Monday, November 2, 2015

A GHOSTLY MURDER by Tonya Kappes

Publisher:     Witness  
Published:    September 29, 2015
ISBN:      978-0062374936
Genre:    Cozy Mystery
Format:   Print
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


Emma Lee Raines’s life is moving along pretty well.  In fact, the undertaker of the Eternal Slumber funeral home is living the life she’s wanted for some time.  Boyfriend Jack Henry Ross has declared his love, business is doing okay and she’s pretty much gotten her “funeral trauma” Betweener gift under control.  After all, she’s helped three murder victims complete crossing over to the other side within minutes of solving their murders.  Now she’s ready to put aside that Betweener … gift … and just run her business and plan her future with Jack Henry. 

But that’s not going to happen, at least not today.  Within minutes of sending Cepheus Hardy on his way Emma Lee is rung up, so to speak, by one Mamie Sue Preston…also deceased.  While Mamie Sue’s epitaph reads “I told you I was sick”, what the little lady wants is for Emma Lee to find her killer.  Oh yeah…and her teeth.  As Emma Lee investigates just what happened to Mamie Sue more bodies, errr, ghosts, start showing up and they all seem to have one thing in common, besides being dead.  Can Emma Lee find just what that common thread is before it ties her up – permanently?

Tonya Kappes Ghostly Southern mysteries is one of my all time favorite cozy mystery series.  With Kappes blend of modern girl and old fashioned southern expressions she tells some truly entertaining stories.  From Emma Lee and her down home girl-next-door personality to uppity sister Charlotte Rae to their quirky grandmother and hunky Jack Henry her characters are nicely developed and three dimensional.  The secondary characters—including the parade of ghosts waiting to cross over add to the dimension and growth of the “regulars.”  I like how Kappes has kept Emma Lee’s “betweener” status a secret between she and Jack Henry and not opened it up to a host of other characters so that it is no longer special.  And their relationship has moved along at a nice pace.  They haven’t been rushed but have kept with Emma Lee’s personality. 

The method of murder and how the story finding the killer unfolds in each book keeps you turning the pages to see how it ends.  Each book is a stand-alone with a nicely woven backstory so you don’t feel bored by reading how Emma Lee became a betweener in the first place and the books do not necessarily have to be read in order.  If you are new to cozies Kappes Ghostly Southern series is a good one to introduce yourself to them.  If you are already a fan, this is a do not miss series.

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

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