspense. I was drawn into Loretta’s plight from the start, and every moment of mounting tension had me on edge with bated breath for her well being. It was maddening to think about how, even to this day, women are still fighting for every inch in a world dominated by men. Yet at the same time, also uplifting to see supportive friendships become a lifeline for rising above those challenges. That melancholic but hopeful mood stayed with me, long after I put down the novel. It speaks to the transportive quality of writing that’s just dazzling with lyricism, credibility, and compassion.

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I really enjoyed Paulette Kennedy's [book:The Witch of Tin Mountain|60864419] so I was happy to get a chance to read more from this author. She writes beautifully and is a good story weaver.

The first day of autumn brought the fever, and with the fever came the voices.

Missouri, 1955. Loretta Davenport has led an isolated life as a young mother and a wife to Pete, an ambitious assistant professor at a Bible college. They’re the picture of domestic tranquillity—until a local girl is murdered and Loretta begins receiving messages from beyond. Pete dismisses them as delusions of a fevered female imagination. Loretta knows they’re real—and frightening. Defying Pete’s demands, Loretta finds an encouraging supporter in parapsychologist Dr. Curtis Hansen. He sees a woman with a rare gift, more blessing than curse.

With Dr. Hansen’s help, Loretta’s life opens up to an empowering new purpose. But for Pete, the God-fearing image he’s worked so hard to cultivate is under threat. No longer in control of his dutiful wife, he sees the Devil at work. As Loretta’s powers grow stronger and the pleading spirits beckon, Pete is determined to deliver his wife from evil. To solve the mysteries of the dead, Loretta must first save herself.

My Thoughts:
Anyone would have been scared hearing voices. I admired Loretta's bravery going to see the parapsychologist to try to understand what was happening to her, even though her husband was dead set against it and she had to be very secretive. I certainly didn't like Loretta's husband Pete at all with his controlling manner. The book was successfully in providing a good look at women in the 1950's as well as the atmosphere of that period. The story has a distinct feminist view which totally fit the story. I would recommend to anyone who likes a good period novel.

Thanks to Lake Union Publishing through Netgalley for an advance copy. Expected publication on March 5, 2024.

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Paulette Kennedy is such a a talented writer. I have read all her books, to date, and every single one is flawless. I enjoyed this one a lot.. Loved the time period, storyline, and characters.

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This was a fantastic book!!!! Loved the exploration of the human psyche and the thin veil between reality and the unknown. Kennedy deftly examines themes of fear, belief, and the power of the supernatural to both terrify and fascinate.

It’s a spellbinding read that will leave readers enthralled and eager for more. the skill full blending of paranormal elements with a compelling mystery makes this novel a must-read for fans of the genre. With its haunting atmosphere and chilling twists, this is sure to leave a lasting impression on readers long after they’ve finished the final page.

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In 1955 Loretta Davenport is a housewife with two children. Her husband, a professor at a local Bible college, likes his wife and home a certain way; just like the expectations of the time. When Loretta recovers from a fever she finds she is hearing voices, and knowing impossible things.

This was an incredible story that I couldn’t put down! Pay attention to the trigger warnings in the beginning because you are in for a wild, and extremely frustrating, ride. It become very stressful at certain points and I was definitely biting my cuticles! I was pleased with the ending. The story did a great job showing the lack of rights women had in the time period.

“It was time to find out who she really was. To take the cold, bracing plunge into reality, and come out the other side a changed woman. The woman she was meant to be.”

The Devil and Mrs. Davenport comes out 3/5.

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THE DEVIL AND MRS DAVENPORT is a hauntingly familiar tale of a controlling, abusive marriage mixed with a murder mystery and people with extra sensitivity perception.

I would class this book more on the thriller side than the horror side, unlike Paulette Kennedy's other books. There are missing girls and murders to be solved and the desperate need for Loretta to escape before it's too late. I love seeing authors flexing their creative muscles and exploring other (sub)genres.

At its heart, this is a novel about a woman fighting to survive and escape an abusive marriage. It starts off in small ways, a controlling husband forcing a wife into a box that suits his needs and ambitions but escalates as she tries to fight back and escape him.

It's horrifying at times, both the insidious things he's doing to her and the violent acts. The writing really conveys the sense of the walls closing in, a tight feeling in your chest any time Pete is around. It's claustrophobic and terrifying, and he is the real devil of the title, and I spent the whole book wanting her to get away.

Yes, this is a historical novel using the many sexist controls of the mid century that no longer exists (like not being able open to bank account with a man's permission), but these controlling relationships still exist.

There's a switch flipped at the 2/3 mark, going from this slower, more insidious pacing of the unease to a more obvious, violent threat. It was a great moment, leading to an invigorating finale full of danger and revelation after revelation.

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This is my third Paulette Kennedy book and I think I have to accept that she isn't for me—which is disappointing because on the surface, her work ticks all my boxes! I love that she writes Gothic novels in different time periods and settings. This isn't a bad book by any means, there's nothing inherently wrong with it, but like her other two books, it just didn't speak to me. If the description appeals to you then by all means, pick this up.

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The devil and Mrs Davenport.
Paulette kennedy.


In this story we go back to mid fifties, Husbands have control. A time when the wife's had to have the husband's approval for everything. For loretta it was more than she could handle. Her husband was very selfish.

This was an absolutely amazing story. It has that wow Factor. This book is Fantastic. I would definitely recommend it. Simply because it's so Good.

What I loved about this book the most. Everything.

I loved the psychic ability in this story. Sometimes psychic abilities can help with so much. Some do not believe others do believe.

Just another fantastic book by an awesome author.. And i'm waiting for her to write another awesome story..

Thank you #Netgalley For this early read.
All thoughts are my own.
A truly enjoyed this story.


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The premise of this one drew me in right away - set in the 1950s, an isolated woman receives messages from murdered victims. They come to her in hopes of having their cases solved. But Mrs. Davenport’s husband, Pete, is an assistant professor at a Bible college and he’s convinced his wife’s visions are the work of the devil.

Not only was I completely drawn into the parapsychology of the story, I really loved Kennedy’s exploration of life in the 1950s and how oppressed women truly were back then. If they found themselves in an unhappy marriage, they were stuck. There was no such things as no-fault divorces and women couldn’t even open a bank account without their husband or another male person from their family to cosign with them.

Loretta’s struggle to escape her horrible marriage, save her children, and help the women from beyond combined for a page-turning read that held me captive until the very end!

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I requested this book totally on a whim and wasn't quite sure what to expect. I LOVED it!! It follows a 1950's housewife, Loretta who thinks that she is hearing voices sent by God. She soon realizes they are voices from beyond. I loved the mystery and psychic touch to this story and found it to be very original in that way. It also has strong Women's Rights/suffrage, found family and forward thinking (for the time) themes throughout. It accurately portrays what being a 1950's woman looked and felt like.
The ending felt a little rushed to me. I would have loved to have Loretta interact with past characters to tie up loose ends (Gladys, the neighbor, etc). In addition, I felt the mystery/psychic storyline fell to the wayside towards the end and would have loved to have it throughout. Also, there is a character named Cinderella. She is a minor character and only appears once, but I just can't get past that name.
I would highly recommend this read!! I absolutely loved it!!

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Thank you to NetGalley for the advance review copy in return for an honest review. I loved this book. I loved that it was set in the 50s and the esp aspect of it. There were enough twists to keep it exciting too

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