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The Seance Society (O’Nelligan and Plunkett #1)

3.21  ·  Rating details ·  174 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
It's 1956, and Lee Plunkett has taken over the family business as a private investigator despite his reluctance to follow in his father's footsteps. When murder intrudes on a group of ghost seekers, Lee is asked to solve the case by a cop on the verge of retirement. At the urging of his perpetual fiancée Audrey, Lee enlists the help of Mr. O'Nelligan, a scholarly Irishman ...more
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Minotaur Books
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 PuMbA's MoMmy*•.♥.•*
Even though this story doesn't take place in the 1890's I kept reading it as it did. It probably had to do with the cover. The story was filled with good mystery. There were parts that were spooky. To begin with, the whole idea that Trexler and his friends had come up with to get fame was very deceiving but creepy at the same time. Another more real life part that was spooky was when the detective fell down the ravine in the snow and lost his glasses. That was horrific to me being a glasses wear ...more
Cheryl, The Book Contessa
Jul 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013-read
First, many thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for this ARC of this e-book!
A light mystery with a colorful cast of characters. It read kind of like the Clue game of the '70's --A mysterious death is investigated. The scene is in "The Parlor". Was it the odd, outspoken Mr. Kemple? The boisterous drama queen Miss Sassafrass? Mousey Ms. Chauncey? Mr. O'Nelligan and Detective Plunkett set out to find out. Good thing Lee Plunkett is surrounded by all these personalities, because as the central c
Nancy Steinle gummel
The Seance Society by Michael Nethercott is a throw back to who done it books of yesteryears. There is detectives, the list of potential murderer's, the interview the chase and the capture. An old supposedly haunted house, a grieving widow, a hearst for a car, a loyal secretary and a house full of servants give character to the story. I liked this book.
Nov 05, 2013 rated it liked it
It’s 1956 and millionaire inventor and spiritualist, Trexler Lloyd has invented a machine which will supposedly allow him to communicate with the dead. However, on its first run, he is electrocuted. Perhaps by coincidence (or maybe not), the local coroner is present and pronounces the death an accident. However, at least one of the guests at the séance suspects foul play and hires detective Lee Plunkett and his assistant, Mr O’Nelligan to investigate.

Despite being set in the US, The Séance Socie
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received this book free from Net Galley in exchange for a review.

I really liked this book a lot. The story was set in the late 1950's and all the semblance of an old time mystery novel, even the butler. When it came time to reveal the murderer, the scene took place in the sitting room of a large, supposedly haunted, mansion. It felt like I was reading a script based on the game, Clue.

The characters were well developed and the story was interesting. There were quite a few quirky characters and
Ampersand Inc.
May 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: dot-s-reads
The Séance Society is the perfect read to while away a rainy day. It involves a reluctant private detective and his literary Irish friend Mr. O’Nelligan trying to find out who murdered a local spiritualist. The story is peppered with quirky characters and witty dialogue and the story moves along at a satisfying pace. It doesn’t give away the murderer, something I really appreciate in a mystery.
Aug 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mcn
8/29/13 Full review tk. Interestingly PG-rated.
Meh. So this book is probably the most straightforward mystery book I've ever read in my life. Literally someone is killed. PI's are called in to investigate. Said PI's interview everyone who was on the scene again and again (and again and again) until the killer is found. The end. That's pretty much it. The characters, a little interesting. The plot, ok. I thought that the synopsis gave the book some potential but I was pretty wrong. Oh well. On to the next book in the pile.. ...more
Sydney Glover
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was perfect for a quick and easy mystery read, but nothing truly stuck out at me. The final solution to the murder was a bit irritating, as it seemed to be pure luck rather than maliciously planned intent, but I still enjoyed it. I'll definitely come back to this author when I want to read a mystery in the future.
Ann Mclellan
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
I did not enjoy this book. I could not get interested in it. The writing was uninspiring.
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Satisfying, old-fashioned mystery with likable characters.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Published 2013. Just so-so as far as mysteries go. Set in post WWII. I would liken it to some of the old drawing room mystery B movies of the late 40's/early 50's.
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
i really enjoyed this book. it was well written and held my interest. i will be reading the next one in the series.
Aug 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I love this detective duo, particularly Mr. O'Nelligan's combination of wisdom, kindness and literary perspective. He is someone I'd want to know, and would want working on any detective challenge I had. Lee Plunkett is filled with the challenges of a young man who is developing his identity in the shadow of an overly colorful father, who left the detective agency to him. Mr. O'Nelligan, significantly older, becomes his new partner and positive father-figure, and their relationship is central to ...more
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jlb-book-club
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alice Liu
Jul 15, 2013 rated it liked it
I spent the first half of this mystery trying to justify the blandness of the story. It is set in the 1950's, which obviously tones down the edginess. However, Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce series is also set in the 1950's, and his stories are never bland. I think the problem for me was that Lee Plunkett, the protagonist and narrator of the book, was beyond mediocre. Having inherited his fathers P.I. business, Lee is dismissive, ignorant, and lacks curiosity or initiative...none of which seems t ...more
Allison Campbell
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it

This book was just good fun. Set in 1956, it follows reluctant private investigator Lee Plunkett as he looks into the death of eccentric, wealthy inventor Trexler Lloyd, who ostensibly died when his Spectricator, a machine intended for use in communicating with spirits, malfunctions. Lee inherited the family business, but he isn’t particularly committed to the job. Fortunately, he has the well-read Irishman Mr. O’Nelligan to keep him motivated and add insi
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Page 182 - "Holy Mother, Mr. O'Nelligan groaned under his breath. "How did the man ever write this drivel?" I concur Mr. O'Nelligan! Normally I am not one to trash the hard work of an author. In this case I am compelled to break from that tradition.

Our story unfolds in the state of CT, the year, 1956. Two detectives are investigating a murder that wasn't meant to be a murder at all. The victim, Mr. Trexler Lloyd, an odd wealthy genius type with interests in the occult has grown quite tired of hi
Dec 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
The Seance Society is set in small town America in the mid 1950s. Lee Plunkett has inherited his father's private eye business for which he feels supremely unqualified. His long time fiancée Audrey is supportive as his (only?) friend, the enigmatic, Yeat's quoting Irishman Mr. O'Nelligan. The Society itself is a grab-bag of true believers, doubters and outright charlatans; its leader, the fabulously wealthy Trexler Lloyd uses the Society to introduce his latest invention, the 'Spectricator", a m ...more
Michelle L
Nov 16, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction-mystery
It's very painful to find almost nothing to recommend about a work you know the author invested effort into. But this is unfortunately one of the flattest stories I have ever read. Thinking that couldn't last all the way through, I read the entire book. To no avail.
As a parody it lacks the pointedness that genre requires. As a mystery, it was pretty obvious HOW; and I personally didn't really care WHO, because the characters were less than cardboard.
The declared 1950s setting was utterly not th
Jul 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This book was ok. I was about to award it two stars, but had to give credit for the nod towards classic noir mysteries. A detective who goes gaga over a beautiful lady, a wacky cast of suspects, and a classic meeting of the characters to point the finger at the culprit. Cute. But it was a little overdone, and the characters rang a bit shallow. The well read Irish assistant made one too many quotes, and people couldn't seem to get over his heritage. Sassafras was shallow and dumb, which was the p ...more
Dianne Landry
Nov 28, 2016 rated it liked it
I bought the second book in this series off the cheap shelf at Chapters and decided I needed to read the first book first. I'm glad I did. I enjoyed this book.

Eccentric millionaire Trexler Lloyd dies suspiciously when an invention of his for contacting the dead malfunctions. He is quickly cremated, to quickly in the opinion of the investigating police officer. He hires Lee Plunkett and Mr. O'Nelligan to investigate. They discover he had actually planned to fake his death and abscond to Spain wi
Small-time private investigator Lee Plunkett is hired by a client with good reason to stay anonymous when questions arise about the death of eccentric genius Trexler Lloyd. Fortunately, Lee's friend Mr. O'Nelligan, an elderly, erudite Irishman, volunteers to help with the case. Lloyd was interested in life after death and had assembled a strange household, including a former speakeasy owner, an arrogant medium, and a groundskeeper who sees ghosts. I picked this up with some hesitation, but it's ...more
Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Being a lover of the game Clue I found myself immersed in this book. The duo trying to solve the murder were quite colorful and quirky in nature. The best part of this page turner was that it never gave away the identity of the murderer. This book was given to me as a digital copy by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was received. I highly recommend this book.
Naomi Blackburn
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
Read my full review:

My opinion: This book was BLAND! There was a bit of sophomoric feeling to the writing that just didn't suck me into the book. It didn't help that I couldn't warm up to ANY of the characters, AT ALL!

It simply felt as though the story was simply there. It wasn't so bad that I couldn't finish the book. It just took a very long time to get there from a short, less than 250 page book which I should have been able to wrap up in one evening.
Nov 06, 2014 rated it liked it
This mystery is a great deal of fun. Our narrator, Lee Plunkett, is carrying on his father's PI business with the help of an odd Irish friend, and a police detective asks them to look into the death of a self-centered genius obsessed with the spirit world. Add a fiancée and some very odd suspects and you end up with a pretty entertaining read.
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
A quick, easy read. I figured out what I thought would be the ending pretty early, but it turns out that I'd only determined an aspect of the story that was a stopping point on the way to the solution of the mystery. There were enough suspects in the story to keep things interesting, and I liked O'Nelligan a lot. I will likely read at least a couple more books in this new series.
Sep 15, 2013 rated it liked it
I got this book threw a giveaway. It was very easy to read and follow even with the big cast of characters involved in the story. Each person was a unique individual. They really helped pull the story together. Some of the characters i wish we seen a little more of. This mystery will end leaving you with a smile on your face.
Cindy Steinberg
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It was so much fun to read and the characters really came to life. I have not read a lot of murder mysteries so this was a lot fun to try and figure out who done it!. The two main characters were people that I would love to have lunch with and chat a bit. I would recommend this book to all who want a good time read.
Michael Halpern
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book - the plot setting and plot seemed intriguing. Unfortunately, I couldn't get through it. The characters were largely stereotypes, the plot was slow, the writing just ok.
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