Monday, April 27, 2015

Review: Tails, You Lose by Carol J. Perry

Tails, You Lose
Author:  Carol J. Perry
Series:  A Witch City Mystery 2
Publisher:  Kensington, March 31, 2015
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  9781617733710 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Author

Her instincts may be killer--but can she catch one this wicked?

After losing her job as a TV psychic, Lee Barrett has decided to volunteer her talents as an instructor at the Tabitha Trumbull Academy of the Arts--known as "The Tabby"--in her hometown of Salem, Massachusetts. But when the school's handyman turns up dead under seemingly inexplicable circumstances on Christmas night, Lee's clairvoyant capabilities begin bubbling to the surface once again.

The Tabby is housed in the long-vacant Trumbull's Department Store. As Lee and her intrepid students begin work on a documentary charting the store's history, they unravel a century of family secrets, deathbed whispers--and a mysterious labyrinth of tunnels hidden right below the streets of Salem. Even the witches in town are spooked, and when Lee begins seeing visions in the large black patent leather pump in her classroom, she's certain something evil is afoot. But ghosts in the store's attic are the least of her worries with a killer on the loose. . .

Qwill's Thoughts

Tails, You Lose is the second novel in the Witch City Mystery series by Carol J. Perry.  After her stint as a TV psychic, Lee Barrett has volunteered to teach at The Tabby, a new arts academy, that is in a converted department store. The store has a history of hauntings and mysterious goings-on.

Lee is teaching 6 students. Each of them seems to have something to hide. Despite that Lee does teach them and they do start working on a documentary about Salem and The Tabby. Lee works hard while trying to avoid her own supernatural talent, clairvoyance, and solve an intertwined set of mysteries. I like Lee a lot. She's level-headed, usually does not take ridiculous risks, and cares about the people around her.

Lee is also dealing with the beginning of a romance with a local police detective that started in the first novel, Caught Dead Handed. Lee has lost her husband and is going slowly into this relationship. Detective Pete Mondello is a wonderful and warm character... when he is not in policeman mode. I really like how Perry is handling this relationship. It's absolutely lovely. It's a joy to read their interactions. In many ways they have already become a team.

Lee's Aunt Ibby is another standout character. She's portrayed beautifully. She's smart and often helps Lee with her research skills that she honed as a librarian. She's a great sounding board for Lee and a wonderful Aunt. There is so much warmth in the relationship between Lee and Aunt Ibby. They share a home (Aunt Ibby's home where Lee grew up) with a terrific cat, O'Ryan.

Perry mines the rich history of Salem for Tail's, You Lose. There really are tunnels under Salem and Perry uses them to great affect. I love when a novel teaches me something new! There are witches, ghosts and more.

Unlike the first novel in the series, I did not guess who did it or why. Even though I had figured it out I did read the entire first novel because I enjoy Perry's writing so much. In Tails, You Lose Perry's clues are much subtler. Additionally there are so many people with secrets and interesting back stories that I had no idea who the culprit was or what everyone really was up to. It makes for an exciting and engaging read.

Tails, You Lose is a fabulous cozy mystery, with wonderful writing, superb characters and intriguing mysteries. I am really, really looking forward to the next novel in the series, Look Both Ways.


Caught Dead Handed
A Witch City Mystery 1
Kensington, September 2, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

She's not a psychic--she just plays one on TV.

Most folks associate the city of Salem, Massachusetts with witches, but for Lee Barrett, it's home. This October she's returned to her hometown--where her beloved Aunt Ibby still lives--to interview for a job as a reporter at WICH-TV. But the only opening is for a call-in psychic to host the late night horror movies. It seems the previous host, Ariel Constellation, never saw her own murder coming.

Lee reluctantly takes the job, but when she starts seeing real events in the obsidian ball she's using as a prop, she wonders if she might really have psychic abilities. To make things even spookier, it's starting to look like Ariel may have been an actual practicing witch--especially when O'Ryan, the cat Lee and Aunt Ibby inherited from her, exhibits some strange powers of his own. With Halloween fast approaching, Lee must focus on unmasking a killer--or her career as a psychic may be very short lived. . .


Look Both Ways
A Witch City Mystery 3
Kensington, October 27, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

In Salem, Massachusetts, there are secrets everywhere—even in the furniture…

When Lee Barrett spots the same style oak bureau she once had as a child on the WICH-TV show Shopping Salem, she rushes to the antiques shop and buys the piece. Just like the beloved bureau she lost in a fire, this one has secret compartments. It also comes with an intriguing history--it was purchased in an estate sale from a home where a famous local murder took place.

The day after the bureau is delivered, Lee returns to the antiques shop and finds the owner dead. The police suspect the shop owner’s unscrupulous business partner, but Lee wonders if the murder is connected to her new furniture. At least part of the answer may be revealed through a mirror in the bureau, tarnished and blackened, allowing Lee to tap into her psychic visions. Using this bureau of investigation, Lee may be able to furnish her policeman beau with the evidence needed to catch the killer—before the next one to be shut up is her…


  1. These look great! I will have to add this series to my list of books to look for.
    Thanks for sharing.