Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Theater critic Artemus Bancroft isn’t sure what to expect when his aunt summons him home to California with vague but urgent pleas about being unable to cope with “the situation.”
The situation turns out to be the apparent haunting of Green Lanterns Inn—along with alarming rumors that long-suffering Auntie Halcyone may have murdered her philandering husband.
In fact, the rumors seem to have been started by the late Mr. Hyde himself—from beyond the grave.
Séance on a Summer’s Night by Josh Lanyon is another one of those complicated paranormal romances that Josh Lanyon does so well. A terrific mixture of mystery, romance,.. and relationships of all sorts that border on the psychologically insane to the secretive to the familial and everything in between and all with a touch of the paranormal. How I do love how Lanyon throws in those spooky elements!
In this story it’s Artemus Bancroft called back to his childhood home, er mansion, by the aunt who helped raise him. Auntie Haycyone is clearly in desperate need but why? Turns out her disposable and quite dead second of a philander husband has chosen to haunt said mansion, driving away servants and paying guests.
Not that Artemus is buying into any of this and wonders why his Auntie is and why the estate is in such disrepairs. And who is that gardener wandering around?
Love the character of Artemus. Cynical just where he should be, especially of all those crazy guests in residence at the mansion. Even of his Aunt when her actions start to make no sense. His is often the only level head of the bunch. And his investigations proceed accordingly.
This is not a review where you can go into the various characters or much of the plot because other than to say there’s a medium involved that says she talks to the dead, hold seances that make for some dramatic and very entertaining scenes, and that, yes, Auntie Halcyone does seem to firmly believe in her,. Everything and everybody else contains potential spoilers.
I will say while all the main characters don’t carry the usual Lanyon depth, it’s not needed here. This is a fun, slightly chilling mystery romance romp! The two men who fall into a romance, one they that establish is HFN and is just realistically getting started, are made for each other. I would love to know where their romance goes from here. But what I did see of the developing relationship was one that I liked (ok. Their romance moves pretty fast given the circumstances but Lanyon made a good case for that)/
The mystery and several accompanying murders was, as I said entertaining and completely held my interest. If it still left me with questions at the end after everything had supposedly been resolved….well that accounts for the 4 instead of the 5 rating. I guess I wanted everything wrapped up a little more neatly, all loose ends gone, which is not exactly the Lanyon way.
Perhaps this isn’t the end of this duo and we will be seeing more of everyone, including Green Mansions and Aunt Halcyone too. She still has those pesky neighbors to content with.
If you enjoy a fun and entertaining mystery romance, then pick up Séance on a Summer’s Night by Josh Lanyon. I definitely recommend it to while away those hote summer nights or any night at all.
Cover art for me isn’t a favorite. Lighted keyhole or crystal ball. Just blurry enough not to be dramatic.
ebook, 296 pages
Published January 31st 2019 by JustJoshin Publishing, Inc