“The Spider House”, Book 2 in the Madame Celeste mystery series, is definitely another home run for author Linda Anthony Hill! While it is a paranormal cozy mystery, it is so much more. The typical paranormal cozy features a main character who is a witch, or psychic, or some such, but the supernatural element is fairly limited. In “The Spider House”, the fact that Madame Celeste and Emma are psychics is the key feature of the entire story. The mystery (or should I say mysteries?) was/were solved almost entirely through paranormal investigation.
Another element that makes this book unique within the cozy genre is that is brings in a nice cast of secondary characters who are ALSO key players in figuring out what is actually going on in the title house. They are a group of young fans of ghost hunter-type shows who are excited to try their hands at their own investigation when strange things begin happening at a friend’s house. The relationships among the friends, as well as between them and Madame Celeste/Emma, add an interesting element to the story.
The mystery itself is intriguing, primarily because much of it is paranormal in nature. The police don’t even get involved at all until late in the story, when something physical happens and they are contacted.
And the ending…WOW! It was surprising, while still making perfect sense given everything the reader learned throughout the book. And one element of the ending was NOT something you normally see in a cozy…I won’t say more to avoid spoilers.
All in all, this was a delightful (due to its uniqueness) and enjoyable (due to its great plot and characters) mystery. I eagerly await Book 3 to read more about Madame Celeste, Emma, and their future adventures.
Five out of five sun-warmed chunks of Gouda!