Carolyn Hart's Bailey Ruth ghost novels are lighter than her other books, but they're still about righting wrongs. Bailey Ruth just does it in her own inimitable style, with compassion, flair, and an eye for romance. She's a ghost with a heart, and no more so than in Ghost Wanted when she hopes to help someone she's grown to admire during her time in Heaven, Wiggins.
Wiggins, who died in the early 1900s, heads Heaven's Department of Good Intentions, and he knows he shouldn't get involved, but he's worried about an old friend, Lorraine Marlow, so he sends Bailey Ruth to Adelaide, Oklahoma to check on her. After Lorraine died, she chose to remain on earth, haunting Adelaide's library as the Lady of the Roses who matched young people up when she left them roses. But, someone's nasty tricks have become fodder for the campus newspaper, and the editor is blaming Lorraine. Bailey Ruth's job is to help Lorraine, and find out who is ruining her reputation.
It isn't as simple as Wiggins thinks, though. In trying to trap the culprit responsible for the campus activities, Bailey Ruth witnesses a murder. She's soon partnered with Lorraine as they try to uncover a diabolical killer who has set up someone else to take the blame for theft and murder. It will take two strong women, even if they are dead, to gather the clues that will satisfy law enforcement, and right a few wrongs. And, while those two ghosts can bring together two young people, Bailey Ruth has to deal with the past history between two friends, Wiggins and Lorraine.
Carolyn Hart's Bailey Ruth always reminds me of Debbie Macomber's three angels, Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy. She's not quite as bumbling, but she is certainly a free spirit. She may try to observe all of Wiggins' precepts for the emissaries from the Department of Good Intentions, but that's the problem with Bailey Ruth. She always has good intentions.
Hart's series is full of ghosts with good intentions, plans to help people here on earth. Bailey Ruth may be a little too absorbed in her appearance, her clothing and red hair, but it's part of the fun of the books, and the character. This time, she isn't the only ghost whose intentions go slightly awry. Even Wiggins has trouble, with his heart and mind off of normal business. Ghost Wanted finally fills in Wiggins' history for all of us who have been faithful readers.
If you like a little romance, a little humor, and a paranormal touch to your mysteries, check out Carolyn Hart's charming Ghost Wanted. Bailey Ruth is a ghost with a heart, and a nose for trouble.
Carolyn Hart's website is www.carolynhart.com
Ghost Wanted by Carolyn Hart. Berkley Prime Crime. 2014. ISBN 9780425266151 (hardcover), 292p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.