Dark and Disorderly [NOOK Book]

Overview


"I was standing there naked when my dead husband walked into my bathroom..."

Lillie St. Claire is a Talent, one of the rare few who can permanently dispatch the spirits of the dead that walk the earth. Her skills are in demand in a haunted country, where a plague of ghosts is becoming a civic nuisance.

Those skills bring her into conflict with frightened citizens who view Talents as near-demons. Her husband comes to see her as a Freak; so when...

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Dark and Disorderly

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Overview


"I was standing there naked when my dead husband walked into my bathroom..."

Lillie St. Claire is a Talent, one of the rare few who can permanently dispatch the spirits of the dead that walk the earth. Her skills are in demand in a haunted country, where a plague of ghosts is becoming a civic nuisance.

Those skills bring her into conflict with frightened citizens who view Talents as near-demons. Her husband comes to see her as a Freak; so when Nathan dies after a car crash, she is relieved to be free of his increasingly vicious presence. Lillie expects to be haunted by Nathan's ghost, but not to become Suspect #1 for her husband's murder and reanimation.

But what's most surprising of all is the growing attraction between her and psi-crime detective John Thresher. He thinks that Lillie killed Nathan—and Nathan must agree, because his zombie is seeking revenge. Now she and Thresher must work together to solve her husband's murder—before his corpse kills her...

84,000 words

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426896620
  • Publisher: Carina Press
  • Publication date: 7/15/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Sales rank: 847,555
  • File size: 679 KB

Meet the Author

Bernita Harris worked as a short-order cook, a library assistant and a less-than-serious actress before winning a university fellowship and earning a master's degree in English literature. Subsequently, she worked in public affairs and later as a forensic consultant in occult-related material, events, practices and beliefs.



A Libra and left-handed, she is drawn naturally to the sinister side of justice. She has grown four splendid children and now lives in an old house in the Thousand Islands with a German shepherd, a "mostly" corgi and ten thousand books. A Canadian who hates the cold and thrives on spring, she spends her time writing, tending her herb and flower gardens and negotiating with the dead.


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Read an Excerpt

I was standing there naked when a dead man sauntered into my bathroom.

That was the first frightening thing. I knew he was dead. I'd seen him buried beneath the cold clay of the old cemetery. His gravestone was due to be delivered within the week.

He sauntered. He didn't shamble.

That was the second frightening thing, because I always thought such creatures did. Stumble and stagger, that is.

I emitted an "Eeep"—like a paralyzed parakeet—and skittered backward until the shelves holding soaps and pretty bottles bit into my bare behind.

"Nathan!" I gasped. I shouldn't have. His name stopped the slow, blind swing of the sleek blond head and gave the viscous brown eyes focus. On me.

He curled back his sulky lips and leered.

That was the third frightening thing. I knew what he was and I knew that look.

So I heaved my entire container of lily-scented sea salt at him. The spew of crystals caught him full in the face and halted him in midstep.

He smoked and dissolved, all lacy and pockmarked, with a sizzling, eating sound of dissolution, like ice dumped in a sink and hot water poured over it. Even his clothes, the funereal black suit, writhed and curled like burning paper until the figure collapsed in a drift of dark dust on the bathroom tiles. A pall of charcoal smoke hung in his shape for another long moment and then abruptly vanished, leaving behind a stink—sharp as teeth—that overpowered the floral essence rising from the running water.

I threw up in the tub.

It seemed I'd managed to kill my husband a second time.

I dropped the empty container on the edge of the vanity and watched it clatter into the sink. After three tries, I managed to turn off the bath taps and pull the plug.

A little over two weeks ago, I had kissed him goodbye where he lay, tubed and swathed and oxygen-masked on a gurney in the emergency ward—and very dead. An awkward kiss of regret for all that hadn't been and now could never be. He never made it as far as intensive care. This was just dust. Ashes and fine, sifting dust, plus crumbly bits of bubbled floor tile.

No, not quite. Something gleamed in the fragments. Nathan's wedding ring that had gone to the grave with him. Inside the embossed gold band was inscribed a date from less than a year ago. And my name. Lillie, it said.

Ah, well, tears are salt too.

In the normal course of events I had expected to be haunted by Nathan, to encounter his ghost, in daylight or in darkness, by his desk, at the turn of the stair, by my bed. I had prepared myself for that, for I had felt both guilty and glad that he was doornail dead.

This had not been his ghost.

But Nathan as a revenant? A Repossessed? A filthy zombie?

Bullshit. Not without outside help. I couldn't see it. It did not compute.

Unlike most people, Nathan had been singularly devoid of the slightest psychic spark. He had been proud of it, even boasted of his lack of sensitivity. He believed it made him invulnerable to spirit influence. Alive, Nathan was capable of holding a grudge beyond reason; dead, he could do no more than haunt. No way could he self-animate as a revenant. Someone had raised and aimed him.

I fumbled myself back into my bathrobe and lurched across to the other bathroom door, the one to the master bedroom. I had to check the downstairs doors. I knew I had locked them, I was sure I had locked them, but this thing, ghoul, zombie, whatever it was, had gotten in somehow.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2013

    One good book!

    Great story with mystery, paranormal, and even romance. Moves along well and was hard to put down. I just wanted to keep reading until done. Hope there are going to be more!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2012

    Highly enjoyable urban fantasy. Looking forward to more.

    Highly enjoyable urban fantasy. Looking forward to more.

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Lillie rocks!

    While I've read books before about people who can see and interact with ghosts, don't think I've ever come across someone like Lillie before. I really liked her! She's been considered a freak almost her entire life and is dealing with the betrayal of her late husband, but still has an inner strength that I admired. Despite everything, I think she'll recover and take another chance on romance. And if that chance should somehow involve the interesting Detective Thresher, well....that could be very, very interesting.

    Lillie lives in an ever-changing world. The supernatural is becoming more active, and the ghost problem needs to be addressed. Lillie is a contract employee for the town, and it's her job to address it. Sort of like a ghost remover. Natural-born talents like Lillie are usually distinguished by their silver hair and are not only able to see ghosts, but can dispatch them with a touch. Sometimes the ghosts resist, but Lillie is a strong talent and can usually handle them.

    Her specialty is ghosts, but Lillie finds herself needing to know about the various myths and legends she may run into. For instance, no one expects to run into a Banshee at the local laundromat, yet Lillie does. And there are all those omens and signs foreshadowing death to keep track of. What's that crow outside my window mean again?

    Found this to be a well-written story, with good pacing and interesting characters. Like I mentioned, I really liked Lillie and hope that she survives so we can see her in action again. Future sequels maybe (hint, hint Ms. Harris!).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2010

    Intriguing start to what is hopefully a series

    ** spoiler alert ** First, I had quite a few problems with this book. That being said, I liked it, and I will definitely read the next book in the series.

    Lillie St. Clare is a Talent. She can see and exorcise ghosts and may just have some sidhe blood flowing through her veins, but the answer to that question is only hinted at. The story begins shortly after the death of her abusive, jerk husband. A few days after his death, he visits her at home, zombie-style. What follows is fast-paced ride as Li ...more First, I had quite a few problems with this book. That being said, I liked it, and I will definitely read the next book in the series.

    Lillie St. Clare is a Talent. She can see and exorcise ghosts and may just have some sidhe blood flowing through her veins, but the answer to that question is only hinted at. The story begins shortly after the death of her abusive, jerk husband. A few days after his death, he visits her at home, zombie-style. What follows is fast-paced ride as Lillie tries to solve the mystery of who raised her husband and why. Along for the ride is the mysterious, manly federal psi-crime detective John Thresher.

    For those who need a relationship wrapped up by the end of a book, this book definitely isn't for you. At the end of this book, Lillie and Johnny haven't resolved anything relating to their feelings for each other. Johnny kisses Lillie a couple of times throughout the book, but, that's it, and she doesn't like the fact that she enjoys those kisses. This brings us to one of the problems I have with this book. Johnny just seems to randomly kiss her a couple of times, very forcefully, and he doesn't back down easily once she tells him to stop. Not a fan of guys forcing their attentions on unwilling women. He does back down eventually, and it is possible that she has some kind of sidhe-seduction powers that she doesn't know she has (which is hinted at but not outright stated), which could explain his not-nice-guy behavior when he's normally very much a nice guy. It's also hard to know how much of what happens in the book is colored by Lillie's limited POV. She's used to her abusive jerk husband, so maybe she's assuming worse of Johnny at times than he deserves.

    Another thing I really didn't like is that Lillie was either constantly jumping to the incorrect conclusion that Johnny was accusing her of being up to no good, which makes her seem willfully stupid, or Johnny was actually constantly accusing Lillie of being up to no good, in which case Johnny is a jerk. I'm not clear which it was or if it was a combination of both. They definitely spend more time fighting than communicating like mature adults.

    I didn't guess the answer to the mystery until Lillie did, so the mystery aspect of the book worked well for me and kept me turning the virtual pages. Maybe this is because I don't read a lot of mysteries, but maybe not.

    My curiosity about both Lillie and Johnny is piqued, and I do really want to see them get together (assuming the overly forceful, constantly accusatory nature of Johnny is all in Lillie's head or a result of her uncontrolled supernatural seductive powers), so Carina Press better put out a sequel to this because the ending is *not* an ending, and that would just be unfair to leave readers hanging like that.

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  • Posted November 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Dark and Disorderly

    First of all, this cover looks amazing, I want to hang it up on my wall.

    Lillie St Claire works for the city dispatching ghosts and other various things that go bump in the night, day, or during recess. She is caught between being respected and feared by almost everyone, but never thought anyone would stoop to trying to kill her.

    Enter John Thresher, a psi-crime detective that has his eye on Lillie for multiple reasons. John is the kind of guy that always seems to show up at just the right time to save the day. Saving Lillie is going to involve a little more than one heroic moment when some particularly undead begin showing up at her doorstep and are linked to her recently deceased husband. Lillie and John have quite an interesting bond grow between them and sparks start to fly (in a good way).

    I enjoyed reading a book where the ghosts, goblins, zombies, and leprechauns are part of the modern world, some even in a good way. A fast paced quick read. 3.5/5

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  • Posted August 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Dark and Disorderly

    An okay book but left with a hope for a sequel.

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  • Posted July 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Great Start to a New Series

    This book is the first book in a series of Lillie St. Claire. Her past was not happy and was in fact orphaned at the age of 5. She has had to endure a lot of prejudice because of her "Talent" at an early age and so has no solid sense of self. When she meets the charismatic and sociopathic former husband, Nathan, the torture continues until she doesn't know what is true and false in the world. Despite this, she finds some strength but never feels strong since she constantly has her husband's abusive talk in her head. Her talents and a sudden rise in paranormal activity bring the attention of the feds and particularly Johnny Thresher. Thresher becomes enamored, but his police attitude doesn't allow himself to fully fall into Lillie's spell easily. They both fight an attraction all the while trying to figure out exactly who killed her husband and who reanimated him. Also, who could be wanting Lillie dead as well?

    This was a fun book full of mystery and lots of paranormal activity. Not only do we have the mystery of Nathan, but a personal mystery of who and what exactly Lillie is as well. My main criticism is Lillie herself. I understand that she had been through a lot, but her constant whining about not being strong started to get on my nerves a bit. Now, if perhaps more of her abuse with her husband was revealed even in her private thoughts it might have seemed less whiny. Not that I wanted to be a voyeur, but it would have put that constant worry in a more comparative light. It would have made her strengths even stronger as well. I do think that as we see more of Lillie, however, I think that worry will get less and she will be more confident in her self and in her own strengths. I personally want to see what happens to Lillie as the story goes on.

    I give this book 3 1/2 stars. It was an interesting first book and I think we really start to understand and get to know Lillie St. Claire.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2011

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