Monday, October 05, 2015

Ghost to the Rescue by Carolyn Hart

Desperation. Why else would an emissary from Heaven be dispatched to earth except when someone is in desperate need? And, that's really the only reason Chief Wiggins of the Department of Good Intentions would ever want to dispatch Bailey Ruth Raeburn. In Carolyn Hart's Ghost to the Rescue, he dispatches Bailey Ruth when a child sends up a desperate plea.

Bailey Ruth is always eager to return home to Adelaide, Oklahoma, step in and help.  Deirdre Davenport is a single mom, a struggling author with no inspiration at the moment, and a job seeker. Now, Deirdre is at a writers' conference where she's hoping she'll be announced as the latest member of Goddard College's English Department.  This time, Bailey Ruth may be too late to help. By the time Bailey Ruth arrives, Deirdre is already fending off advances from the faculty member who holds her future in his hands. Jay Knox is the spoiled, youngest son of a powerful family in Adelaide, and he gets to select the new instructor. Bailey Ruth is just in time to hear him threaten with innuendo.

Bailey Ruth's plans to help Deirdre might just backfire. When Knox is found murdered, and Deirdre's fingerprints are on the murder weapon, a few people remember Bailey Ruth's comments about the primary suspect. Now, the young woman is forced to team up with the ghost who makes her uneasy as the two try to find the real killer. Between fellow faculty members and aspiring writers, there are a number of people who wouldn't miss Jay Know.

Is there a more charming, well-meaning ghost than Bailey Ruth Raeburn? She's a ghost with a sense of fashion who delights in every wardrobe change. She has a soft spot for romance, and pushes people together when she can. And, no matter what she does, she can't seem to obey the Precepts for Earthly Visitation. She isn't even in Adelaide for ten minutes before she's in trouble with Precept 1, 3 and 4 about avoiding public notice, working behind the scenes and becoming visible only when necessary. Oh, Bailey Ruth!

It's obvious that Hart knows the writing world. The writing conference brings in all sorts of aspiring writers including those who are already traditionally published, and those who are self-published. It's fascinating to read about the conference, its workings and its attendees.

Hart's Bailey Ruth Ghost mysteries are entertaining, with an amusing sleuth. And, Bailey Ruth assists the police, who she sees as intelligent people who just lack her ability to go behind the scenes. It's always a pleasure to see sleuths who work with the police and not against them.

Once again, it's Ghost to the Rescue, as Bailey Ruth uses her own wiles to interview suspects, coerce cooperation, and help the desperate in Carolyn Hart's latest amusing mystery.

Carolyn Hart's website is

Ghost to the Rescue by Carolyn Hart. Berkley Prime Crime. 2015. ISBN 9780425276563 (hardcover), 275p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.

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