To most people, I’m a middle-aged divorced mother managing the Castleberry Historical Society.
What they don’t know is that my side job is helping ghosts solve the mysteries of their demise.
Trust me, it’s not easy, especially when the ghosts don’t like to cooperate or are just plain jerks.
When the town’s biggest high school bully of all time decides to come back and haunt Castleberry High, it’s my job to stop him. The problem is, this job is bringing up a whole lot of personal baggage and bad memories... because that bully bullied me.
The good news is, the town detective knows my secret and wants to protect me. The bad news is, the town detective knows my secret and wants to protect me.
My goal is to send this ghost back to where he came from. But he’s pushing hard for me to solve his murder. Only, I don’t believe his death was intentional, and I’m struggling to help a spirit that tortured me for two years straight.
Worse yet, school’s not even over, so now I’m pulling double duty as a school volunteer and hunting a killer. One who just might have me at the top of their kill list.
Deceased and Desist by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson is the 5th novel in A Chantilly Adair Paranormal Cozy Mystery Series. I recommend reading the series in order so that you can get to know the characters. However, Deceased and Desist can be read as a standalone. I did find myself a little lost in the first chapter, but then Chantilly introduced herself and her friends. I wish I had known this was the fifth book in the series when I acquired it. There is a cast of quirky, fun characters who live in a cozy small town. Chantilly has good friends with whom she spends time chatting, laughing, and teasing. She is a divorced mother with a teenage son. Chantilly has the ability to see and speak with spirits. An old high school bully is dead and needs Chantilly’s help. He knows he was murdered, but the police are ruling his death accidental. He needs Chantilly’s help in finding out who killed him and convincing Chantilly’s boyfriend that his death was a murder. Chantilly agrees to help the victim. This was a fun whodunit. It is a simple mystery that can be solved early in the book (it was obvious). There was a good wrap up at the end. I wish, though, that the mystery had been the focus of the story. More time is devoted is chatting with friends at the café, doing her job at the Castleberry Historical Society, spending time with her son and boyfriend, and helping ghosts cross over than the whodunit. The people in Castleberry sure do love to gossip and joke (I did not get the majority of the jokes). I liked the sweet ending. I especially appreciated that there was no foul language in the book. Deceased and Desist is a lighthearted paranormal mystery with fun friends, good gossip, flavorsome food, single-minded spirits, rampant rumors, teenage troubles, and beastly bullies.
The Avid Reader
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