Monday, April 12, 2021

Phantoms and Felonies - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Phantoms and Felonies (A Haunted Mansion Mystery #2) by Lucy Ness

Rating:  Really Liked It!
Source: Publisher

Description:  When a local theater troupe puts on a new play at the club, manager Avery Morgan is excited. This is just the sort of event that's destined to bring in potential new members. Okay, millionaire banker Bob Hanover has more bucks than talent and has used his position to grab the lead role, but that seems like a small price to pay...until Bob is found dead backstage.

Bob rubbed many people the wrong way, but would anyone want him dead? The short answer to that is: Who wouldn't want him dead? His long-suffereing wife had to put up with years of womanizing. The show's playwright has been tricked out of his one great idea by Bob, who claimed it as his own work. And Bob bankrupted one of the town's small businessmen. The choices are many and the time to find the killer is running short.

Avery is working overtime to keep the club open and find the killer. Fortunately, she has help with the latter task. Clemmie Bow was once a singer in the speakeasy in the club's basement. Now she's a ghost who's also a top-notch detective. Together Clemmie and Avery will find the killer—even if it kills one of them.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I really enjoyed the first book in the series so I couldn't resist spending more time with Avery and Clemmie Bow.

My Impression:  The first book in this series reminded me a bit of a grown up Nancy Drew with ghosts and this one is no different except we are digging a bit more into the characters and the club.  As well this one has Avery's Aunt Rosemary from Lily Dale showing up with quite an entrance.  Avery talked quite a lot about Aunt Rosemary in the first book but seeing her in action was quite the experience.  

On the surface Bob Hanover seems like an okay guy who is excited about being in the dinner theater and not really willing to be pushed around by the playwright with the inflated ego.  It's not shocking that the playwright doesn't like him but after Avery observes several tense conversations or moments between him and a whole host of people she starts to wonder - especially when Bob turns up dead in the middle of the play.  Between pleas from family members, her relationship with the detective in charge, general nosiness, and feeling the responsibility of keeping the club going heavy on her shoulders she can't help but get involved with the investigation.  

I liked seeing a bit more of Clemmie, Avery's relationship with her aunt, and the minutia of club business in this book.  It gave it a sense of place and community feel.  I think this series is a fun one with a lot of potential and I'm really excited to see what happens next with these characters.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  This is a fun series and one I am looking forward to continue reading.

Would I Recommend this Book?  I would but I would recommend starting with the first book because there's quite a bit of setup in that one.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. Oh another series that does sound so good. I like the ghost aspect too.And yes I am a big fan of reading the first one in any series.

  2. This sounds good! The cover is a little different than I have come to expect from a cozy which had me taking a second glance.

  3. I LOVE cozy mysteries! I'm glad this was a hit for you!

  4. I have this one to review, but I want to read the first one first. Looks like a great series.

  5. I am really curious about this series. It sounds fun and I am glad to hear you liked this and the first book.

  6. The art of this cover is amusing.