Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Book Review: An Enchanting Case of Spirits

By Allyson Bales

Alyssa Mann isn’t adventurous, not since her husband died and she found herself the single mom of a teenage daughter. But there’s no way to avoid celebrating the big 4-0, so when her best friends drag her out for drinks and a tarot reading, she throws caution to the wind and decides to see what the spirits have to say. It’s all fun and games, until she wakes up the next morning with a wicked hangover—and a ghost perched on the edge of her bed.

Sheer panic sends her running to get help from Nick West, the (very attractive) detective who lives next door. When he finds no one inside, Alyssa has to accept that she really did see a ghost. As the dearly departed keep appearing, Alyssa and her friends do their best to learn how to control her newfound power. Trading insults with ghosts, tracking down family heirlooms, and getting closer to the skeptical but helpful Nick is more fun than Alyssa imagined. But when looking into one ghost’s past reveals unexpected—and unwelcome—facts about Alyssa’s late husband’s death, she discovers she just may be in over her head. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

Do you love strong women with supportive friends? 

Do you love tarot cards and ghost stories? 

Do you love romantic interests that are quiet, kind, and reliable? 

If your answer is yes to any of these questions I think this needs to be your next read! 

When I read this synopsis I knew I really wanted to read this story immediately. I turned forty recently and could definitely relate to Alyssa. I too am not adventurous but more thoughtful and often in my head. I loved meeting Alyssa. She’s struggling with the loss of her husband. I have been reading so much about grief lately and her character relatable demonstrates how one has to keep going with that heart break. I have always really been into mediums and tarot cards and love that she wakes up to a ghost in her room! 

I’m not sure if you can relate but sometimes I’ll wake in the middle of the night thinking that a shadow in my room is a ghost. I’ll get a little freaked out but soothe myself back to sleep only to find it was my jacket or pile of books shaped like a ghost in the morning. I don’t even know what I would do if I could speak to ghosts. I’d like to think I wouldn’t be freaked out (eventually) and help them just like Alyssa. 

I love Alyssa’s ability to be brave and all the ways she works to help the ghosts she meets. She becomes an amateur sleuth and I really enjoyed that premise of the book. It reminds me a bit of Jesse Q. Sutanto's style in the book Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers.  Alyssa and her friends are quirky and sometimes funny and definitely not always aware of what they are doing and those are my favorite kind of mystery solvers.  The group of women supporting Alyssa remind me a lot of my own best friends and her neighbor Nick really captured my heart. 

Finding peace and moving on after loss is never easy.  I love the dynamic of Alyssa and Nick and how things blossom between them. I don’t want to give too much away so I’ll just say that I can’t wait for you to meet him.

This was a very impressive debut. I am so hopeful it will be a series! I loved the writing, the characters, and the whole vibe of the story! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this one! 

Thanks to Berkley for the book in exchange for an honest review. Purchase An Enchanting Case of Spirits here.

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