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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Review - An Uninvited Ghost

Need a break today? Need to just get away - maybe to the beach for a little R&R? This week we go to the New Jersey shore and a newly renovated guest house. It has two resident ghosts, but they won't bother you...much.

Author:  E.J. Copperman

Copyright: April 5, 2011 (Berkley) 293 pgs

Series: 2nd in Haunted Guesthouse Mysteries

Sensuality: N/A

Mystery Sub-genre: Paranormal Cozy

Main Character:  Alison Kerby, single mother, owner and operator of a Guesthouse

Setting: Modern day, New Jersey Shores

Obtained Through: Publisher for an honest review

A lot is going on for Allison as she opens her guesthouse for business.  She has her first Senior Plus Tour showing up and they expect daily ghost activity as part of the bargain.  In order to get her two resident ghosts to agree to playing with the senior guests everyday, Allison had to promise to help the PI ghost, Paul with investigations figuring it would never amount to anything.  No sooner have the first senior guests arrived and a ghost comes to Paul for help - meaning Allison has to do the legwork.  As if that weren't enough to keep her busy, the reality show, Down the Shore, needs a last minute place to film their spoiled bikini clad participants - and they make her a financial offer she can't refuse - so she goes along.

While investigating their ghostly client's concerns that an elderly lady may have been hurt, Allison finds it is the wealthiest member of the town, Arlice Crosby, and she is fine.  Allison and Arlice hit it off so she invites Arlice to the guest house for the "seance" she is doing with her two ghosts that night for the seniors.  The Seance ends up being filmed as part of the reality show with a packed room - when somebody kills Arlice.

Allison is a fun character, just enough gumption and smarts without being over-the-top.  The supporting cast includes the serious police Lt Melissa McElone who grows on me with each book, the ghosts Maxie and Paul are each developing into great sidekicks, Allison's mom and daughter, then her friends Tony and Jeannie add some good fun to the mix. 

There is a houseful of suspects since they were all in attendance when Arlice was killed.  The story moves along at a steady clip and has a twist occasionally.  The three storylines of juggling guests, an investigation, and the never-ending-drama of a reality show taking over were balanced and kept the story moving without bogging down.  The killer even has a twist in his/her identity and the big confrontation takes place in grand style and has some classic moments and surprises. 

This is a sparkling cozy that brings fun into murder.  This second entry's plot was stronger than the first book I felt.  If you want a fun read to create your little escape, this may just be the ticket!

We have not had some food lately so in honor of spring here is a delicious (at least it sounds amazing) fruit desert.  I am definitely making this soon.

6 oz whole wheat flour by weight (about 1 1/3 cup)
6 tablespoons ice cold butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup ice water (plus 1 tablespoon if not using vodka)
1 tablespoon ice cold orange or plain vodka, optional
1 cup cherry pie filling

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E.J. Copperman said...

Thanks for the lovely review! Just one quick thing: The reality show in AN UNINVITED GHOST is called "Down the Shore." I'm not writing about a real TV show. But I appreciate the kind words and am really glad you enjoyed the book!

A.F. Heart said...

Thank you E.J.

I have corrected the review to have "Down the Shore" as the reality show. I am honored you stopped by this little mystery haven on the web!

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