Rating: 4 Performance 3.5 Story
Alison and her resident gumshoe ghost are on their next case when the deceased Scott MacFarlane floats in worried that he accidentally killed a prominent local woman. Turns out she's still alive...that is, of course, until she's murdered - in Alison's house. Now, between the demands of her guests and the arrival of a reality television crew, Alison must find the killer before she sees reality from the other side.
Another amazing book in the Haunted Guesthouse Series.
Here’s what’s going on. Alison’s guesthouse is finally up and, thanks to Paul (one of her resident ghost), she now has her private investigators license. If Paul and Maxi agree to help Alison put on a show for the senior tour group Edward Rance has booked, she has agreed to help Paul on cases since neither he nor Maxie can leave the house.
Their first case comes in the form of Scott MacFarlane, a ghost who believes that he may have inadvertently murdered an elderly lady named Arlice Crosby. Luckily, Arlice is alive although she’s soon murdered during one of Alison’s séances that’s being put on for the tour group. Now Alison and her group of family and friends, both living and dead, must figure out who murdered Arlice.
And to make matters more confusing, her guests include contestants of a reality show that’s being filmed in her house.
So, this one was such an interesting cozy mystery and, like the first book in the series, this one pulled me in and it held my attention all the way through.
Alison is now running her guesthouse so she’s dealing with her resident ghosts as well as living guests. She’s also just received her P.I. license and has agreed to help Paul take on cases of other ghosts. To make matters trickier, Alison has also agreed to allow a reality show to film in her guesthouse. She’s not as frantic as she was in the first book and she’s more accepting of the ghosts, which I enjoyed.
In addition to the regular lovable cast of characters, Alison’s intuitive and charming daughter, her Pollyanna-type mother, her two best friends—one who amusingly refuses to acknowledge the ghosts, Paul and Maxie there is also a group of new characters. We have the senior tour group that Edward Rance has booked and the young, and somewhat annoying cast of the reality show Down the Shore. They really shake things up and make things interesting.
What I enjoyed most about this one was the mystery. Someone wanted Arlice dead. They were hoping that Scott, the ghost, would accomplish this but when he failed, they realized they had to have someone else do the job. I was never really sure who the murderer was until the end then it actually made sense.
Like in the previous book, Detective Macaloney allows Alison to work with her on the case and actually steers Alison in certain directions. It’s refreshing to find a detective in a cozy that’s actually interested in working with and not against the main character.
So, there’s an inkling of a romance between Trent, the producer of Down the Shore, and Alison. There’s a lot of flirting but it never really goes anywhere. And I was a bit disappointed that they never touched on what happened with Ned Barnes, Melissa’s history teacher and Alison’s love interest in book one.
Once again, Amanda Ronconi was brilliant. I especially loved the Scottish accent she used when reading Scott MacFarlane. And the book seemed to fly by.
Overall, I really enjoyed this one. I never would have guessed the murderer and that nice. Although I never really felt onboard with the whole reality show thing thrown it. It wasn’t bad, and it did add to the show, but, at times, it just seemed annoying.
*Review also posted on Simply Angela
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