The Séance Society
A Lee Plunkett and Mr. O'Nelligan Mystery by Michael Nethercott
Review: Lee Plunkett is an unenthusiastic private detective, who has inherited the Plunkett and Son Detective Agency upon the death of his father. Hired by an almost retired policeman, a friend of Lee's father, to look into what he believes to be the murder of Trexler Lloyd, an eccentric genius inventor, Lee reluctantly agrees to do so in The Séance Society, the first mystery in this series by Michael Nethercott.
For the past few years Trexler Lloyd had taken a great interest in the supernatural. He referred to himself and his followers as the Séance Society. In an effort to communicate with the beyond, he had invented an electric device he called the “Spectricator”. With a room full of followers including an egotistical medium, an aging former speakeasy queen, the local coroner, Lloyd's secretary, and other employees, Lloyd had himself connected to the Spectricator. When the machine was turned on by the medium, Dr. C. R. Kemple, smoke and sparks were emitted and Trexler Lloyd was dead. It was timely — and coincidental? — that the coroner was there to observe and immediately pronounce the inventor dead of a tragic accident. As per Lloyd's wishes he was to be taken immediately to the crematorium and his body cremated.
Lee Plunkett asks his well-read Irish friend Mr. O'Nelligan to work with him on this case. The literate O'Nelligan, who is wont to quoting Yeats and Shakespeare, and Lee bounce ideas and theories off of each other in hopes to find the truth: A natural if also accidental death? Or cold-blooded murder.
The delightful cast of characters is the hallmark of this series debut. There are, of course, the creatively drawn Lee Plunkett and Mr. O'Nelligan leading the investigation but nearly everyone else is a credible suspect into the why and how Trexler Lloyd came to an untimely end. The storyline is replete with red herrings and dead ends, a real whodunit-style mystery. Readers will most certainly be looking forward to the duo's next adventure.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Séance Society.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of The Séance Society for this review.
Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in The Séance Society: Connecticut
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The Séance Society by Michael Nethercott — A Lee Plunkett and Mr. O'Nelligan Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: October 2013
List Price: $24.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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