Monday, October 31, 2022

High Spirits by Carol J. Perry

Happy Halloween!
High Spirits
Book Summary

Set during the Christmas season, the latest novel in this exciting new supernatural cozy series from the author of the Witch City Mysteries features a New Englander transplanted to a Florida town along the scenic Gulf of Mexico when she inherits a charming, century-old—and very haunted—inn from a mysterious benefactor. Fans of Amanda Flower and Heather Blake will delight in murder, ghosts, and the heroine’s golden retriever, Finn.

Christmas lights on palm trees and Santa hats on plastic pink flamingoes are far from the snowy landscape Maureen and her beloved golden retriever, Finn, are used to. But Maureen is determined to make this a holiday to remember—which means finding a way to promote Haven House on a shoestring. Fortunately, Haven’s vintage movie theater, the Paramount, has come up with a great “Twelve Days of Christmas” idea. They’ll feature an impressive list of the best classic Christmas movies ever made—shown by one-time movie actor-turned-projectionist Decklin Monroe . . .

But nobody bothered to tell Maureen that the Paramount is haunted by the ghost of a man who was murdered a few years back. Haven’s top cop Frank Hubbard doesn’t believe in ghosts but, believing that Decklin Monroe was somehow involved, he wants a reluctant Maureen’s help. 
That plan is derailed when, on the first day of the festival, a fresh murder victim is found at the theater. Now Maureen has to defend her staff and guests, while trying to keep her high-spirited resident ghosts out of the picture—before they have company for the holidays . . .
My Thoughts

High Spirits by Carol J. Perry is a cute cozy mystery.  It is the second A Haunted Haven Mystery and it can be read as a standalone.  The author provides all the necessary background information for new readers.  I found High Spirits easy to read thanks to the author’s conversational writing style.  The book moved along at a good clip.  I like Maureen Doherty and her darling dog, Finn.  I also like Ted, Lorna, Gert, and the other seniors who work at the inn.  I enjoyed the descriptions of the inn Maureen inherited.  I wanted to steal some of her Christmas decorations (I love vintage ornaments).  I can relate to Maureen’s thoughts about Christmas in Florida.  It is challenging to channel Christmas when you are wearing shorts and t-shirts with the sand and surf nearby.  There are two mysteries in High Spirits.  There is a cold case that Officer Frank Hubbard is determined to solve.  A man was shot in the Paramount Theater while watching Animal House in the 1970s.  In the present day, the projectionist hired by the owners of the Paramount Theater ends up shot in the projectionist booth.  Officer Hubbard believes Maureen has information on the cold case and he is stalking her (stakes out her house, follows her while she walks the dog, and much more).  I am not a fan of Officer Hubbard.  I believe he crossed the line in this book.  

I enjoyed the two mysteries that tie into the local movie theater.  There are several suspects in the cold case, and they happen to be in town.  It was fun following Maureen as she set out to gather information to solve the cases.  She gets help from Lorna the inn’s resident ghost who loves to borrow from Maureen’s wardrobe.  Maureen assembles her clues and puts the pieces together to solve the puzzles.   I did feel, though, that the reveal was anticlimactic (it was ho hum).  For those who are avid armchair sleuths, you will not find the mysteries challenging. I quickly grew tired of all the repetitive details (every time Maureen walks the dog, goes in the side door, what she is wearing down to the shoes, goes out the side door, passes the soda machines and guest laundry area, the type of car she drives).  There was romance in the story as Maureen gets to know her head chef.  Plus, Lorna has a beau to squire her about town.  I love the ghosts in the story and would like to see more of this element.  High Spirits is a spirited story with a friendly Finn, Christmas centerpieces, appealing paintings, a cold case, pricey purses, and festive embellishments for trimming the palm tree.  

High Spirits is available from Amazon*.  The first A Haunted Haven Mystery is Be My Ghost (can be read for free through Kindle Unlimited).  You can follow Carol J. Perry on Amazon so you can receive an email when she has a new book release.  Thank you for joining me today.  Are you ready for the trick or treaters?  Do you dress up to pass out candy?  We have a golf cart parade in our community (the golf cart owners decorate them for Halloween) and they will announce the winner of the home decorating contest.  I am hoping I will win, but some people feel I went a tad overboard (I have a feeling they only see the inflatables and not the story behind each scene).  I will keep my fingers crossed.  I will return tomorrow with An Amish Christmas at the Apple Blossom Inn by Tracy Fredrychowski and Debra Torres.  I hope that you have a spooktacular day.  Take care and Happy Reading! 


The Avid Reader 

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