I probably read 75-100 mysteries a year, at least half of my yearly total of books. But, E.J. Copperman got me good in his latest Haunted Guesthouse mystery, An Uninvited Ghost. The killer made perfect sense, but I never saw it coming.
Since Alison Kerby's guesthouse on the Jersey Shore already had a reputation as being haunted, she decided to capitalize on it. She booked a tour group that promised guests a "unique" vacation, the chance to stay in a house inhabited by ghosts. Alison even had an agreement with Paul and Maxie, the resident ghosts, so they "appeared" at certain times of day. In return, though, Alison agreed to get her private detective's license, so she and Paul could investigate crimes. It was just a shame that the first case Paul brought her happened at her busiest time. The first tour group was there, and the director of a popular reality show booked the rest of the guest house. But, Paul's case brought nothing but trouble.
It seemed simple. Another ghost, Scott, was afraid he had killed a woman he was only supposed to scare. It didn't take long for Alison to find her alive and well. First ghostly investigation successful, right? When the woman showed up at Alison's to participate in a séance, she ended up dead. And, it ticked Alison off. "It happened in my house, under my roof, to a guest I invited." Alison teams up with Paul and Maxie, as well as her daughter, Melissa, because Detective Anita McElone won't have anything to do with a case in which ghosts are involved.
The second book in this series, An Uninvited Ghost, is a triumph. Suspend your disbelief even more than usual. You have to accept that Alison Kerby can see and communicate with ghosts. All of the main characters in Copperman's latest mystery are well-developed, even the ghosts. Accept the fact that a protective mother, who didn't want to get involved in a dangerous case, would realize someone had involved her by killing a guest. The humor is delightful, particularly the reference to a guest reading Some Like It Hot-Buttered, a mystery written by Copperman under his actual name, Jeffrey Cohen. If you like ghost stories mixed with your mystery, try this Jersey Shore mystery, An Uninvited Ghost.
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.