Night of the Living Deed by E.J. Copperman
From the back of the book:
“7 BEDROOMS, 4 BATHS, 2 GHOSTS.
Newly divorced Alison Kerby wants a second chance for herself and her nine-year-old daughter, so she’s returned to her hometown on the Jersey Shore to transform a fixer-upper into a charming – and hopefully profitable – guest house. But when a bump on the head leaves her seeing not only stars but spirits, Alison realizes the real challenge she’s facing is out of this world.
The two residing ghosts are Maxie Malone, the foul-tempered former owner of the house (who has definite opinions about Alisons’ design plans), and Paul Harrison, a private eye who’d been working for Maxie – both died in the house on the same night. The official cause of death was suicide, but the ghosts insist they were murdered, and they need Alison to find out who killed them – or the next ghost in the guesthouse will be Alison herself . . .”
One of the challenges I entered this year is the Mystery and Suspense Challenge hosted by Book Chick City. I signed up to read a minimum of 12 mystery or suspense books in 2011. Not a problem. I love mysteries and so far have read 20 and have plenty more I can read before the end of the year. I also signed up for the Off the Shelf Challenge where I’m hoping to read a minimum of 30 books that I had purchased prior to January 1st 2011, but had not yet read. This book fits both challenges.
I’m not really sure why I had this book on my shelf for a year without having read it. I guess I have to blame it on my book addiction and this past year being crazy.
What I liked about the book: Just about everything. The pacing is just right. It’s not too intense, but instead is a steady page turner. I love the characters. Alison is a strong female character. Like most cozy mystery heroines she does tend to get herself into some scrapes that a normal person, using a little common sense would be able to avoid. If she didn’t, the book would be rather boring. And you have to love a woman who can do her own home repairs, to include hanging cabinets, tiling the bathroom and repairing the furnace. I admire her way with power tools. I do well to be able to identify a hammer. Alison’s daughter, Melissa is a nice change from the typical moody child of a single parent. That’s not to say she’s a paragon of virtue, but rather she seems to be working with her mom rather than against her. I read a lot of mysteries and pride myself on figuring out the culprit long before the end of the book. So, when an author stumps me, I’m impressed. I had another culprit in mind, but I have to admit that the guilty party makes sense. In fact I had briefly considered this character at the culprit, but changed my mind. Copperman added just enough twists to keep the reader guessing. There are no annoying characters in this story. Usually there is someone the reader just LOVES to hate or be annoyed with. Not so with this book. Granted, Maxie has her moments, but basically, she’s a likable ghost.I’m looking forward to reading more about her, Paul, Alison and Melissa and Melissa’s history teacher – Mr. Barnes.
What I didn’t like about the book: I’m on a good reading streak. There was nothing in this book that I didn’t like. In fact I enjoyed this book so much I’ve already added book two, The Uninvited Ghost, to my shopping cart.
If you are a cozy mystery fan this is a series you will want to follow.