Book Review: A Ghostly Grave
By: Tonya Kappes
Published By: Witness
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
Page Count: 288
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Adult - Paranormal Mystery
Visiting with Emma Lee Raines in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky is a pleasant way to pass a rainy day. I have come to look forward to my moments spent in this quirky southern town full of memorable characters. In the first novel, readers learn that poor Emma Lee is the talk of the town due to the Funeral Trauma. Fate had her standing near the deli when a large, plastic Santa fell off the roof and knocked her out cold. Since then Emma has been able to see the dearly departed. She soon realizes that this is not just crazy stemming from her bump on the head, but rather, she is a Betweener and her job is to help souls cross into the great beyond. Sadly, the ghosts who make their way to Emma have all met their unfortunate end through nefarious means. Emma's open line of communication with the dead makes her an asset to her handsome boyfriend, Jack Henry Ross, the local sheriff.
In this installment, Emma Lee is racing to find out who killed Colonel Chicken Teater. Could it be his beauty queen wife who wants his money now that it's no longer of use to him? What about the handsome, young neighbor who seems to watch every move of Chicken's widow? As Chicken continues to appear to Emma Lee, she knows that her only chance of peace will come once Chicken has flown to that great barnyard in the sky.
I love the small town drama in this series. The characters are rich and vibrant. Their small town squabbles often leave me giggling. I also love the southern flair that is attached to their actions and dialogue. There were moments when I had to laugh out loud while reading. The humor is one of the dominant strengths of this series. It keeps me coming back for more. I love the town of Sleepy Hollow and highly recommend you give it a visit if you're up for a quick, paranormal read.
I was slightly disappointed by the "whodunnit" element in this one. I felt like the author tried to hard to lead me towards the wrong killer that it made the real one come to light much faster than it should have. I enjoy the game of piecing together clues, but this one didn't allow for that. I still enjoyed the novel, but I felt like the story could have been tighter. Another example of this is the repetition. Characters would have a conversation about something and then chapters later have almost the same conversation. I suppose I would like to see these more tightly edited. Again, this is an ARC, so that issue may be moot in the finished version.
This series is perfect when I want something quick and fun to read. It never ceases to bring a smile to my face. As a side note, you should prepare yourself for sweet tea cravings whenever diving into Emma Lee's world.
One Last Gripe: I was frustrated that there was very little of Emma Lee and Jack Henry together in this one. They were both doing their own thing in this novel so their relationship took a backseat.
Favorite Thing About This Book: I love Emma Lee's gumption.
First Sentence: Just think, this all started because of Santa Claus.
Favorite Character: Emma Lee
Least Favorite Character: Marla Maria (Her name amongst other things drove me nuts!)
There's a ghost on the loose--and a fox in the henhouse
Four years ago, the Eternal Slumber Funeral Home put Chicken Teater in the ground. Now undertaker Emma Lee Raines is digging him back up. The whole scene is bad for business, especially with her granny running for mayor and a big festival setting up in town. But ever since Emma Lee started seeing ghosts, Chicken's been pestering her to figure out who killed him.
With her handsome boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, busy getting new forensics on the old corpse, Emma Lee has time to look into her first suspect. Chicken's widow may be a former Miss Kentucky, but the love of his life was another beauty queen: Lady Cluckington, his prize-winning hen. Was Mrs. Teater the jealous type? Chicken seems to think so. Something's definitely rotten in Sleepy Hollow--and Emma Lee just prays it's not her luck.