Published: April 25th 2019
Series: Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Moose Island Books, and the author via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Verity Long is a ghost hunter, not in the professional sense I guess, but more that she ends up in these situations where she has the chance to help the dead move on. In this instalment, Verity finds herself, her boyfriend Ellis and her ghostly companion Frankie at Mint Julep Manor. The place used to operate as an insane asylum, and they’re not here to take the ghost tour. One of the dead inmates of the ghostly asylum may be able to help Frankie move on, if they can get the mob boss to disclose who shot Frankie dead, maybe it’s just the information he needs to break free of the shackles of having his ashes buried in Verity’s rose bushes. However, things aren’t going according to plan. The asylum is filled with many spirits and when a situation causes the asylum to go into spiritual lock down. Those locked inside are tasked with finding the culprit otherwise they will never be allowed to live, forcing them to become members of the asylum on the other side. Can they solve the mystery and get out before it’s too late?
This is the first book I’ve read in this series…which I found really funny after I finished it, I realised that I’ve had the first book of this series sitting in my kindle library unread for probably a good year + now. I don’t think not having read any other previous books takes anything away from this story as I knew nothing of the history of the characters or their relationship and still found it an incredibly enjoyable read that I just flew through. There is mention of things that happened earlier in the series which obviously I had no knowledge of, but as a whole, I found this to be a fun read even not knowing things that the characters were referring to. I feel like I did miss out on the relationship evolution between the characters a bit, but that’s okay because I’m actually going to go and read the series from the beginning soon. It’s made me even more excited to dig my teeth in and see where it all began!
Verity is actually a really likeable character. I sound surprised because I was expecting to be irritated by her, I’m honestly not sure why, I just had this feeling she was going to piss me off, but she didn’t at all, so colour me surprised. Ellis is likeable enough but I feel like he needs to voice his concerns to Verity instead of her ghostly sidekick, otherwise there’s going to a world of trouble on the horizon for this bubbly couple. I absolutely ADORED Frankie. His character made me smile and laugh and he was just an all round big hoot. He injected a light heartedness to the otherwise serious scenes that we came across in this book, though there weren’t many, there were definitely a few scenes that pulled on the emotional tabs a bit. The secondary characters that we meet in this book were fun and rounded out the cast nicely. I enjoyed the ghost hunters Brett and Cash, and I’m kinda hoping that we see them again in later instalments to the series. They were entertaining and I think it’d be fun for Verity to cross paths with them again, and maybe even for them to become a more solid staple in the line-up.
The mystery itself was well thought out and executed wonderfully. It honestly kept me guessing, and as you all know, that’s my favourite thing. Working everything out before the characters is a pain in my arse and not something that I enjoy, especially when you’ve cracked the case 50% through a book and have to sit there and watch the characters run around like headless chooks. It kept me guessing right up until all the threads started coming together just before the big reveal.
The story itself does have the stand-alone mystery involved, but it also encompasses other things that the characters will be dealing with over the long term which is nice. I love a good story that can be wrapped up in a single book, especially when it comes to the mystery genre, but I also enjoy that there’s an overlying story line that carries through the series. I feel like this endears the characters to me more because I’m with them for the long haul and am hoping to see a light at the end of the big issues for them.
Fox writes an easy and flowing narrative, giving personality and individuality to all of her characters, main and secondary alike. I found myself thoroughly enjoying this story which I would place as a cosy paranormal mystery. It definitely gave me the cosy vibes while reading which is always nice. I look forward to continuing this series, from the beginning of course, now that I know I’ve already got a copy of book one that has been patiently awaiting it’s spot light.
If you’re a fan of easy reading cosy mysteries with a paranormal/supernatural twist, give this series a shot. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.