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The Ghost & Mrs. Fletcher
Murder She Wrote #44
Jessica Fletcher, Donald Bain & Renee Paley-Bain

September 6, 2016/ ISBN 978-0451477378
Mystery / Women Sleuths / TV Series

Reviewed by Linda Morelli


Cliff Cooper, owner of Spencer Percy House in Cabot Cove, believes his death is imminent and asks realtor Eve Simpson to sell his house and give the proceeds to his grandson Elliot, whom he raised from a baby when his son and daughter-in-law headed for South America, only to be killed by an indigenous tribe. Cliff, an avid reader, also asks Jessica Fletcher to dispose of his books and donate the proceeds to the local library. It’s a daunting task, as Cliff kept every book he ever read, but Jessica agrees to her friend’s request.

After Dr. Hazlitt tells Jessica he believes Cliff’s death while in the hospital wasn’t from natural causes, Jessica tries to discover who killed Cliff and why. And though Eve tries to sell the house, the hired painters leave, swearing the house is haunted. When other workers refuse to return due to strange happenings, Eve hires a medium. Cliff’s grandson, Elliot, arrives by motorbike, and Jessica likes Elliot immediately, but she doubts the medium’s abilities and has suspicions about the new caretaker. Then she begins to question who told Cliff that Elliot’s parents were murdered? Could that person also be Cliff’s killer?

The plot was entertaining, filled with interesting characters and surprising twists. While The Ghost and Mrs. Fletcher was a captivating and enjoyable read, a few times I felt as though I was reading a TV script. Nevertheless, I learned a few things as Jessica and her helpers sorted through Cliff’s extensive book collection and understood Jessica’s puzzles over the medium’s unfamiliar actions. Jessica’s response to the Conrad twins, two elderly sisters who live across from the Spencer Percy House, one of whom was in love with Cliff, was compassionate. The ending was satisfying, even though I anticipated the denouement half-way through the book. Well worth the read, especially for Ms. Fletcher lovers.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Margaritas and Murder #24
A Question of Murder #25
Three Strikes and You?e Dead #26
A Slaying in Savannah #30
The Fine Art of Murder #36
Trouble at High Tide #37
Domestic Malice #38
Close-up on Murder #40
Aloha Betrayed #41
Death of a Blue Blood #42
The Ghost and Mrs. Fletcher #44
Design for Murder #45

Reviewed 2016