Osgood as Gone by Cooper S. Beckett

Genre: mystery
Secondary genre: paranormal
Series: The Spectral Inspector vol 1
Format read: ebook
Content warnings: alcohol and RX abuse
Positive rep: LGBTQIA, polyamory, POC (SE Asian)
Rating: planchet-3

I received an ARC of this book in exchanged for an honest review.

Prudence Osgood has had it rough. A car accident left her with chronic back pain and debilitating headaches. Her ambition and willingness to please her old boss destroyed her hopes of having her own ghost-hunting television show–not to mention her relationship with her co-host and then girlfriend. To top it off, her polyamorous relationship with a married couple has hit a wall, leaving her shut out.

All this to say that most of her time is spent laying on the floor in varying states of not-sober, while her podcast, the Spectral Inspector, languishes in the bowels of the internet.

That all changes with a mysterious text message. After enlisting her tech-expert best friend, she tries to track down the unknown sender and decipher the cryptic message.

What she finds sends her on a mythical quest into ’90s rock music, a series of missing persons cases, and a reunion with Catherine Frost, her former co-host and ex. They’ll have to put aside their differences if they want to bring the missing home–including Catherine’s sister. Or stop the end of the world.

This book starts out as a hard-boiled detective novel, then delves into 90s nostalgia, music fandom, and finally takes a sharp left into Cthullhu-esque mythos.

I enjoyed all aspects of this book, though I do wish the supernatural had been sprinkled throughout the book, rather than just exploding at the end. It’s hinted at through Osgood’s dreams, but when I picked up the book I was expecting more of a ghost story than an end-of-the-world, old gods bent on destruction kind of story.

Still, I really loved the layering of the clues though music and hidden messages, and the chemistry and tension between the characters. If you’re looking for an indie book in the vein of Meddling Kids, then this is a good one to pick up.