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Be My Ghost: 07/08/22
Be My Ghost by Carol J. Perry and C.S.E Cooney (Narrator) is the start of the Haunted Haven mystery series. Maureen Doherty has just lost her job when the department store declares bankruptcy. But she's also inherited a hotel in Florida from a woman she's never heard of. All she knows of the area is that she and her parents took a fishing vacation there when she was a child.
On her way south, Maureen receives an ominous fortune from a vintage Zoltar. Don't take those fortunes lightly! By the end of the book the entire fortune will have come true. It will involve a murder, a mystery, and help from some ghosts.
The murder victim is a self-styled ghost photographer. Haven, Florida is known for its ghosts. Most buildings claim at least one. The hotel Maureen inherits has at least three. Yet no one in the town seems to want to encourage ghost hunters. This is the one bit that seems off about the premise. Ghost hunting tourism would be a necessary shot in the arm financially speaking.
The mystery itself is pretty straight forward. The murder happens in front of Maureen and the reader. Frankly it's done in a way reminiscent of a Columbo mystery. The only reason Maureen misses what happened is that she's road weary from two days of driving.
The fun of this book then is waiting for the murder to slip up. There's also the question of the hotel's finances. Can Maureen save the hotel and help it thrive again? And finally there are the ghosts. How does Maureen come to terms with the reality of their existence? How do they feel about her being the new owner?
Another nagging question involves the ghost in Maureen's apartment. Clearly she's with it enough to know when people come and go into the apartment. Why doesn't Maureen ask the ghost who came into her room to plant evidence? Or why not ask her to talk to the ghostly piano player who had the best view of the murder?
Regardless of these small questions, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The second book in the series is High Spirits. It's scheduled for release on October 25, 2022.