Though Eleanor is delighted that her brother, Liam, is visiting her in England, she must reluctantly agree that her quiet village lacks something when it comes to sightseeing—namely: sights. True, there’s nearby Castle Hartford, belonging to the family of Ellie’s boyfriend, Nicholas. But even Nicholas’s mother is eager to ditch sleepy, sweltering Sussex for a vacation in Brighton, taking Ellie and a relieved Liam with her. Yet hopes of a breezy seaside holiday quickly turn stormy, in every sense . . .
The ominous change in weather is accompanied by the reappearance of Ellie’s former partner-in-crime, Armand Lamont. Back when Ellie earned a living as a phony medium, Armand’s hypnosis skills helped the pair persuade many gullible marks to hand over their savings. Ellie assumes that Armand has resurfaced with blackmail in mind, but before she can figure out his angle, she and Liam witness a man being pushed from a boat by two shadowy figures who then vanish into midair.
Phantoms? Demons? Though Ellie doesn’t believe in either, the recovered body is real enough, as is a string of thefts plaguing their luxury hotel. Ellie has a theory, and it requires inviting Nicholas to join them under a fake identity. Their evolving relationship is as complex as this case, and Ellie’s authentic supernatural abilities too are developing in surprising ways. But as for whether the outcome will be good or bad, not even her witchy powers can say . . .
A couple is walking along a beach during an extremely stormy night. The couple looks out into the tempestuous storm to see two men fighting and throwing a third man off the boat whereby he drowns. Thus begins an investigation by a very renowned psychic and medium! A bit of a bitter pill to swallow as the novel begins.
Eleanor is a gifted psychic with a group of ghosts who help her unravel the mysteries she seems to keep getting. She is surrounded by a group of never-do-wells, cats, and an ugly doll named Brunhilde. She also has a highly respected investigator named Armond Lemont who continues to question her investigation and appears more of a hindrance than a help.
She struggles through the investigation with Armond questioning every assumption. It seems he may have more than a passing interest in Eleanor and her future. Meanwhile her apparitions continue to guide and help her through the investigation. She has another suitor who is hanging in there hoping to win her heart. He is Nicholas Hartford III. Even his name evokes status and wealth. His mother will have to expire before this becomes a reality though.
I found it very difficult at times to believe the narrative. Who can walk on a beach during a stormy night and witness a crime on the water in the dark? Having lived on an island and been out in bad weather, I can assure you something happening in the dark on a stormy night wouldn’t be observed, especially someone fighting in a small boat on the open water.
The story was a fun frollick, however, and featured some interesting concepts and characters. It is a romp into the shadowy world of make believe. 4 stars – CE Williams
We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four Stars
Genre: Psychic Mysteries, Witch & Wizard Mysteries, Ghost Mysteries
Publisher: Kensington Cozies
Print Length: 197 pages
Publication Date: October 26, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Hypnosis Is for Hacks [Amazon]
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The Author: Tamara Berry is a part-time author and part-time freelance copywriter/editor. She has a B.A. degree in English Literature from Eastern Washington University. In addition to books, she has mad love for all things TV, movies, and pop culture.
©CE Williams – V Williams