Maureen Doherty, owner/manager of Haven House Inn on Florida’s Gulf Coast, is ready to participate in her first Christmas celebration since inheriting the inn. She has a dinner and a movie plan to go with the nearby Paramount Theater’s showing of old Christmas movies for the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” She meets the projectionist there and orders centerpieces from Petals and Kettles, the tearoom/florist. But Officer Frank Hubbard is following her around town. He’s investigating a cold case from almost 50 years earlier when a small-time hood was shot to death at the theater, and he suspects either the projectionist or the father-in-law of the tearoom owner. Both men were suspects at the time, and both are back in town. Maureen’s live-in ghost, a deceased movie starlet, has stories of the men and possible money laundering. When there’s a second murder at the theater, Maureen’s dragged into the cold case. VERDICT The charming sequel to Be My Ghost will delight readers of paranormal cozy mysteries who enjoy quirky characters and a Christmas setting.—Lesa Holstine
Dec 3, 2022 by Cynthia Chow
When the friendly projectionist Decklin Monroe is murdered during Maureen’s first Day of Christmas celebration, Officer Hubbard is back on scene and very intent on pulling her into his investigation. Maureen would much rather focus on saving the Inn and continuing her holiday events, but the mysterious appearance of fortune-telling cards from Zoltar (where no Zoltar machine is near) makes that impossible. So while Lorna dons the “essence” of Maureen’s wardrobe and dates another equally deceased ghost, Maureen and her live-in retired staff will have to track down the long-time business owners and residents who may have connections to the Paramount Theater and its increasing number of ghosts.
This second in the series focuses on a close circle of Haven locals who have mingled among some of the Florida Gulf’s most famous visitors. Haven House Inn rooms are named after the celebrities who stayed in them, with their previous residents still cruising through town. Bogie, Babe Ruth, and many others might be spotted haunting local hot spots, but in this entry it’s Maureen and her staff who must track down the killer of a possible thug and another aspiring actor. Frank Hubbard definitely toes the line of abusing his power as he stalks and forces Maureen into his investigation, but his toxicity is balanced out by the charm wielded by her bartender Ted. Movie fans will love the references to old movies and its stars, while mystery fans will appreciate the slow burn of the investigation. This is an enjoyable second installment by the author of the more psychic-leaning Witch City mystery series.
Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).
April 6, 2019
March 7, 2019
March 7, 2019
March 1, 2019