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The Haunting of Ivy May

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Member Reviews

In "The Haunting of Ivy May" Ivy May's journey to start afresh takes an unexpected turn when she finds herself facing not only a haunted house but also a town full of secrets and mysteries. With divorce behind her, Ivy is determined to renovate her Victorian fixer-upper and build a new life in Mistwick, West Virginia. However, the locals' strange behavior and the presence of a terrifying ghost threaten to derail her plans. As Ivy navigates the challenges of living with the supernatural and uncovers hidden truths about her past and the town, she must confront her fears and rely on newfound allies to overcome the obstacles in her path. With its blend of paranormal intrigue, cozy mystery, and heartwarming moments, "The Haunting of Ivy May" is a captivating read that will keep readers guessing until the very end. Jessica Hamilton crafts a compelling story filled with twists, romance, and the power of resilience, making it a must-read for fans of haunted cozies and women's fiction alike.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the eARC!

This book ended up not being what I'd expected it to be. There wasn't too much horror in it - at least, not enough to keep my attention - but I think those who love cozy mysteries will really love this one.

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Thoroughly enjoyed this! It immediately hooked me in, and I love that a Victorian ghost showed up early.

I enjoyed the details about the renovation and Izzy's personality - love how female-centric it all was. I thought there'd be a bit more hidden drama and layers to her ex and the inheritance, but I guess it was a good simple side plot that raised the stakes.

I think a major missed opportunity was that diary: Basically nothing of major note came from it, other than 2 simple details that we learned elsewhere. While I wouldn't call it slow, I know my head moved faster than the action, and a conclusion they confirmed much later was one I thought was obvious before.

My biggest gripe is that I hated Cole. Ivy could do WAY better and I didn't like how rude he continued to be. He seemed kind of two-dimensional as well in addition to being downright creepy at first. Their first scene was a little unrealistic, though I also wouldn't have ever spent the night in the shack as it was at the beginning.

I thought the ending was a pretty good page-turner and it had a nice denouement. Definitely spookier than I thought it would be. Perfect intro to Halloween season!

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When Ivy bought the Buttercup Cottage, she thought she was gaining her independence from a miserable husband. Little did she know what was coming. Ivy tried to be very brave when she encountered her visitor. The second visit she decided to take a loss on the home. With help from new friends, she was able to replace her fear with excitement for her future.
I really enjoyed this cozy mystery. There were so many moments of terror but also times of compassion. It is amazing what good friends and a little faith in people will make a difference.

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Thanks NetGalley and Media Medusa LLC for this

1.5/5 stars rounded up

This had a lot of potential but really fell apart for me in the last 35%. I'm glad Ivy got her divorce and her cockroach ends up leaving her alone, but damn girl you can do so much better than Cole 😭 don't just jump in with the first guy who gives you cutie eyes, that's a rebound! They also started dating or whatever they're doing really fast. I'd have thought she would take it slow finding another love interest after getting out of a shitty 15 year marriage, but nope I guess. I was honestly hoping she and Izzy (the lesbian carpenter) would have gotten together, but alas, no. I am pleased there were no hints of homophobia that I caught though!

I felt Ivy just being stubborn and honestly outright rude to some of the people trying to help her got real old real fast. And so did everyone hating on house flippers, holy shit! Like, we get it, the author has a vendetta against people who buy houses to flip them then rent them out, you don't have to repeat it so many times!

I guessed what the ghost wanted right away, and the house getting worked on that quickly was really unrealistic, but I thought hey it's a light easy read things don't have to make sense right? But reading further I just couldn't with this book. I didn't hate it, but I definitely won't be picking up any of this authors other works.

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Fun, spooky and a quick read to boot! Ivy has finally escaped her crappy husband and has started over at Buttercup cottage. Too bad for her it happens to be haunted. This was a fun cozy read with a good dash of creep factor

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This was my first read from Nancy Basile and I was not disappointed. There’s something for everyone in this book ghosts, small-town vibes, woman discovering a new side to herself, a little mystery and a little love. This was a quick cozy mystery and I just loved it. I would recommend this book if you like a good read with the above tropes.

Thank you NetGalley and Media Medusa LLC for allowing me to read this ARC for my honest opinion.

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I feel like this book could have been so much more. It didn’t have as much to do with the haunting/ghost aspect of the story as I wanted.

I believe this is the authors first foray into horror. So if she were to write another I would definitely still check it out!

2.5 stars

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What a wonderfully lovely book this was. The mystery was heartbreaking and then resolved in a beautiful way.

Ivy divorces her husband and buys a house unseen in Mistwick, WV. Her first night in the broken down home, she is chased by a wailing ghost. Unable to find a contractor to help restore her new home, she plans to sell only to change her mind when the tea shop owner tells her she knows someone to help. She meets Izzy and together they begin to fix the house. Ivy is chased away from the house with injuries to both her and Izzy. What could the ghost possibly want?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The haunting was scary, the characters well written and the ending beautiful. I hope that the author is planning to make this a series.

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Ivy May buys Buttercup Cottage sight unseen after leaving her jerk of a husband. Ivy quickly realizes that the cottage is much more than a fixer-upper. The cottage will require extensive work, yet local contractors seem afraid to go near. Ivy discovers why on her first night when she meets her very own ghost…a very disruptive and angry spirit.
With the help of two new friends Ivy sets to solving the mystery of her ghost while fixing up the house. The friends hope that they can bring peace to the spirit once they know what she wants. This proves to be a dangerous undertaking.

#TheHauntingOfIvyMay is an effective paranormal thriller. I enjoyed the read very much and found the characters to be rich and interesting.
Thank you #netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this ghost story.

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This was a fun read, but I really was in the mood for something that would give me the creeps and this book wasn't that. It was more like a general fiction book with a ghost thrown in.

Ivy May is a recently-divorced woman who takes back her independence by buying a ramshackle cottage, sight unseen. It just so happens the place is more run-down than the online photos indicated and she's left with not only a crumbling home, but a live-in ghost. Along the way, she makes new friends, finds a job, starts renovating her home, and a few other things I don't want to spoil.

All in all, it was a good read, just not what I was looking for.

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This was a light, quick read, kind of like a cozy mystery with a bit of paranormal thrown in. Ivy moves to a small town in WV after a divorce and buys a fixer upper that turns out to be haunted. She quickly makes friends with the neighbors and they band together to figure out what is causing the ghost to hang around and how to get her to go away and find peace.

There wasn't much conflict in the book- while the townies are initially suspicious of Ivy, she disarms them quickly and they all become friends. The "threatening notes" Ivy receives aren't all that threatening and are easily explained later. She even finds a love interest, though she initially didn't like him. The mystery surrounding the ghost wasn't all that mysterious to me- I think I was pretty far ahead of Ivy and her friends, but I still enjoyed the story overall and thought the author did a good job at providing a little mystery and creepiness and an ultimate happy ending.

Overall, if you are looking for something that is light but still packs some action, I think you'll like this paranormal book. Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I enjoyed the plot of this book; it was very well written, with many different elements coming into play. A short fun-filled read that did not disappoint. Fresh out of a not-so-great relationship, Ivy moved to a town a reasonable distance from her ex-husband and purchased a new beginning for herself. She purchases a fixer-upper, which ends up needing a lot more fixing than she initially anticipated, and it’s a packaged deal with this horrifying ghost who always tries to attack her, it seems. The story is excellent, I loved all the diverse, quirky characters, and the way that Ivy was being incorporated into the town was great too. It had creepy vibes but also laughing-light vibes at times. This book did have a mysterious vibe going on that I enjoyed it! I went into this book blind, and I loved it! A quick short, fun read! If you enjoy cozy paranormal mysteries, then this should be your next read! Thank you to Netgalley and Media Medusa LLC for the opportunity to read and review this one!

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Ivy May is finally free from her rotten ex-husband and looking for a fresh start in Mistwick, West Virginia. Getting her hands dirty with her new Victorian fixer-upper is just the therapy she needs, but what she didn’t sign up for was the wailing ghost terrifying her at night. The locals are being secretive, a mysterious man is hanging around, and someone is leaving Ivy threatening notes in her mailbox. Will she unravel the secrets of her new house in order to make her new dream a reality?

What a great surprise this book was. While I started out on the fence hating Ivy’s relationship with her ex (that made her look quite weak - which drives me bonkers in stories), the book quickly found its flow and I was sold. I couldn’t put it down. I actually stayed up all night reading.

I wasn’t completely sold on Ivy’s love interest in the story, just not feeling their chemistry, but that didn’t bother me or take away from the story. There was the perfect amount of cute and creepy.

I would consider this more cozy or gothic than horror, and I found this book to be fast-paced, atmospheric with a fun mystery.

*Thank you to Media Medusa LLC and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

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The Haunting of Ivy May follows newly divorced Ivy to Mistwick, VA where she has purchased a Victorian cottage in need of a lot of work. While she deals with her ex trying to steal her inheritance, a major renovation, and a surly historian she also discovers that the rumor about the house are true. Ivy has to try to get on with her life, and battle an angry ghost dealing with her afterlife.

This was very a quick read, everything flowed very smoothly. There wasn't a lot of paranormal action, so this is a good book for people who like ghost stories but then have to sleep with the lights on. The characters seem a little flat and without much development., and Cole seems downright unpleasant. Despite that, it was still an enjoyable read. I look forward to subsequent books in the series.

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From the publisher:
Renovating a haunted house isn't part of the plan. When Ivy May moved to Mistwick, West Virginia, she was starting over after the divorce from her cockroach of an ex-husband.

Although she's ready to remodel her cozy Victorian fixer-upper, known as Buttercup Cottage, the locals' strange behavior is a mystery and none of the contractors will work with her, except a feisty and fashionable newcomer willing to take a chance on her.

But Ivy's first night in Buttercup Cottage is a nightmare starring the ghost of a wailing woman. Ivy can't shake the feeling that her nightmare was more than just a vision. The reality of living with a terrifying ghost could ruin her dream of a magical midlife re-invention.

The local tea shop owner seems helpful -- too helpful -- but even she seems secretive when she mentions that Ivy has a gift. What gift? A gift for picking loser husbands is the only gift she possesses.

And who is the handsome mystery man hanging around Buttercup Cottage? Is the the one leaving threatening notes in her mailbox? Or is he the partner she's always dreamed of?

Ivy has to face down a ghost, a greedy ex-husband, and a town full of skeptics to make her dream a reality. Otherwise, every penny of her inheritance will be wasted and she'll have to admit she can't make it on her own.

It's not until Ivy realizes she doesn't have to do it alone that her story looks like it might have a happy ending.

The Haunting of Ivy May by Nancy Basile was published January 19th, 2023 by Media Medusa LLC.

My Thoughts:

This is a paranormal mystery. And it was an easy read. Once I started it, I wanted to know what would happen next. It spurred me on to finish it quickly. There is very little romance. The people focus is on building relationships with the townsfolk. The people who live in Mistwick are reluctant to trust her at first thinking she is just there to flip the house.

No one mentions the ghost to Ivy before she sees it for the first time. And it scares the crap out of her. She dedicates herself to finding out what she can do to get rid of it after it appears to her again and others actually see it as well.

The pace is good. There are some strategic lulls, but they still advance the plot. The parts with the ghost go quickly.

The characters feel nice. I especially liked seeing the relationship between Izzy and Ivy flourish. And I disliked the cockroach of Ivy's ex-husband.

I did find the romance slightly unbelievable. The guy keeps accidentally insulting her and is handsome. Don't want to say more because of spoilers, but it didn't seem like much to build a romance on.

I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars. It's an interesting story and a light read which I really needed after reading the heavier Our Share of Night. If you like light mysteries with a paranormal aspect and a touch of romance, this would be a good book for you.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. This did not affect my opinions.

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This book was a quick read. Outside of my genre, but I liked it! I only wish it had more of a back story about what happened at Buttercup Cottage to build up to what happens in this story. I found out at the end in the authors notes that you can, so I will. This will make a great movie and I hope they add the back story of the ghost if they make it into a movie. I loved the strong female characters and the if we work together we can make it happen vibe. Glad I went out on a limb and requested this book, and got approved, from NetGalley.

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The Haunting of Ivy May is a spooky cozy mystery about a woman who buys a fixer upper for a fresh start and inherits more than a derelict old house in this charming supernatural tale.

I really enjoyed this story because it was an easy read that featured a lot of things I like about stories. A small town setting, an old Victorian manor, ghosts, and strong female characters. The story was suspenseful and had a nice flow. The writing was really good and the characters were well-rounded and interesting. The spooky parts were very atmospheric and gave me the chills. I don't often read such spine tingling stories so I have to give credit to the author for creating such creepy scenes. My only criticism is that two of the characters had similar names, Ivy and Izzy which sounded too similar and could be confusing for a fast reader.

Overall I really liked this book and I look forward to reading more from the author.

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Ivy May buys a cottage unseen in West Virginia. When she gets to the cottage she discovers it needs lots more work than she expected plus the place is haunted.
A cute haunted mystery.
Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC and to the publsiher Kindle.

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4/5 stars

Meet Ivy May - a divorcee who's recently escaped her toxic ex, thereafter referred to as the 'cockraoch in khaki', who's first action as a free woman is to buy an old house with the intention of fixing it up. She has a vision of new life as a Hallmark Movie, but instead finds herself in a Southern Gothic. 

I would hesitate to classify this purely as horror, and prefer to think of it more as a Southern Gothic. Its' references to molasses, beans, cornbread, biscuits and critters immediately transported me to the small town alongside Ivy, her new contractor bestie Izzie and the infamous wailing woman. The plot was very well built for the first 70% of the story but I found the ending a bit weak and forgettable. Didn't think that Cole's character was anything special. 
There was some awkward wording ("Knowing that gossip spread like melted shortening on a hot pan in a small town...") and continuity issues (diary vs. journal) which did detract a bit. 

Overall, I found the story fascinating and enjoyed the read.

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