Monday, May 26, 2014


Publisher:  Berkley
Published:   June 1, 2010
ISBN:  978-0425235232
Genre:   Cozy Mystery    
Format:  Paperback
Obtained via:  Publisher  Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina



On the heels of her divorce from “The Slime”, Alison Kerby has bought her dream home.  Well okay, it’s not really a dream home per se—it is an old house with seven bedrooms, three baths and two ghosts. 

Wait!  Did I say ghosts? 

Apparently so.  Her goal is to turn the century plus house into a guest house—rather than a B&B—on the Jersey shore.  Renovations are going along pretty well until those two ghosts I mentioned turn up.  And they don’t just knock on the door and say “Hi, we’re your resident spirits!” Oh no, the female half of the equation drops a bucket of joint compound on Alison and when Alison wakes up, well at first she’s sure she’s hallucinating with a concussion.  But as time goes by she realizes that yes, Paul and Maxie really are ghosts and they are living in her house.  Why she asks haven’t they moved on to where spirits move on to?  And that’s when things get really interesting—Paul, a private investigator in life, wants Alison to find out how and why he and Maxie were killed.  Alison isn’t so on board with this until she herself begins to receive threatening notes including in her email.  She’s on the fence about getting involved…after all, it’s not like she can really do anything to help Paul and Maxie, right?  But when her daughter, Melissa, is threatened, Alison is on the case.  Can she find the killer before he or she strikes again?

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED is the first of E.J. Cooperman’s Haunted Guesthouse Mysteries as well as my first of his books.  It is not the last!  Cooperman (Jeff Cohen has a wicked sense of humour that comes through in his writing.  With parallels that even the characters talk about to the old Topper movies and TV show NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED is a fast paced and fun read.  I really enjoyed how I’d be reading along, wondering who done it and one of the characters would pop up with a great “Jerseyian” comment. 

The characters are entertaining and each is unique.  At times Maxie really annoyed me but towards the end when Paul explains some things about her I relented a bit.  It also got a tad boring when character after character admitted they could see the ghosts—but then Cooperman turned it around during the bad guy’s take down with one of those “aawwww” moments that made me stop and savour the moment.  I missed my own dad more than usual at that moment.  When the tour bus driver shows up I laughed out loud. 

The hints as to who done it are sprinkled throughout the book – subtly and woven into the telling of the story that when the killer is revealed you have a total ah ha moment. 

I’m not normally a huge fan of paranormals and especially not in cozy mysteries, but Cooperman does it with style.  I’ve already picked up the rest of the series because I can’t wait to see what Alison, Paul and Maxie get into next. 

Fans of cozy mysteries will really like this one.  For readers who haven’t tried one or think it’s not their thing, seriously, check out NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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