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!
Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short Reviews. It has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.