A Ghostly Murder by Tonya Kappes

Posted 29 September, 2015 by Heather in Blog, Book Review, Heather, Heather Book Review / 2 Comments

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 Murder by Tonya KappesA Ghostly Murder by Tonya Kappes
Series: Ghostly Southern Mysteries #4
Published by Witness on September 29. 2015
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
4.5 Stars

Emma Lee Raines knows there's only one cure for a bad case of murder!

I told you I was sick, reads the heastone above Mamie Sue Preston's grave. She was the richest woman in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky, and also the biggest hypochondriac. Ironic, considering someone killed her-proprietor of the Eternal Slumber Funeral Home, know all this? Because Mamie Sue's ghost told her, that's how! And she's offering big bucks to find the perp.

The catch is, Mamie Sue was buried by the Raines family's archrival, Burns Funeral Home. Would the Burneses stoop to framing Emma Lee's granny? With an enterprising maid, a penny-pinching pastor, and a slimy Lexington lawyer all making a killing off Mamie Sue's estate, Emma Lee needs a teammate-like her dreamboat boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross. Because with millions at stake, snooping around is definitely bad for Emma Lee's health.

The Southern Ghostly Mystery series has been a real treat to discover this year, and I’ve really enjoyed reading about Emma Lee Raines as she’s trying to find her footing as a Betweener Medium. While she juggles trying to help murdered ghosts cross over and her regular job at the family funeral home, Emma Lee also spends time with handsome boyfriend Sheriff Jack Henry Ross. These books are full of quirky, fun, and believable characters that make the Kentucky town of Sleepy Hollow a great place to visit.

In the latest standalone A Ghostly Murder, the ghost that needs help is the town hypochondriac Mamie Sue Preston. While she doesn’t remember who killed her, the list of people who could have done her in isn’t very short thanks to Mamie Sue being the richest person in Sleepy Hollow. From the Baptist minister whose church received one million dollars in her will to her pretty housekeeper who is hawking her homemade moisturizer all over town while she cleans other rich people’s homes, Emma Lee has her work cut out for her while Mamie Sue jokes about everyone around her and promises Emma Lee a payday when she solves her murder.

While Emma Lee is sticking her nose in everyone’s business much to her boyfriend’s chagrin, she also has to save her granny’s neck since it seems that someone has it out for her after her failed bid for Sleepy Hollow mayor. While covering for Granny with Jack Henry isn’t quite as easy as it sounds, and the rival funeral home family is sure that Granny is messing with them. And their funeral home isn’t doing as well as it could thanks to Emma Lee being seen talking to herself so much, with more business going over to the Burns Funeral Homes by the day.

I really loved the tight timeline of this book. While the events took place over just a few days, everything seemed so frantic and much more important to get settled. While Emma Lee and Jack Henry’s relationship is going strong, it does hit some snags that I wasn’t sure they would pull through unscathed, and I was on pins and needles just waiting to see how it would turn out. Their relationship is so great. Jack Henry is the only one who knows about Emma Lee’s ghost abilities, and while he believes in her, he’s still weirded out about them and it’s really cute. Plus they are just so romantic it’s just super great how far their relationship has come in four books.

Dislikes: The lack of rules regarding the ghosts and who can move and touch things. Can new ghosts or old ghosts move objects or does age not matter? Where do the murdered ghosts go when they disappear, and for that matter, where was Mamie hanging out for all those years that she was dead before Emma Lee was hit on the head and became a Betweener Medium? I’m sure the where they go question probably won’t be answered, but the what age ghosts can manipulate objects was quite obvious in this one since a brand new ghost and an old ghost had quite different abilities and interest in watching humans, and it was opposite what I thought it would be.

I give A Ghostly Murder a 4.5 out of 5. This was my favorite installment yet, and I really loved the deeper character development and the broader glimpses into the main characters’ pasts that we got in this one. This book just felt much more well-rounded and I was more engaged because of it. The lack of some clear-cut rules of how ghosts physics works is starting to detract a bit for me, but the overall lightheartedness, quirkiness, and country appeal wins me over every time. I can’t wait for more of these characters, especially with Emma Lee’s new family and working situations.



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I'm a PhD chemist who loves sarcasm, music, and books-paranormal, mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, and romance. Most of my free time is spent at the martial arts studio these days--whether practicing Combat Hapkido or reading books while watching my son's Taekwondo classes, or even working up a sweat with Kickboxing for fun. Goodreads

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