Lee Raines is an undertaker with a special gift: she's a "Betweener"
who sees dead spirits who need her to help to reach the other
side. Cephus Hardy supposedly disappeared five years before
on a drunken spree, but suddenly appears to Emma Lee, claiming
he was murdered. Unfortunately, he has no idea where his body
is buried, let alone who killed him, so finding his murderer
and body will be a challenge. Emma Lee has a hard time calming
down the results of her red-haired, scooter-riding grandmother
racing through the streets, running for mayor. Then there's
Emma Lee's boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, who has his
hands full keeping peace, especially when the carnival arrives
in town. Then a second ghost appears to ask for Emma Lee's
help and all heck breaks loose.
A Ghostly Demise was one of the most enjoyable paranormal
cozy mysteries I've read this year. It's full of charming,
interesting characters and laughs galore, with a solid mystery
that kept me reading - and laughing - to the very last page.
I really adored the relationship between Emma Lee and Jack
Henry, and look forward to the next release in the series
to see how their bond deepens. Emma Lee's grandmother is really
a stitch, flying down the streets on her scooter and handing
out buttons as she asks people to vote for her.
The novel itself has a refreshing "back home" feel
to it, aided by some country slang and loveable characters
that bring to mind places like Gary, Indiana, from The Music
Man or Andy Griffith's Mayberry NC TV show. Though this is
the third release in Tonya Kappes' series, A Ghostly Demise
stands alone as an enjoyable, charming read with just the
right amount of humor to make me want more. I loved it!