It's not easy being a divorced mother of a nine-year-old girl. And, it's not easy trying to renovate a Victorian house. Throw in two ghosts, and Alison Kerby isn't having a good October in E.J. Copperman's first Haunted Guesthouse Mystery, Night of the Living Deed.
Alison thought she only had to renovate a house, and she had the skills to do that since her father had taught her handyman skills. But, when a ghost breaks through a plastered wall, Alison is angry at the destruction of the house. And, Maxie, the former owner of the house, is malicious and won't give up until Alison agrees to investigate Maxie's death. She died at the same time as Paul, the private detective she had hired. Unfortunately, their deaths had been ruled suicide at the time, but Maxie and Paul insist they were murdered. Alison isn't interested in playing amateur sleuth. However, when she receives a threatening email, she realizes her safety, and her daughter, Melissa's, may depend on her teaming up with a couple ghosts.
What is it about Alison's new house that attracts so much attention? A land developer wants it. The mayor wants to see it. And, even Melissa's history teacher seems obsessed with the house. And, then there's the person who is terrorizing Alison.
Copperman's Alison Kerby is my kind of amateur sleuth, reluctant. She doesn't like Maxie. She only wants to renovate her house and turn it into a guesthouse on the Jersey Shore. But, if she has to consort with ghosts and pry into secrets in Harbor Haven, she'll do it to protect her daughter. Of course, most nine-year-old girls are wise beyond their years, and Melissa wants in on the action. And, Alison's mother, is much more in tune to the spirits' needs than Alison knows.
Fans of Alice Kimberly's Haunted Bookshop series will enjoy this book. Copperman's first story in this new series is promising with a solid cast of characters, Alison, her mother, her daughter, and the ghosts. Night of the Living Deed is an interesting mystery with some funny situations in the middle of a threatening situation. Don't miss this one. You'll want to meet Alison, Melissa, and, my favorite ghost, Paul.
E.J. Copperman's website is www.ejcopperman.com
Night of the Living Deed by E.J. Copperman. Berkley Prime Crime, ©2010. ISBN 9780425235232 (paperback), 325p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The author, and the publisher, sent me copies of this book, hoping I would review it.