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What's a Ghoul to Do? 12/26/12

cover art

What's a Ghoul to Do? by Victoria Laurie is is the first of the Ghost Hunter series and was spun off from the Psychic Eye series (which I have not read). M.J. is a psychic would specializes in helping ghosts cross over. When they don't want to and are causing trouble for the living, she busts them.

Her business partners are a parrot named Doc, and Gilley Gillespie — whose main character trait boils down "flamboyantly gay." Business isn't going so well (is it ever in these cozies?) and they desperately need a gig to keep the lights on. Enter Dr. Steven Sable of Argentina. His grandfather has fallen (or jumped) off the roof of his estate and now the place appears to be haunted. Sable wants M.J. to stop the hauntings and prove that his grandfather didn't jump.

Every starting series has a bunch of hurdles to get over — introducing the characters, the setting, the basic tone of the series. It also has to have a plot and be entertaining enough to make the reader want to continue with the second book. On the creation of characters and setting, What's a Ghoul to Do? gets a C. M.J. is interesting and well rounded but her supporting cast are trite. Gilley and Sable are both unconvincing and are built up of too many cliches to be interesting or believable.

That leaves the plot — the mystery of the death of grandpa Sable. Stripping away the annoying lack of proper character development and Sable's inconsistent handle of the English language (goofy idiom usage for humor — meh), there's actually a decent horror/mystery. The mystery was good enough to make me willing to try the second book.

Three stars

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