Monday, June 12, 2017

Ghostal Living: A Hamptons Home and Garden Mystery

Greetings!  I hope everyone had a pleasant and relaxing weekend. Tonya Kappes will be releasing Mocha and Murder on June 16. It is the second book in A Killer Coffee Mystery series.  Scene of the Grind is the first book in the series and the kindle version is only $.99.  I hope you will take a moment to check out these novels.  You might discover a new series to read and enjoy!

Ghostal Living by Kathleen Bridge is the third book in A Hamptons Home and Garden Mystery series.  Meg Barrett is quickly vacating the yacht (where she has been living) with her cat, Jo before the hurricane hits the area.  Meg is going to stay at the Bibliophile Bed and Breakfast that she has been decorating for Franklin Hollingsworth (I would love to stay in the Louisa May Alcott room).  Franklin is a rare book collector and recently acquired the unpublished manuscript of The Heiress and the Light written by F. Scott Fitzgerald for $5 million dollars.  The publicity surrounding the manuscript has helped promote the first Sag Harbor Antiquarian Book and Ephemera Fair.  After settling into her room, Meg decides to take a walk around the grounds before the hurricane hits (who doesn’t love to walk around in the wind and rain when a hurricane will arrive within an hour).  She finds an F. Scott Fitzgerald book on the path to Violet Hollingsworth’s pagoda studio where she seeks shelter when the hurricane arrives.  When Meg returns to the B&B, Randall McFee is missing. Randall is the authenticator for Franklin’s F. Scott Fitzgerald manuscript.  The next day, Randall is discovered on the rocks below Scrimshaw House.  The police rule Randall’s death accidental, but Meg has her doubts.  She immediately starts looking for clues as to why someone would Randall dead.  Meg then discovers books missing from the bedrooms at the bed and breakfast and wonders if the thefts are related to Randall’s death.  Franklin is finally going to read a selection from the Fitzgerald manuscript to the public, and he discovers it has been stolen.  Meg has gathered the clues and almost has all the pieces fitting together when there is another death.  How will Meg uncover the killer?  Will she be able to find the missing manuscript?

Ghostal Living is the first book that I have read in this series.  I was able to read Ghostal Living, but I felt that some background details on Meg were missing.  I was curious as to how Meg ended up wearing hearing aids (and why she would go out without them).  I found the novel to be slow-moving and lacking in action.  The authors detailed writing did not help.  While I did enjoy the descriptions of the rooms at the B&B, this type of detail can get monotonous.  Readers are provided descriptions of meals, buildings, people, rooms, vehicles as well as numerous book quotes, information about authors (this was interesting, but not relevant to mystery), and old movies.  It is a fine line between just the right amount of detail and too much.  There is also some repetition of information (details about the book fair and the clues Meg discovered for example).  I felt that the book lacked substance.  I give Ghostal Living 3 out of 5 stars.  The mystery was slightly complex.  My favorite part was how the manuscript was concealed.  If you pay close attention to the details, you can easily solve this one.  I was disappointed that this cozy mystery contained a love triangle.  It is an overplayed contrivance, and I was happy to see it resolved by the end of the story.  I do not mind a mild romantic element in cozy mysteries (if I wanted more I would pick up one of the numerous romance novels on the market).  I will (when I have an opportunity) go back and read Better Homes and Corpses (first book in series).  It might give me a better understanding of Meg. 

I appreciate you reading my review of Ghostal Living.  I am off to the grocery store today to pick up a few items.  I will, hopefully, make it back before it starts raining again.  My next review will be of Shine Like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky.  May you have a very pleasing day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader  

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