Sunday, May 3, 2015


A Ghostly Southern Mystery – book 1
Publisher:    Witness
Published:   February 24, 2015
ISBN:     978-0062374646
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Format:  Print
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


When Emma Lee Raines got bopped on the head by a plastic Santa she thought being knocked out was the worst of her problems.  Turned out she had something a tad more difficult to deal with and what the town doc labelled as the “Funeral Trauma” doesn’t quite cover it. 

Emma Lee is the local undertaker – and she can see ghosts.  Not just any ghosts.  Ghosts who had their own sort of trauma in life.  When her dear granny is accused of killing her…now follow…deceased husband’s ex-wife who co-owns the local B&B with her—Emma Lee is on the case.  Not that the family ties are hard to connect—they’re actually pretty entertaining.  Given that it’s Emma Lee’s grandmother who looks like suspect #1, despite being cautioned to the contrary, she begins digging for clues as to the real killer.

Local sheriff, Jack Henry Ross doesn’t particularly want Emma Lee digging around in his case.  Jack Henry and Emma Lee go back, way back to a high school spin the bottle game.  Will by the book sheriff Jack Henry dismiss Emma Lee’s inside track?  Or will he accept a little ghostly input into his investigation? 

Despite being multi-published in several genres I’ve somehow missed Tonya Kappes until her A GHOSTLY UNDERTAKING showed up in my mailbox for review.  Now that I’ve “discovered” her, I won’t be missing out on what I believe will be some really fun reads in the future.  Kappes has a wonderful writing voice.  She gives her readers some really fun “southernisms” with quips delivered by Emma Lee and her granny throughout the book.  I liked how Emma Lee dealt with the “funeral trauma” and how the local residents react to her.  She knows she’s not crazy—although there are a few moments when she seems like she wouldn’t mind it because talking to ghosts was not on her career agenda. 

The Auxiliary Ladies are a hoot – Beulah is annoying as the town gossip, but she’s also pretty entertaining.  There weren’t too many red herrings that cozies are often known for, but that didn’t take away from the mystery of who killed Ruthie.  I’m looking forward to book 2 to see where Kappes goes with this series. 

This is an objective review and an endorsement of this book.


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