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Séances are for Suckers

(Eleanor Wilde Mystery #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  641 ratings  ·  182 reviews

When something goes bump in the night . . . it’s most likely a plumbing problem, or something equally mundane. But fake medium Eleanor Wilde is happy to investigate and cleanse your home of spectral presences—for a fee. Hey, it’s a living . . .

Ellie has an ailing sister to care for, and working as a ghost hunter who doesn’t believe in ghosts helps cover the bills for

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published October 30th 2018 by Kensington
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Séances are for Suckers by Tamara Berry is the first book in the new paranormal cozy Eleanor Wilde Mystery series. Eleanor Wilde or Ellie as she likes to be called is a fake medium, well fake as in she let's her customers continue in their belief of a ghost when she's moving rats out of the attic that actually went bump in the night.. 

After an accident ten years ago in which Ellie survived but lost her mother that night and her sister was left in a coma Ellie has had to do whatever she can to pa
Diana | Book of Secrets
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Eleanor (Ellie) Wilde doesn't believe in the paranormal, but that doesn't stop her from making a living as a medium. She doesn't consider herself a fake, because she really can solve pesky ghost problems. The ghosts, however, are typically rats in the attic or rattling pipes — but her clients don't need to know that.

Ellie is flown to England to the ancestral manor home of Nicholas Hartford III. His mother is convinced they're being haunted by a spirit called Xavier, and Nicholas wants Ellie to p
Bookworm Extraordinaire
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it


This book was one of the best cozy mysteries I have ever read. The writing was fantastic. The mystery was well plotted and had me guessing until the end. It had a great cast of secondary characters. I wasn't sure at the start I was going to like Ellie. She is, after all, a con-artist that prays on people's fears for her own financial gain. And I am still not 100% onboard with that, but perhaps the author will take her in a different direction (hopefully) after the events of this book. With that
Gail C.
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Seances Are for Suckers by Tamara Berry; what a delightful read. Take a psychic who doesn’t believe in psychic phenomenon and hire her to rid an English castle of the non-existing ghost who’s haunting it. Of course she knows it’s a scam, as does the insanely rich man who has hired her for the job, but what do they care? The job will allow her to earn enough money to pay exorbitant medical bills for her comatose sister. All she needs to do is find out who’s behind the occurances while she contin ...more
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2018
Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this 1st book of this series, we meet Eleanor Wilde, a self-proclaimed fake medium. She is a ghost hunter that doesn’t believe in ghosts. Eleanor is turning peoples fears into profits to help pay the bills for her sister in a long-term care facility. Her current job takes her to a musty old castle in England. Nicholas Hartford III doesn’t believe in ghosts either but he is hoping Ellie can convince his mother that her ghost, Xavier has left the building. Ellie is up for the
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
Thank you Netgalley and Kensington Books for the ARC

Ellie Wilde is a ghosthunter who doesn't believe in ghosts. However, she does believe she can help her clients get peace of mind from whatever it is that's haunting them. Faking the tricks of the trade, she's made quite a name for herself. Then one day when visiting her twin sister in a care facility, she's whisked away by this stranger, Nicholas, to join him at Castle Hartford in England, supposedly to help his family get rid of their ghost. E
Feb 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seances are for Suckers was an ok cozy read for me. Eleanor Wilde chosen profession is as a medium who solves ghost problems for her clients. She doesn't believe in ghosts but can read people well by observation. The ghosts she discovers are rats in the attic or ghosts of the living human pranking variety. She keep this information to herself so her clients think she is authentic. Eleanor is paying for her sister's hospitalization in a home as her sister has been in a coma for quite awhile. Elea ...more
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
This is one of the best cozies I have read! I had my doubts at first because initially the main character, Eleanor, came off as a bit unlikable for a cozy character. She is a psychic swindler with some harsh world views, but as the story progresses the author adds layers and complexities to Ellie. She quickly becomes quite relatable. She is devoted, intelligent and making the best out of the cards life has dealt her. Rarely are main characters painted with so many layers in a cozy mystery. The m ...more
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great !!!
Donna Davis
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: feminists that want to laugh out loud.
4.5 stars rounded up. Tamara Berry is the queen of snarky humor, and now that I have read the first installment of the Eleanor Wilde series, I am primed and ready for those that follow it. Big thanks go to Net Galley and Kensington Books for the review copy; this book is for sale now.

Ellie narrates her own story in the first person. She explains that she makes her living through fraud, scamming those that want to talk to their dead relatives and solve their Earthly problems via séances. A refer
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, e-books
This book was cute. Having a major paranormal twist to it was a plus for me. Eleanor Wilde works as a psychic so she can afford to pay for her sisters care. When she's asked to go to England to get rid of a ghost by a wealthy man she can't resist. Even though they both know she is a fake and things aren't always as they seem. But this case is a bit different and there is more to the story than at first glance. Ellie will have to put herself in a bit of danger to uncover what is really going on i ...more
Caitlyn Lynch
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Madame Eleanor Wilde is a con artist, and like all the best con artists, she knows the best way to con someone is to show them exactly what they expect to see. She’s a very successful medium and ghost exorcist, and when she’s hired to go to England by an intriguing aristocrat who knows exactly what she is and wants to hire her to con his mother, she can’t quite resist the challenge.

Nothing is quite as it seems at the Hartford Estate, though. And when a real dead body turns up, Ellie starts to th
Carolina Figueiredo

I started reading "Séances are for Suckers" because I received the second book in this series from a publisher to read. So I had to read the first one so I wouldn't get lost in the story. When I started, I didn't know I would like it so much!

Eleanor Wilde (Ellie) has many responsibilities at hand. She has a hospitalized sister, in a vegetative state, and to have money to pay for her treatment, she works as a medium, ridding homes of unwanted ghosts. The problem is, Ellie doesn'
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ellie is a professional Medium. She doesn't believe in ghosts, she just needs to make good enough money to care for her comatose sister. She has a bag of tricks and uses it to help people by providing relief when the ghost is exorcised.

Nicolas Hartford whisks her to his family Estate in England, knowing she is essentially a con artist, to try and find out who and how its haunting is occurring.

So with reservations, she goes and finds out that someone is indeed playing the tricks and after a stran
Rima Aiello
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had it all! I strong story line, great settings, super funny main character, and a plot line that is just different enough to stand out! I really did love everything about this story, it was different which was a nice breath of fresh air. I love that the main character was quirky in a way that wasn't annoying at all. I had a hard time putting it down, it was just that good. I hope to see a lot more in this series! ...more
Lisa Leone-campbell
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Eleanor (Ellie) Wilde has an interesting profession. She rids houses of ghosts. She is a ghost hunter. Some call her a medium others like her brother Liam call her a fake. Ellie Wilde is a fake ghost hunter, Thus begins the book Seances Are for Suckers by Tamara Berry. Ellie, who is the breadwinner of their small family...only because her brother Liam decided to go into a real profession as a teacher... financially supports their other sister Winnie, (they are triplets), who has been in a catato ...more
Dawn Frazier
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! The characters were great, and I laughed a lot. Cant wait for book 2!
I loved this
Amanda [Novel Addiction]
Loved this! I think I'll be purchasing it for my library system, as I can see this having a solid audience.

Looking forward to more.
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book. Very different from the usual cozy mystery, but very intriguing. The ending was intense and constantly kept you guessing. Loved the characters, loved the connection to her other siblings. Really fun read! Can't wait to read more. ...more
Apr 10, 2019 added it
Shelves: mystery-cozy
My first cozy mystery! I thought it was super cute and fun despite how long it took me to read! I actually never figured out who did it until the very end and frankly I didn't expect that! I am looking forward to second book due out this fall and am hoping it picks up where it left off with our leading lady!!

There was some confusion to me as to what happened and why with the 3rd sibling in the triplet group.

Overall I really enjoyed this book, I liked all the fun little details and the basic th
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Seances are for Suckers by Tamara Berry is the first installment in A Eleanor Wilde Mystery series. Eleanor “Ellie” Wilde makes a living with her business Eleanor’s Cleansing Service. She cleanses houses of ghostly spirits or at least that is what she tells her clients. Ellie has learned that many things can cause the noises (from rats to noisy pipes), but to satisfy the client, she must put on a show. While Ellie’s brother, Liam does not approve of how she makes a living, it does pay for Happy ...more
Jan 31, 2020 rated it liked it
The First Eleanor Wilde Mystery

After realizing that being a regular ghost hunter can't pay the bills Eleanor Wilde changes tactics. Now she's Madame Eleanor of Eleanor's Cleansing Service. While her brother considers her a con artist, Ellie believes being a fake medium is the only way to earn enough money to pay for their sister's care. Intrigued by the cynical Nicholas Hartford III, and knowing she'll be paid a tidy sum, Eleanor agrees to go to England to
The Cozy Review
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Series: An Eleanor Wilde Mystery - Book 1
Author: Tamara Berry
Genre: Cozy Mystery/Paranormal/ Exotic Locations
Publisher: Kensington Mystery
Page Count: 320

Publishing Date: September 24, 2019

From Kensington Books comes a new cozy series “An Eleanor Wilde Mystery” Séances Are for Suckers written by Tamara Berry.

In this new cozy series, we meet Ellie Wilds aka Madam Eleanor, a fake psychic ghost hunter who only wants to make enough money to keep her comatose sister alive and well cared for. If she h
I like mysteries, and I like paranormal, so gave this one a try. Liked some aspects, but not others.

Main character Ellie was an example of that: her humor was often well delivered, and there was a lot of promise for a series, but just out of focus I thought. She could also be annoying in that she justified her financial situation for her fraudulent activity; on the other hand, she also brought closure to folks who needed it, fake "result" or not.

The secondary characters were okay, but not great
Diane Hernandez
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Séances are for Suckers is a humorous take on old school romantic mysteries like The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart.

Ellie is the youngest of a set of triplets. On her eighteenth birthday, her mother is killed and her sister descends into a vegetative state. Her brother is an elementary school gym teacher. To earn the money for her sister’s long-term care, Ellie works as a fake medium. Ridding families of their ghosts frequently means more psychological than psychic assistance.

When Nicholas approac
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
You ever read a book not expecting anything, and you read it, and think “that wasn’t what I expected?” Well, this book was that for me. Don’t get me wrong, this book was well-written, fun, level-headed (you have to read it know what I mean), and was captivating. I love how even though Ellie is “tricking” people, she still tries to give people their money’s worth because she’s only doing this to take care of her sister, and people want to believe more in ghosts than real-life issues. I really, re ...more
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
First in the series.

I thought this was a fun new twist on the usual paranormal cozy mystery. The main character, Eleanor, is not a physic at all, but pretends to be one to make a living and support her sister. Despite the fact that at heart, Ellie is a con artist, she's still incredibly likable and funny. And she does play "ghostbuster", getting rid of the rats in the attic or making sure that the plumbing is fixed.

Ellie is smart and observant, and the mystery unusual enough to keep me up late r
In keeping with my policy of not rating books by author acquaintances/friends, I won't officially rate this one. But I will highly recommend it to anyone reading this "review." 😉

I loved the concept of this cozy mystery, and I was thoroughly entertained while reading it. Like with her Penelope Blue series (which I adore!), Morgan/Berry's writing is sharp and witty, and the story unfolds at the perfect pace.

I hope there will be many, many more Eleanor Wilde mysteries to come!
Lisa Morin
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
The title really intrigued me, so I had high hopes for this book.
Unfortunately, I had a hard time engaging with any of the characters and the story did not grab my attention.

I volunteered to read and review an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.
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J.D. Robb : Seances Are For Suckers - Buddy Read 2 17 Nov 21, 2018 05:15PM  

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Tamara Berry is a part-time author and part-time freelance copywriter/editor. She has a B.A. degree in English Literature from Eastern Washington University. In addition to books, she has mad love for all things TV, movies, and pop culture.

Tamara also writes romance novels as Tamara Morgan and Lucy Gilmore. Visit her at to learn more.

Other books in the series

Eleanor Wilde Mystery (4 books)
  • Potions Are for Pushovers (Eleanor Wilde Mystery #2)
  • Curses Are for Cads (Eleanor Wilde Mystery #3)
  • Hypnosis Is for Hacks (Eleanor Wilde Mystery #4)

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