Sue Ann Jaffarian, author of the Odelia Grey mysteries, launches a new paranormal mystery series with the entertaining Ghost à la Mode. How scary can a ghost be when she smells like apple pie, and is known as Granny Apples? Is this the woman who murdered her husband, and was hanged for his murder?
Emma Whitecastle only went with her best friend to see the clairvoyant as a diversion. At forty-four, it's hard to move home with your teenage daughter while going through a divorce. And, the separation was too public for Emma, since she was married to a powerful TV talk show host. Emma certainly couldn't predict that she'd come home with a ghost, her great-great-great-grandmother, Granny Apples. She never even knew that her ancestor, Ish Reynolds, had been blamed for her husband's murder, and hanged. But, her father knew of the clairvoyant, and, her mother had seen the ghost. And, Granny is a determined ghost, determined to clear her name because she says she didn't do it. And, it's been over 100 years since anyone believed her.
Emma doubts her own sanity, until her aunt dies, and also appears to her. Before she knows it, Emma agrees to take a short trip to Julian, California, to look into the family story. She thinks she'll make a quick trip there and back, but Granny has other ideas. And, when Emma is met with anger and opposition from Phil Bower, the current owner of Granny's land, and someone else is interested in the story, Emma gets her back up. When ghosts appear to add their own versions of Granny's story, Emma knows she has to help Granny Apples.
Ghost à la Mode has all of the elements I enjoy in a cozy mystery. There's a cold case, over one hundred years old, involving the discovery of gold in California. There's a little history, a little romance, quite a bit of ghostly activity, and a mystery with an unexpected ending. There's also wonderful humor. Julian, California is a fascinating setting for the debut of this series. Now that Emma knows she can see and talk to ghosts, she and Granny Apples are ripe for more mysteries.
Sue Ann Jaffarian's website is www.sueannjaffarian.com
Ghost à la Mode by Sue Ann Jaffarian. Midnight Ink, ©2009. ISBN 9780738713809 (paperback), 312p.