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Ghoul Interrupted: 11/12/15
Ghoul Interrupted by Victoria Laurie is the sixth of the Ghost Hunter Mystery series. MJ and her crew detour to New Mexico to help Heath's family fight an evil spirit who is targeting them.
In prior reviews I've complained that Heath was too generic of a Native American. This book makes up for some of that by placing him within the context of a fictional Zuni clan. (So why there's a totem pole on the cover is anyone's guess!)
The Zuni are best known for their pottery. Pottery plays a big part in Ghoul Interrupted. Specifically, the family's urn is missing and it's believed that a family member stole it when she left the Pueblo. That belief has left lingering feelings of resentment, especially in the most traditional members.
As you can imagine, Heath returning to the Pueblo with his white girlfriend and her entourage doesn't go over well. That she also claims to be in contact with the spirit of Sam Whitefeather, Heath's grandfather and a respected member of the Pueblo.
In the midst of all of this, there's what can best be described in Supernatural terms as a Hell hound. It's a large, animal shaped spirit that can manipulate electricity, and can leave scratch marks about the size of a polar bear's claws.
My knowledge of the Zuni is limited. I think that made me question details in the book more than I should have. For instance, there's a scene where Gil and MJ break into the local library to find information on the Whitefeathers (with guidance from a living elder willing to help but unable to do so publicly). To me it seemed like a stretch but there really is a Zuni Public Library that does in fact house a Zuni special collections. If the Whitefeathers needed a place to keep their history, that would be the place to put it.
In the end the mystery has a Supernatural type solution. Where Tony Hillerman's mysteries always boil down to evil people taking advantage of local superstitions, this book takes those superstitions literally.