Thursday, September 15, 2016

Have You Heard? - What's a Ghoul to Do? by Victoria Laurie

What's a Ghoul to Do?
Ghost Hunter Mystery #1
Written by Victoria Laurie, Narrated by Eileen Stevens
Unabridged Audiobook, 9 hours 10 mins long
Published January 5th 2010 by Audible Inc (first published April 3rd 2007) 
ASIN: B0032Z3L2Y

Victoria Laurie brings us a fascinating series in this first book featuring MJ Holliday (yes, Doc Holliday was her great, great uncle) and Gilley Gillespie. MJ is a psychic medium who can communicate with the dead; Gilley is a techno geek who helps her with all the machinery that goes with a ghost hunt, the night vision goggles, thermal cameras, walkie talkies for them to stay in touch, etc.  MJ works alone while Gilley usually stays in the van monitoring all those instruments she uses or have been strategically placed ahead of time.

The two have been friends for a long time and consider each other BFFs (best friends forever). Gilley is gay so there’s no possibility of a romantic duo here. Each lives in their own condo in Boston but share an office, where they are sitting doing mostly nothing since they haven’t exactly had loads of jobs lately, when Dr. Steven Sable walks in.

Dr. Sable’s grandfather recently passed away in what most are calling a suicide. He can’t believe his grandfather would jump from the roof of his hunting lodge in upstate Massachusetts that had been owned by the family for quite some time. The doctor needs to know because ownership of the lodge and surrounding land will change depending whether it was a suicide or not. Steven needs MJ’s help in communicating with his grandfather to determine why he fell from the roof and died.

It wasn’t until a blind date set up by the local coffee shop’s owner went completely awry that MJ softened to Dr. Sable, now privately known as Dr. Delicious due to his being very handsome. One of MJ’s hard and fast rules had been that she worked alone. Dr. Sable was insisting on being there when she found his grandfather so he could chat with him. MJ finally agreed when the fee went high enough.

Using all their high tech equipment and MJ’s instincts, they set off on a journey to find one ghost. However, they ended up finding several. In the process, many aspects of ghost busting are explained, such as what the various pieces of equipment did, what MJ did when she’d found a ghost, how she crossed them over when willing and also when not willing.

Without giving you any more plot to spoil this exciting story, I can tell you this mystery really did turn into a mystery, not only a ghost story. The plot took several twists and unexpected turns and brought other characters into the story, both dead and alive. The ghostbusters never expected to need Dr. Sable’s medical help, too! Steven becomes an integral part of solving the many mysteries that they discover trying to solve the first one.

I very much enjoyed the first book in this ghoulish series. It was fascinating to watch and learn how a true medium works. It was extremely funny to listen to Dr. Sable try to use up-to-date slang but not having English as his primary language for such a long time, he tends to botch sentences up. It is almost annoying after a while, but then the author cuts back a bit on the reactions of others listening to him, and the fun and charm return.

MJ and Gilley start as best friends and remain that way at the end. They squabble and disagree but always make up in the end. They know firsthand all the stressors involved in ghost busting and give each other credit for surviving them. Steven fit in nicely with his novice hunting skills, finding himself enjoying the process and grateful for the conclusion.

I am impressed by how much this story grabbed my attention. I found myself reading a lot all of a sudden. I didn’t want the book to end, really, but now I look forward to the remainder of the series. Next up is DEMONS ARE A GHOUL’S BEST FRIEND.


Sandie Herron said...

Everyone must be at Bouchercon since there are no comments here! I sure hope you are having a fabulous time in New Orleans. No hurricanes or storms headed your way. Just southern sunshine. Be sure to let us know any award presentations, too. Sandie

dsy87 said...

This is one of my favorite series!

Lesa said...

Sandie, I'll be posting awards this week. And, I do think everyone was at Bouchercon.