REVIEW – The Summoning by J.P. Smith

“There were no such things as ghosts. There was just memory and suggestion.”

Kit, a widow whose husband died on 9/11, is trying to make ends meet – she’s an actress but jobs are few and far between. Her only daughter, Zoey, is in the hospital and the bills are piling up. Kit spends her time masquerading as a medium, providing closure to those who have lost loved ones and making enough money just to scrape by each month. But then she meets an interesting stranger in a bar. And her seances start to feel much more real…

Phew, this was sad. You can’t help but feel awful for Kit. I was concerned at first when I saw that this book included a 9/11 mention, but it was handled really well. Kit’s husband’s death was just a real part of her life. The manner in which it happened didn’t dominate the book or contribute too heavily to the plot.

I hesitate to give too much away because I enjoyed uncovering bits and pieces of Kit’s story as I read. It was difficult to know what was really going on throughout the course of the book, which I feel was intentional. Ultimately, although the story all comes together by the final chapter, things went in a direction I wasn’t expecting. I found that a few ends were left…unfinished. I think a few elements could have been explored a bit more.

Overall The Summoning was a solid, creepy read. Thank you Poisoned Pen Press for the ARC!

COZY MYSTERY REVIEW – It Takes Two to Mango by Carrie Doyle

Let’s get this out of the way: you’re probably going to hate Plum. She’s pretentious and mean and makes a lot of really nasty assumptions about people. However, Plum does grow as a person (no, really) and by the end of the book you might almost…like her? Or at least tolerate her.

The mystery is interesting (and a bit tough to solve) in this book, and the setting is just fantastic. Overall, a solid start to a new series.

Thank you Poisoned Pen Press for the ARC!