Title: Night of the Living Deed
Author: E. J. Copperman
Series: Published in 2010, this is Book 1 in the Haunted Guesthouse Series
Genre: Paranormal mystery
What’s best about it:
- A heroine whose sarcastic humor and impulsiveness gets her into sticky situations
- Two newly minted ghosts who aren’t happy with their condition
- A home renovation in a haunted house
- A mystery to solve
Find out more about it: at the author’s website
When single-mother Alison buys a fixer-upper to turn it into a guesthouse, she doesn’t realize it comes with a pair of ghosts begging her to solve the mystery of their murders. It’s tough to say no to a spirit willing to take a sledgehammer to newly renovated walls to get its way, but Alison does—until she receives a threat identical to an email that the previous (now-transparent) owner received weeks before her death.
I’d recommend this book for the humor alone, but—lucky us—it has mysterious murders, eccentric characters, and memorable ghosts, too!
Alison’s quirks elevate her from a good heroine to a great one. The author wisely surrounds her with a supporting cast that is more than a match for her. The male ghost, Paul, would be an excellent love interest… except he’s not alive. A private detective, he yearns to solve his own murder but can’t leave the house. Instead, he convinces Alison to investigate for him. Unfortunately, Alison’s sarcastic humor and inability to stick to the script keep getting her into sticky situations, which are fun for the reader but bitter disappointments for Paul.
Alison’s relationship with Maxie, the female spirit, goes quickly from mortal enemies to frenemies when they realize they’re stuck with each other. Their interactions become even more difficult when Maxie befriends Alison’s nine-year-old daughter.
The subplots seem in danger of spinning out of control when the author tosses in Alison’s mother, who is hiding a few secrets from her only child; the cute history teacher who is interested in either Alison or her house (it’s not clear which); and a town full of suspects. They never derail the plot, though. The mystery investigation advances to a hilarious, dramatic climax. The satisfying conclusion reveals the motives, sets the stage for the sequel, and throws in a surprise (or two) as well.
For more reviews of paranormal mysteries, check out CHILI CAULDRON CURSE: Review PUSHED TIMES CHEWING PEPPER: Review DAISIES FOR INNOCENCE by Bailey Cattrell: review THE ACCIDENTAL ALCHEMIST: Book Review