Customer Reviews for

Ghost at Work (Bailey Ruth Raeburn Series #1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

A Little Bit of Heaven on Earth

While heaven is ,well, heavenly, Bailey Ruth Raeburn, late of Adelaide, OK, makes it known to Wiggins, head of the Department of Good Intentions, that she wants to help someone on earth in ¿dire straits¿. Wiggins tells her she may do so, although due to her rash, impuls...
While heaven is ,well, heavenly, Bailey Ruth Raeburn, late of Adelaide, OK, makes it known to Wiggins, head of the Department of Good Intentions, that she wants to help someone on earth in ¿dire straits¿. Wiggins tells her she may do so, although due to her rash, impulsive and ¿spirited¿ nature, she will be on probation and she must remember all the precepts of being a ghost among the living. With a copy of the rules firmly in hand, she is immediately dispatched right back to Adelaide to find herself on the back porch of the Episcopal Church rectory just as Kathleen, the pastor¿s wife, is discovering a dead body.



The victim, one Daryl Murdoch ,is not quite the upstanding citizen and dedicated church member he appears to be. It seems there are quite a few people who would rather have Daryl dead than alive.
Bailey Ruth now has the ability to appear when the need arises or to be invisible when she wants , a useful skill in her job to find the real murderer and absolve the pastor and his wife of any accusations because as it turns out, they too might have had a motive. As Bailey Ruth investigates the crime, the reader will laugh out loud at all of her antics while she learns to function as a ghost with a mission. Being invisible is great for moving from place to place quickly and being one step ahead of the investigation.



She begins to narrow down the suspects one by one and at the Halloween Spook Bash held at the church hall, the suspense builds when the lights go out and someone goes missing. It becomes evident to her, but certainly not to the reader, who the real culprit is. Along with a few pop-ins by Wiggins along the way, Bailey Ruth identifies the murderer and ties it all up nicely just before the rescue express sweeps into Adelaide and takes her heaven bound once again.




Hart writes a classic cozy with all the traditional elements of the genre. What she adds is her own exceptional brand of wit and humor along with a fabulous cast of well fleshed out characters. As usual, Hart has such a wonderful way with descriptions, the reader feels they are right there on the scene. The plot is well developed with plenty of suspects, all with motives to commit the crime. This is a truly enjoyable new series with non-stop fun . If you are a mystery fan, this is definitely one not to be missed ! Highly recommended.

posted by momgee on October 19, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Fun new 1st in Series,

I really enjoyed this book! It was fun and light hearted with just the right amount of twists & turns. I cant wait to read the second one.

posted by 9275233 on August 14, 2011

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  • Posted October 19, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A Little Bit of Heaven on Earth

    While heaven is ,well, heavenly, Bailey Ruth Raeburn, late of Adelaide, OK, makes it known to Wiggins, head of the Department of Good Intentions, that she wants to help someone on earth in ¿dire straits¿. Wiggins tells her she may do so, although due to her rash, impulsive and ¿spirited¿ nature, she will be on probation and she must remember all the precepts of being a ghost among the living. With a copy of the rules firmly in hand, she is immediately dispatched right back to Adelaide to find herself on the back porch of the Episcopal Church rectory just as Kathleen, the pastor¿s wife, is discovering a dead body. <BR/><BR/><BR/><BR/>The victim, one Daryl Murdoch ,is not quite the upstanding citizen and dedicated church member he appears to be. It seems there are quite a few people who would rather have Daryl dead than alive.<BR/>Bailey Ruth now has the ability to appear when the need arises or to be invisible when she wants , a useful skill in her job to find the real murderer and absolve the pastor and his wife of any accusations because as it turns out, they too might have had a motive. As Bailey Ruth investigates the crime, the reader will laugh out loud at all of her antics while she learns to function as a ghost with a mission. Being invisible is great for moving from place to place quickly and being one step ahead of the investigation. <BR/><BR/><BR/><BR/>She begins to narrow down the suspects one by one and at the Halloween Spook Bash held at the church hall, the suspense builds when the lights go out and someone goes missing. It becomes evident to her, but certainly not to the reader, who the real culprit is. Along with a few pop-ins by Wiggins along the way, Bailey Ruth identifies the murderer and ties it all up nicely just before the rescue express sweeps into Adelaide and takes her heaven bound once again.<BR/><BR/><BR/><BR/><BR/>Hart writes a classic cozy with all the traditional elements of the genre. What she adds is her own exceptional brand of wit and humor along with a fabulous cast of well fleshed out characters. As usual, Hart has such a wonderful way with descriptions, the reader feels they are right there on the scene. The plot is well developed with plenty of suspects, all with motives to commit the crime. This is a truly enjoyable new series with non-stop fun . If you are a mystery fan, this is definitely one not to be missed ! Highly recommended.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 16, 2008

    GHOST AT WORK casts an unforgettable spell

    If you have read Publishers Weekly Starred Review, you understand the vast appeal of this new series. Still I cannot resist adding a few words of my own. <BR/><BR/>A dead body is discovered on the pastor's porch, of all places. Quickly, it is obvious that several suspects had strong motives for wishing the man dead, yet every one of them has an ironclad alibi. <BR/><BR/>Bailey Ruth, a ghost from Heaven's Department of Good Intentions, goes back to Earth to help solve the mystery. Some call it meddling but, no, Bailey Ruth is just incredibly effective at bending departmental rules. Menace and mirth keep readers guessing from the start to the novel's satisfying end.<BR/><BR/>Cherished author Carolyn Hart is renowned for brilliant storytelling, and in this compelling creation she charms readers with her elegantly phrased depiction of Heaven. Page 3: "Heaven is full of wonderful surprises and perhaps one of the sweetest is . . ."<BR/><BR/>GREAT GIFT.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2008

    This is an entertaining paranormal amateur sleuth mystery

    While sailing off the Gulf of Mexico, Bailey Ruth Raeburn and her husband Bobby Mac die during a storm. However, instead of enjoying Heaven for eternity, Bailey, understanding the Precepts for Earthly Visitation rules as part of the Department for Good Intentions, is sent back to her hometown of Adelaide, Oklahoma to help her niece Kathleen Abbott, the wife of a local rector.--------------- Kathleen found a corpse on her back porch. Instead of reporting it to the cops, Kathleen with Bailey Ruth¿s assistance moves the body to a nearby cemetery. Bailey Ruth investigates the homicide, but finds many in the town loathed the victim. Still she keeps digging although she knows when she returns to heaven she will be disciplined for violating the prime directive on visits to earth.----------- This is an entertaining paranormal amateur sleuth starring a heavenly agent who breaks the rules in order, to the ¿cardiac arrest¿ of her superior, to help those in need. The story line is lighthearted yet charming as Bailey Ruth works the case by eavesdropping though many of those conversations are unrelated to her mission she is nosy. With enough suspects to fill the choir and a bureaucracy running Heaven, fans will enjoy Carolyn Hart leaving her ¿Death on Demand¿ and Henrie O sagas to introduce her audience to a fresh fun heaven on earth detective.-------------- Harriet Klausner

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Baily Ruth is an average midwestern middle aged woman who happens to be dead

    Carolyn Hart comes with a library of good mysteries and interesting, likeable protagonists. The kind you'd hang out with. Baily Ruth is just like that except that she's a spirit who passed on a couple of generations ago and now has the chance to come down to earth and to help the living. <BR/><BR/>A dead man lay in the foyer of the church she used to attend. It soon becomes clear that she needs to help the minister's wife, a niece in life, and starts by lending a hand (she materializes) to move the body. When that doesn't bring her back to heaven Baily Ruth realizes she'll have to help solve the murder.<BR/><BR/>Armed with her curiousity, her love of mysteries and her desire to make good, Baily Ruth makes many mistakes and worries this will be her last assignment. Okay so she likes to dress well (and when you're a ghost, excuse me spirit, that's just a thought away) and she gets hungry (that has to be come by the usual way) and she wants to see her family (that's against the rules) and she just can't seem to keep from being seen. <BR/><BR/>I enjoyed this cozy mystery and the delightful storytelling of Carolyn Hart. She has a talent for taking her readers along for a ride through mystery and hayhem and Ghost at Work is no different. Hart's view of heaven is fun and comforting and a wee bit bureaucratic and what happens to a spirit who comes back to earth is highly relatable.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2011

    It was...

    This book was friggin amazing!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2010

    I Want A Ghost Like Bailey Ruth

    Ghost at Work - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

    "He's dead!" Her voice was a whisper. "What am I going to do?" "Call the police." I clapped my fingers to my mouth. I hadn't intended to speak. "I can't." It was a moan. The moan turned into a strangled gasp. She looked wildly about. "Who's there? Where are you?" Skirting the body, she hurried to the back door, flung it open, clattered down the steps. In an instant she returned to the porch, dashed to the rectory back door, yanked it open, seeking the source of the voice.

    Bailey Ruth Raeburn is dead and living the the glories of Heaven, but there are times when an "emissary" from Heaven needs to be sent back to earth to help out those in trouble. Bailey Ruth has never had the honor of being returned to earth as an emissary so Wiggins, who is in charge of this Heavenly task, must teach her the rules and prepare her before letting her depart. Unfortunately, there is no time for preparation. In Bailey Ruth's own home town of Adelaide, someone has murdered Daryl Murdoch right on the steps of the rectory. It becomes Bailey Ruth's job as an emissary to protect Kathleen, who just happens to be the pastor's wife, and hopefully find the real killer.

    As Bailey Ruth approaches Kathleen, she knows that before she can help her she must first gain her trust without scaring her half to death. This isn't an easy task since Kathleen can hear Bailey Ruth but not see her. The solution to that is to appear but that is frowned upon in the Precepts, which are the rules an emissary must follow.

    After Bailey Ruth and Kathleen finally get a grip on the real situation, it's decided that the best thing to do is to move the body away from the rectory. And where would be a better place to deposit a dead body in the cemetery. But doing that will take some imagination from Bailey Ruth. She can't just snap her fingers and have the body moved, so she must find a mode of transportation and the wheel barrow seems to be perfect vehicle. As she and Kathleen wheel Murdoch's body to it's destination, they discover that the cemetery is occupied by a couple of teens who are attempting to remove the greyhound statue that watches over the Pritchard mausoleum. She accomplishes this by grabbing the crowbar away from one of the boys and flinging it out into the darkness. But, Kathleen has already dumped the body on the steps of the mausoleum where it's discovered by the two frightened teens.

    Ghost at Work is the first book written by Carolyn Hart in the Bailey Ruth series. In Ghost at Work, Bailey Ruth is an emissary in training and on probation. Following her antics as she tries to follow the rules of not appearing, speaking, nor scaring the living half to death unless completely necessary, I've found Ghost at Work to be humorous and creative. Hart's characters are not only believable but you find yourself completely wrapped up in them, not wanting the book to end. And fortunately, Bailey Ruth is carried forward in Hart's second book in the series titled Merry, Merry Ghost. I've had the enjoyment of reading both of these light hearted books and can't wait for the next.

    I've read many series books which spotlight the same character and have found that after a while, the character becomes predictable and over years "aged." Bailey Ruth is one character that I feel that can never happen to. After all, she is a "ghost.&a

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    I don't know who is more entertaining-Bailey Ruth or her heavenl

    I don't know who is more entertaining-Bailey Ruth or her heavenly boss Wiggins!  Both are a delightful part of a truly charming and very original series that  will warm your heart and keep you turning the pages deep into the night.  I love  the little details such as the way Bailey Ruth perceives and describes some of our modern technology, and her rueful admissions of her own weaknesses make her such an appealing character.  She's also  hilarious and it's definitely fun to be along for the ride as she cleverly resolves a complex mystery in each book in the series. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    I just love all of Hart's work. I get lost in her imaginative st

    I just love all of Hart's work. I get lost in her imaginative stories about my favorite character, Bailey Ruth.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 19, 2012

    another favorite to savor

    another great story by Bailey Ruth and will hunt for more tales from her. many turns and twists that is easy to keep up with. I have to admit that the ending took me by complete surprise. I did not see that one coming. I love a story that can do that with finness.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2014

    What a great read! Although you *know* that it is fiction, it ma

    What a great read! Although you *know* that it is fiction, it makes you wonder if the author has &quot;inside information&quot; on what heaven is like! - seems so plausible. Loved this book!

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