Night of the Living Deed
E. J. Copperman
Berkley, Jun 2010, $7.99
After her divorce from Steven AKA as the Swine, Alison Kirby wants to start over with her nine years old daughter Melissa. She buys a seven bedroom four bath fixer upper beach house and does her own repairs. Her plan is to open up a guest house; sans breakfast. Her project is coming along nicely until a bucket of compound falls on her head; knocking Alison out cold. When she awakens she sees the ghost of Maxie Moline and her bodyguard private detective Paul Harrison.
They both died in the house with the official verdict being a double suicide. Paul insists they never took the sleeping pills that caused their deaths; instead he claims to Alison someone poisoned them. They plead with Alison to look into their contention, but she says no until Maxie's antics drive her crazy so feeling like a victim of emotional erosion she agrees. Alison soon receives threatening emails and phone calls in which she is told they want "it" as she investigates what happened to the ghosts and links that to the threats to her. She finds a suspect, but to prove her belief requires her to employ extraordinary measures as deadlines leave her in a cemetery on Halloween night.
Witty, charming and magical describe the entertaining first Haunted Guest House mystery. The spirits interact with Alison, her daughter and mother as if they are alive; especially moxie Maxie with her antics to blackmail the heroine into investigating her demise. In between home repairs, a very frightened Alison tries to determine who is terrifying her and if the threat is tied to the deaths of her ghostly houseguests. Her trepidation and her relationship with her daughter make for an enjoyable paranormal amateur sleuth tale.