Mystic Mayhem by Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens

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Mystic Mayhem by Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens
Mystic Isle Series Book One
Publisher: Gemma Halliday Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (144 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

Melanie Hamilton is not your average artist. She brings home the bacon by inking tattoos at New Orleans’s Mansion at Mystic Isle, a resort in the middle of the bayou that caters to fans of the peculiar and paranormal, but her true passion comes alive when she volunteers restoring Katrina-ravaged landmarks. Between her day job, her restoration work, and selling her paintings in Jackson Square, Mel’s life is more hectic than Bourbon Street on Fat Tuesday. But when a guest of the resort, a millionaire’s widow, is poisoned, and Melanie’s close friend is arrested for the murder, things go from hectic to downright dangerous.

Mel joins forces with the resort’s delish manager, Jack Stockton, to prove her friend’s innocence. Soon they find themselves dealing with séances, secret passages, the ghost of the millionaire himself, gators, swamp rats, and a sinister killer who proves that not everything is what it seems in the Louisiana bayou.

Come on along, and get your creep on.

Melanie Hamilton lives in New Orleans and splits her time between helping revive a chapel destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and the job that provides her with a living.

Mel is a tattoo artist at the The Mansion at Mystic Isle, an old plantation house which is decorated in a haunted house style and where guests dabble in the supernatural. The staff are actors whose roles included soothsayers, tattoo artists, magicians and even a doorman who looked like a monster and was called Lurch.

Mel drools over Jack, the new hotel manager but a murder interferes with their growing feelings. The hotel magician is arrested for theft and suspicion of murder, but Mel is determined to prove the man’s innocence.

I have to admit the setting drew me to read the book. I’ve always wanted to visit New Orleans and one day I’ll get there. Meanwhile books like Mystic Mayhem take me there without having to pay a huge air fare.

This is a book I couldn’t put down. As mentioned the location drew me in at first, then the wonderful cover, but the book contents held me there. The story flowed from one scene to the next without a hitch, merging together the paranormal aspect of the hotel, with the modern day aspects, for instance Lurch’s determination to take a selfie with anyone who came his way. Then there was the bayou, the ferry across to the hotel, Mel’s home and her walk through the city. I could almost taste the cajun food prepared by the hotel chef. There is no doubt this story is set in New Orleans.

Everything merged together to produce a wonderful book and at the end there was a treat – the first chapters of the second book in the series. Must watch out for this one. I have one word to say about Mystic Mayhem – fantastic!

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