I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Ghostly Demise by Tonya Kappes
Published by Harper Collins, Witness on August 25, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Cozy Mystery, Death & Dying, Mystery, Occult & Supernatural, Paranormal
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The prodigal father returns—but this ghost is no holy spirit
When she runs into her friend's deadbeat dad at the local deli, undertaker Emma Lee Raines can't wait to tell Mary Anna Hardy that he's back in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky, after five long years. Cephus Hardy may have been the town drunk, but he didn't disappear on an epic bender like everyone thought: He was murdered. And he's heard that Emma Lee's been helping lost souls move on to that great big party in the sky.
Why do ghosts always bother Emma Lee at the worst times? Her granny's mayoral campaign is in high gear, a carnival is taking over the town square, and her hunky boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, is stuck wrestling runaway goats. Besides, Cephus has no clue whodunit…unless it was one of Mrs. Hardy's not-so-secret admirers. All roads lead Emma Lee to that carnival—and a killer who isn't clowning around.
Emma Lee Raines is a Betweener Medium, whose job is to help ghosts who have been murdered solve their homicide so they can move on to the great beyond. But she’s also a Funeral Director, so she works with the living to make arrangements for their deceased family members as well as carryout the pre-needs for future burials. She’s surrounded by death, and in the small Kentucky town of Sleepy Hollow, Emma Lee is looked at as if she’s crazy since she’s begun to talk to thin air–even though she sees the ghosts of those murdered that are now seeking her out thanks to the big mouths of her success case while they’re enjoying the afterlife.
Trouble is brewing in Sleepy Hollow…
With her cantankerous, trouble-making granny running for mayor against their funeral home competition O’Dell Burns–and running from Emma Lee’s sheriff boyfriend on her motor scooter after possibly letting some goats out of their pen–now isn’t a good time for another ghost to pop up needing help. She has enough on her plate dealing with granny and her grumpy co-owner sister while side-stepping an old acquaintance-turned-carnie that keeps asking her out–before he’s murdered too.
An Iced Cold Stroh’s Is All This Ghost Wants…
Cephus Hardy was the town drunk when he disappeared five years ago, leaving a wife and nearly-adult kids to wonder where he went. Now he’s back in Sleepy Holllow, talking to Emma Lee in the grocery store, but she doesn’t realize that he’s dead, and the local doctor sees her talking to no one and figures that her case of the Funeral Trauma is going strong again. Cephus doesn’t know who killed him or what he was up to right before he was killed, or even where his body was dumped, so how is Emma Lee going to be able to get enough solid evidence to turn over to her boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross?
As She Digs, Emma Lee Has Never Been In So Much Danger…
Emma Lee knows that Sheriff Jack Henry can’t do much without solid leads, and Cephus Hardy isn’t giving her much to go on. As she begins to stick her nose into his family, former friends, and his old haunts, she unwittingly puts herself into the cross hairs of his killer. Emma Lee has never been able to help herself when it comes to keeping her nose out of a ghost’s business–even when Jack Henry tells her to keep away–but this time she’s taking on a few personality traits of Cephus. Her easy-going, nice-girl nature slips into that of a wrestling loving, beer guzzling man. And that makes for some entertainingly awkward moments when you’re supposed to act like a proper Southern lady.
I give A Ghostly Demise a 4.5 out of 5. This series is really hitting its stride, and Tonya Kappes has really brought the world of Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky so vividly to life. This town is one that runs on gossip, coffee, yoga for the old folks, more gossip, and good old-fashioned nosiness. But neighbor also helps neighbor when it comes down to it–when they aren’t rivals–and Sleepy Hollow is a quaint, bustling, and lively little hamlet that I’d love to visit. The cast of characters isn’t too large to keep track of, and they are all quirky and unique, each adding something to the story. The mystery isn’t too predictable or boring, and this fast-paced book was great fun to read. It felt like catching up with old friends while Emma Lee tried to find out what happened to poor old Cephus. I highly recommend this series to cozy mystery lovers or people who love books full of Southern charm. Each book can be read as a stand alone novel, although I suggest reading them in order to get maximum enjoyment.
What do you like best about cozy mysteries? Any favorite series or characters? I really love granny from this series.