Thursday, April 6, 2017

Occult and Battery by Lena Gregory

Occult and Battery
by Lena Gregory
Series: Bay Island Psychic Mystery, #2
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Berkley
Release Date: April 4, 2017

A murder mystery weekend becomes a little too real in the latest Bay Island Psychic Mystery from the author of Death at First Sight—

Cass Donovan uses her skills as a former psychiatrist to get away with pretending to be psychic, but she’s not about to let anyone get away with murder...

The outlook is not so good for Cass’s psychic shop, Mystical Musings. With winter winds discouraging tourists from riding the ferry from Long Island to Bay Island, Cass hopes to draw in more customers by hosting a murder mystery weekend, complete with a séance, in a supposedly haunted mansion.

But Cass begins to lose her spirit when her ex-husband shows up, along with his fiancée—Cass’s ex-best friend. Then, after one of the guests is found dead, a blizzard blows in, trapping everyone inside with a murderer. Now Cass must divine who did the deed before her reputation and her livelihood fade away.

    Cass glanced up at the huge house. She’d never been inside, but from the number of wings and windows, she guessed it had a lot of rooms. Her gaze caught on the huge stone chimney running up between two quarter round windows, giving the impression of a face staring back at her. A flicker of movement grabbed her attention as a curtain rippled in the rounded cupola that sat slightly off-center on the roof.
Her heart stuttered, and she tore her gaze from the house and jogged back to the porch, where Bee and Stephanie stood arguing.
Ignoring them, she headed for the front door.
“What are you doing now?” The fear in Bee’s voice made her pause, but only for a moment.
She’d been planning this for over a month and had already gotten permission and cooperation from the owners. Her idea might be nuts, but she was pretty sure it would be a big hit. If she could convince her two best friends to help her out. She forced a smile, waggled her eyebrows, and held the front door key up between them. A puff of condensation enveloped the shiny, new key each time she exhaled.
“Are you crazy?” Bee’s voice only hit that high note when he was completely shocked or extremely upset. In this case, it was probably a little of both.
“Look, Bee. I have to find a way to generate income during the winter.”
He offered a quick look of sympathy. Before his designer dress shop, Dreamweaver Designs, had gotten so big, he used to have the same problem. Now that his designs were becoming more popular, and big names in the fashion industry had started attending his annual fashion shows, he had a steady stream of orders pretty much year-round.
Good, maybe he’d help her.
“You know how we do the group readings in the shop?”
He eyed her suspiciously. “Yeah.”
Although Bee didn’t believe in psychic powers or talking to the dead, he stayed as far away from anything to do with it as possible, just in case. Cass had cajoled him into helping with the group readings since there were no dead people involved. She’d also convinced him it was all done very scientifically.
She shrugged, hoping to appear casual. “Well, I want to do a group reading.”
He stuffed his hands into his coat pockets and rocked back and forth. The thought of him falling through the old boards of the rotting porch ran fleetingly through her mind. “In addition to the once-a-month readings you usually do?”
“Sort of?” She caught her bottom lip between her teeth and peered at him from beneath her lashes.
It only took a moment for him to figure it out. “No. Oh, no. Not happening, sugar.”
“Not on your life, sweetie. There is no way I’m going into that house while you . . .” He shook his head and waved his hand wildly. “Do whatever it is you do.”
“It’s just a reading, Bee. I’ll do it the same way I do in the shop.” Knowing she was perilously close to whining, she rushed on. “I need your help. You have a background in theater, plus you put on the best fashion shows.” No need to remind him how much Cass had helped with those shows. All right, now I’m getting catty. She sucked in a deep breath of the frigid air, freezing her lungs. “How about if you just help with the setup? You don’t have to stay for the reading.”
Bee sighed.
“I don’t know.” He glanced toward the front door, shaking his head. “We’ll see. Okay?”
He held up a hand to stop her. “Be happy with it, honey, it’s the best you’re going to get.”
“I’m telling you, it’ll work. A group reading at a haunted house? Are you kidding me? People will line up for that.” 
Cass pushed the mansion’s front door open and held it for Stephanie, who followed her into the foyer.

Leonburgers and Tarot and Ghosts - Oh MY!

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite mystery series.

Cass and her friends are back to hold a seance as the Wellingtons open their new B&B.
Big Bee wants no part of talking to the dead but there is no better showman to help with the set-up. or to have your back (and hold your dog) when all get snowed in at the Inn.
I love these three friends and the community in which they live. If Cass can't find a way to earn an income when tourist season ends, her shop Mystical Musings may disappear with the winter snow.
Even if you are not really trying to conjure the dead, secrets will be revealed when doing a group reading. This series is just plain fun. 
From the troubles with an undisciplined giant puppy, to jealousy and greed and other negative emotions, to romance and best friends who won't let you fail, the action and difficulties are never ending. Even as I rooted for Cass to succeed, I couldn't wait to see what trouble would check in next. 
I wish I lived in a town where people pulled together.

Lena lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.

When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

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