Sharing Books and Authors, with an emphasis on Mysteries.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Ghost at Work
I originally wrote this review for Mystery News, but there had already been a published review of Hart's novel. Here's the review, in the format for that journal, rather than my normal style. Fun book!
Ghost at Work by Caroline Hart William Morrow ISBN 978-0-06-087436-0 October $24.95 Hardcover Cozy
Bailey Ruth Raeburn died along with her husband when their cabin cruiser went down in the Gulf of Mexico. Although she enjoyed Heaven, she was ready to help someone in need, so she applied at the Department of Good Intentions. Wiggins, the station master, was waiting to send her back to earth, but put her on probation for her first assignment. Before he could go over the rules, called the Precepts, Bailey Ruth had to be dispatched to her hometown, Adelaide, Oklahoma, to help the rector’s wife.
Kathleen Abbott was standing over a dead body on the porch of the rectory when Bailey Ruth arrived. Since Kathleen was going to move the body, Bailey Ruth felt she had to break a Precept, revealing herself as a ghost, and scaring Kathleen. Kathleen never did grow comfortable with Bailey Ruth, but she desperately needed her assistance. On the other hand, Kathleen’s eleven-year-old daughter, Bayroo, could see Bailey Ruth, and was pleased to have a ghost around.
Bailey Ruth tried to help Kathleen, but the rector’s wife only seemed to dig herself in deeper as a murder suspect. Bailey Ruth found herself investigating the victim’s past, only to find that Daryl Murdoch was not popular in Adelaide, and had some very interesting pictures on the cell phone that Kathleen pitched into the water. Ghost at Work is a fun story with the ghosts, murder and blackmail.
Bailey Ruth is an enchanting character. Readers willing to suspend disbelief, and accept a ghost that investigates a murder, and interferes with the police investigation will probably enjoy Ghost at Work. Hart devised eight Precepts for ghosts, and Bailey Ruth broke four of the eight; revealing herself, becoming visible, allowing herself to be noticed, and alarming people. She’s a delightful characters who enjoys the new fashions, and is fascinated by new technology such as cell phones and computers. She’s thrilled when she finds out why she was the perfect choice to help Kathleen.
Hart’s characters are all interesting. I’d like to see more of Wiggins and Bayroo in future books. Readers who enjoy a fun mystery, with humor, suspense, and a ghost, will appreciate Hart’s latest book.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
My reviews are only my opinion, and do not reflect the views of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.
I will not review self-published books, and, at the present time, do not accept books in e-book format.
My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.