Series: Ghostly Southern Mysteries #3
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Challenges: Cruisin' Through the Cozies | NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
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.
This author has been on my radar for a while and the mix of paranormal and cozy mystery was appealing so I decided to give the series a try.
I was immediately drawn into the story; it kept me engaged. The premise of the series is intriguing, a funeral director who is able to see the ghosts of dead people, usually those who were murdered. Her role as a Betweener is to help them cross over to the other side which means finding their murderer, the perfect excuse for Emma Lee to meddle in police investigations. She took some risks, which her police chief boyfriend did not appreciate.
Because Emma Lee talks to ghosts, and doesn't always recognize them as such when she first sees them, people around town think she's crazy and there are a few gossips who happily talk about her, which creates no end of problems for her. Then there's her grandmother, a batty, sometimes rude woman who is running for mayor. As Emma Lee helps her grandmother campaign, she's also trying to track down the murderer of Cephus Hardy; she has to be careful with her questions as most of the town thinks he left town five years ago, abandoning his family. She pokes around, showing a good instinct for asking questions, though the bit in the bar with the bartender and the bookie made me laugh. Emma Lee is definitely an amateur detective but she's learning.
Humor, a little romance, lots of antics, some mild family drama, and a strong mystery, "A Ghostly Demise" has a lot going for it. The quirkiness of some of the characters, including Granny Zula Fae, was over the top though and got on my nerves at times. But I liked Emma Lee and the story was entertaining; I'll be reading more in the series. In fact, I reviewed "A Ghostly Murder" here.
About the author:
Tonya Kappes has written more than fifteen novels and four novellas, all of which have graced numerous bestseller lists including USA Today. Best known for stories charged with emotion and humor and filled with flawed characters, her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. She lives with her husband, two very spoiled schnauzers, and one ex-stray cat in northern Kentucky. Now that her boys are teenagers, Tonya writes full-time but can be found at all of her guys’ high school games with a pencil and paper in hand. More than anything, Tonya loves to connect with readers, with a loyal ‘street team’ of fans and followers on social media: