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Séances are for Suckers

(Eleanor Wilde Mystery #1)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  234 ratings  ·  94 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 bo

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 30th 2018 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
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Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Book of Secrets
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Eve Recinella (Between The Bookends)


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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Caitlyn Lynch
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Donna Davis
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, netgalley
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
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
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!
Lisa Leone-campbell
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
Sue Em
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an absolutely marvelous debut! From the first few pages, you could tell this new cozy series was going to be something special. Eleanor Wilde is a psychic, or ghost hunter, who doesn't believe in the paranormal. What she does believe in is helping people....and getting paid. You see, Eleanor is a triplet and her sister Winnie has been in a coma for 10 years and requires expensive long term care. So Eleanor accepts a job to "clease" an English castle of Xavier. Her employer doesn't believe i ...more
Kristin Cochran Schadler
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.
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
Diane Hernandez
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Penny Noble
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Lisa Morin
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.
Toni Laliberte
I enjoyed the story, characters, setting and humor, of this cozy mystery. Had good heart too, about siblings. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Mary  (Biblophile)
A delightful, well-written paranormal cozy with fully dimensional characters that immediately draw you into their world and keep you occupied. Looking forward to the next in the series.
Susan Johnston
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Princess Fuzzypants here: This is a decidedly different take on the paranormal cozy. Ellie is a fake psychic. She is very good at solving “hauntings” that have an all too corporeal origin while giving the believers what they crave most: confirmation that there is such a thing as a ghost. She is hired by an English aristocrat to come to his ancestral castle to banish the human who is convincing his family that they have a ghost in their midst.
He knows she is a fake. She knows she is a fake. But d
Kendrea Parsons
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's not often that I find a mystery that I just don't want to put down for anything, but Seances are for Suckers by Tamara Berry definitely falls into that category. I would've read it all in less than a day, but I had to eat and sleep eventually. I loved Ellie, a.k.a. Madame Eleanor. The author made her seem so real. She was funny, but also serious when she needed to be. The other characters were very well-developed, too. I also really loved how the story wasn't predominantly a murder mystery. ...more
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ellie Wilde is a ghost hunter, realist, and triplet. While she doesn’t truly believe in ghosts, the service she provides “Cleanses” homes of ghosts and brings peace to families who have been living with them. After all, Ellie’s always been able to find what’s causing the supposed hauntings and sets them right, all while putting on a good show. While her brother doesn’t agree with her line of work, it pays the bills, particularly the medical care that their sibling who is in a coma requires.

Jessica Smith
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Eleanor Wilde advertises herself a psychic medium, and comes highly recommended. However, there's one thing a little bit different about Eleanor, she is a complete skeptic when it comes to the supernatural. She employs tricks of the trade in order to convince her clients that she has in fact helped a restless spirit move on and vacate their house, and if she can smash an expensive bottle of wine fr
Lenissa Davis
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
The moment I picked this up I knew I wouldn't be able to put this down. The author can tell a story good and leave you wanting to continue on because you just have to know what's going to happen next.

While visiting her sister in a home, a client, Nicholas, interrupts their 'talk' by wanting to hire her so she can put this ghost talk of Xavier out of his mother's mind. Shortly after Ellie hops on a plane to England and makes her way to Hartford Castle. There we meet Rachel, Nicholas's niece, F
Laura Reading
Before I write my review I want to beg Tamara Berry - PLEASE write the next book in this series quickly. I want to read it ASAP!!!

I was immediately drawn into this book and only tore myself away when the dog could not wait any longer to get outside. This book will make you smile. It will make you laugh. It will make you GASP and wonder what is going on! And then the major twist... made me do a double-take, or at least pause and flip back to see if I really understood how that could happen.

Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series is off to a great start. I hope it has a long run, it's that good. Ellie is a ghost hunter who doesn't believe in ghosts but, hey, a girl has to make a living. Her sister is in a coma with huge medical costs and her brother is a teacher - they are triplets. Some would call her a con artist but that's the way it goes. Her clients are okay with it. After finishing an exorcism, she has not even had time to catch her breath when a wealthy Englishman approaches her to come with him to Eng ...more
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
This new series featuring Eleanor Wilde, a ghost hunting cleanser, is somewhat unusual and very interesting. Seems Eleanor now uses the theatrical effects expected of medium/psychic types, since good investigative techniques apparently disappointed her clients when she found mundane reasons for their “spirits”.

After an especially dramatic purification ritual, Eleanor is approached by Nicholas Hartford III to come to Castle Hartford, his family’s ancestral estate, to get rid of Xavier, a ghost th
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J.D. Robb : Seances Are For Suckers - Buddy Read 2 16 Nov 21, 2018 05:15PM  
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. Visit her at to learn more.