Deadly Spirits

Deadly Spirits

by E. Michael Helms

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Overview

Deadly Spirits by E. Michael Helms

When PI Mac McClellan's girlfriend convinces him to join the Palmetto Paranormal Society, he becomes embroiled in a case of whooodunnit. The society president, while investigating an old hotel, is found dead at the foot of the stairwell, his neck broken. The man's secretary and current squeeze stands horrified beside his body. Authorities rule the death an accident. Mac has doubts--no one heard the man tumbling down the stairs. Then the secretary dies in an apparent suicide. Two deaths in two paranormal investigations, and not a peep out of either victim. Mac suspects there's more going on than a vengeful spirit. Book 4 in the Mac McClellan Mystery series, which began with Deadly Catch.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781603813495
Publisher: Epicenter Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 01/01/2017
Series: A Mac McClellan Mystery , #4
Pages: 268
Sales rank: 1,276,650
Product dimensions: (w) x (h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

E. Michael Helms grew up in Panama City, Florida. His memoir about serving in the Marines as a rifleman during some of the heaviest fighting of the Vietnam War, The Proud Bastards remains in print after twenty-five years, and he recently published a fictional sequel, The Private War of Corporal Henson. A longtime Civil War buff, Helms is also the author of the historical saga, Of Blood and Brothers. He has written three other novels in the Mac McClellan Mystery series. Helms lives in South Carolina with his wife Karen. For more information, go to emichaelhelms.com.

Read an Excerpt

I pulled my digital recorder out of another pocket and pressed the "on" button. Remembering Kate's lesson that it's better to place the recorder on something stable rather than hold it, I set it on an upended wooden crate a few feet away.

"You in here, Captain?"

Silence.

"Are you the one who was smoking a pipe around here?"

Still no response.

"I've got some fine Scotch with me. You can have a snort if you give me a sign."

Silence again.

"It's real good stuff. The Dalmore, twelve-year-old Highland single malt."

Evidently whoever was haunting the storage building wasn't a Scotch connoisseur.

"If there's anybody in here, make yourself known. Give me a sign... light your pipe. Knock on the wall, or--"

Something slid and thumped along the back wall. Chills raced down my spine as I hopped up, switched on the flashlight, and shined it toward the sound. An old shovel that had been standing on its blade balanced against the wall now lay at an angle against a barrel missing several staves. I caught my breath and waited for the adrenaline rush to subside, relieved that nobody was with me to witness my reaction to the noise. "You chickenshit," I muttered.

I sat back down and took a few deep breaths. After a couple of minutes I heard more rustling coming from the same general area. This time I grabbed my phone and snapped several blind pictures, hoping to capture something I couldn't see in the darkness. I checked the photos and felt the hair rise on my arms as a couple of blood-red eyes stared back at me. Okay, enough of this ghost crap, I thought, after calling myself a few more choice names. It was time for the assault.

With the flashlight in one hand and my phone in the other, I stood up for a showdown. "Come out, come out, wherever you are, spook," I said as I worked my way between obstacles, keeping a wary eye out for rattlers. "Let's me and you have a little talk about--"

A big raccoon bolted out of nowhere, almost running headlong into me as he brushed my leg and shot out the door. I stumbled backward into some shelving that gave way. Rusty cans and dusty boxes tumbled onto my head, shoulders, and chest, landing on the worn plank floor. I'd barely caught my breath when one of the objects moved, changed shape, and started buzzing. Christ on a crutch--rattlesnake!

I don't believe in levitation, but I have no recollection of running out of the shed. One minute I was inside with a coiled, pissed-off diamondback at my feet, and the next thing I knew I was outside, bent over, and gasping for breath.

And that's when I heard the scream.

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Deadly Spirits 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
moohnshine More than 1 year ago
PI Mac is pulled into an investigation of the unknown. What happens when ghosts tell secrets? Well Mac is sceptical about the thought of ghosts being real. But hey when his girlfriend is into it he figures he can give it a try to, right? But what happens when people start dying during these ghost haunts? Mac has a mystery on his hands and it is full of lies, adultery and danger. Can Mac figure out the who and why before it is too late? This is my first book by Michael that I have read and I must say it was a good one. Full of twists and danger. I had a very hard time figuring out who done it and even when I thought I had it all figured out, bam! I was wrong. A page turner full of mystery and deceit. I had a hard time figuring out the motive and was definitely surprised towards the end. There was way more involved than I originally thought. The characters in this book are very interesting and entertaining. That Mac is a stud. All the ladies want a piece of Mac, but he is true to his feelings for his girlfriend Kate. I love his character. He is loyal, brave and a complete smart ass. Let us not forget Henry. Man I love that dog! He is amazing. Even though I have not read any of the other books, I was able to enjoy this book and not feel at a total loss. It refers to other mishaps and danger Mac and Kate have encountered in the other books, but it was not one of those that had a lot of missing information so I was able to read it as a standalone. I enjoyed Michael's writing style. It is slow and steady build up without rushing to the finish line. His characters are well-developed and he is good at keeping you guessing and turning the pages. I love a good ghost story and am a big fan of Victoria Laurie books. This book reminded me a bit of those. A good cozy mystery of who done it with a little dose of paranormal mixed in. Great combinations. If you a looking for a cozy mystery with some danger and ghosts, then this book is right up your alley. *ARC provided by Michael Helms
DarqueDreamer More than 1 year ago
Deadly Spirits will take you on a mysterious ride full of surprising twists and turns. It is fast paced, unpredictable, and full of excitement! If you love a well written murder mystery, then this one is for you! Did anyone else read Nancy Drew when they were young? I was reminded of those books while I was reading Deadly Spirits. I really enjoyed this book! It was supposed to be book 4 in the Mac McClellan Mystery Series, but was promised to read like a stand alone, and it certainly did, but it also made me decide to add the first 3 books to my TBR! So, now that my TBR is 3 books larger, let's talk about Deadly Spirits. It was fast paced and highly entertaining. It had bits of humor, intrigue, and plenty of mystery to go around. It had a well developed plot, captivating writing style, and nice, descriptive world building.  I really enjoyed the interesting plot that involved a murder happening during a paranormal investigation. Talk about spooky! The story really pulled me in and didn't let me go until the last page. It was certainly a "whodunnit" type of plot, and it was very well done.  The writing style was fantastic. I never found myself bored or confused. I was able to picture everything in my mind, and I just couldn't put the book down! I was really intrigued with Mac's character too. He was brave and determined. He was astoundingly good at his job, and was very likable. But he also had a bit of a wandering eye that made me roll my eyes a few times, so he wasn't unbelievably perfect.  I loved the mystery aspect of the story. I was constantly trying to figure out who the killer was and was trying to put the puzzle pieces together. I loved how the story surprised me and kept me involved until the very end! If the first 3 books in the series are this good, then I may have a new favorite series! 4.5 stars! Thank you to the author for sending me this free copy in exchange for my honest review!
WisReader More than 1 year ago
This series definitely is written from a man's point of view but that doesn't mean females won't be glued to the pages. It is one you'll want to read in one sitting, if possible, or return to quickly. This is the first book I have read in this series but I have added the others to the top of my TBR pile. I found the situations reminiscent of John W Mefford's series, and I was going to say they were less violent and bloody, but not to give anything away, the body count rises drastically as we get closer to the end. This book has a complicated plot, as who is looking into what changes as you continue reading. Holding it all together is a search for ghosts, or spirits, or some sort of paranormal connection. Mac knows there is danger in snooping, usually among the living, but mother nature plays a role, as do some things beyond Mac's normal comprehension. And figuring out how women think is still beyond his understanding. There is a current of sexual tension running beneath the plot, but overall this is a clean read. The characters are developed enough that the reader can connect and cares about certain ones. Although I figured out some of the motives and means, there was enough potential for doubt that I was never bored. I accepted a copy of this book for honest review.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
Smooth storytelling, great voice, compelling characters, fascinating plot twists, evocative locations and a perfect balance between resolution and reality make E. Michael Helms’ Deadly Spirits a thoroughly absorbing and entertaining read. It’s the fourth mystery in a series, but it stands alone perfectly, with just enough backstory, naturally told, to create depth and sketch relationships without ever interfering with the story. Mac McClellan is an enjoyably flawed protagonist, loyal, tempted and human. Kate (girlfriend) and Henry (dog) give him much-needed anchors and assistance. Local cops inspire occasional reluctant loyalty. Local employer inspires amusing dialog. And local ghosts… well, Mac really doesn’t believe in ghosts. The voices, whether serious or fun, are always pitch-perfect. A flask of Scotch offer Mac “spirits I could count on.” And the computer presents chances to study suspects online in a story that’s as thoroughly up-to-date as it is good traditional fiction. The setting is Florida, where a storm of characters and events might cause as much trouble as the weather. But a link to Oregon, and a very real sense of time’s passage, warfare’s scars, and love’s loyalties, make it a tale for all places and all readers who enjoy mystery. The Mac McClellan books are a great series (I’ve read two so far), and this one would be a great place to start. Disclosure: I was given a copy and I offer my honest review.
SherryF More than 1 year ago
Mac and Kate are back in Deadly Spirits and this time we will be hanging out with the Palmetto Paranormal Society investigating the haunted Navarro Hotel. I haven’t met Mac in person…yet, but seeing as how he hangs around the Florida Panhandle, it may happen. His investigations lead to danger and mayhem. His personality and the fact that he lives in a trailer always makes me think of the Rockford Files and Magnum PI. He’s a bit old fashioned where it really matters, loyal and trustworthy. Even a bit of a prude…He even has a Dobie, my favorite breed of dog. So much is familiar to me, marinas, woods, fire towers, lighthouses, hauntings… Action and mystery abound and Mac is on the case. E Michael Helms always includes some humor and I do love chuckles with my murder. The downside to his job, he has a hard time collecting payment before his clients kick the bucket. Mac has a hard time taking the whole ghost thing seriously, until…the scream. I am a skeptic too. As they walk around with their ghostly equipment and asking the spirits questions, I would be hard put not to crack up laughing. I loved everything about Deadly Spirits by E Michael Helms. He has included a lot of extras besides the mystery…a critter to fall in love with, a dash of the psychotic and a pinch of the paranormal…a recipe for success. I love Mac and this is my favorite adventure…so far. Michael has brought him a long way, making him more complex in his simplicity. I can hardly wait for more! It’s New Year’s Eve 2016 and between football and the year end fireworks, I cannot quit reading. I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Deadly Spirits by E Michael Helms.
Epic_Book_Quest More than 1 year ago
Review via Epic Book Quest - At the insistence of his girlfriend Kate, Mac reluctantly joins the Palmetto Paranormal Society, a small group of ghost hunters who investigate local historic buildings for signs of supernatural activity. It all seems like innocent fun- that is, until the society’s president is discovered dead at the foot of a staircase during an investigation. Though the death is ruled an accident, one question lingers in Mac’s mind. Why did no one hear the man fall down the stairs? Mac decides to do a little prodding of his own into the case- and when the late president’s secretary turns up dead in an apparent suicide, he knows he’s stumbled onto a much deeper mystery than he first suspected… Private Investigator Mac McClellan is back in yet another high-octane mystery from the Mac McClellan mystery series by author E. Michael Helms. With his characteristic wry humor and devoted tenacity, Mac must sort his way through a tangled web of deception and bizarre circumstances that challenge his very beliefs in the supernatural. Do ghosts really exist, or is there something far more sinister at work? Deadly Spirits can be read as a stand alone, but fans of the Mac McClellan series will recognize many familiar faces from previous books, including Mac’s sassy girlfriend Kate, smart-mouthed Deputy Dakota Owens, as well as Mac’s trusty doberman Henry. A fast and thrilling read for mystery lovers, with plenty of twists to keep you guessing! Highly recommended. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
JBronder More than 1 year ago
Mac McClellan has been drug to a meeting of the Palmetto Paranormal Society. By his girlfriend Kate. He feels silly walking around an attic full of cobwebs. But when the president of the society is discovered dead, at the bottom of the stairs of a broken neck, things get interesting. Mac wonders how he could have fallen without anyone else hearing him. But then the secretary dies of a suicide and Mac knows something is happening. The more he digs the more dirt he discovers and when he becomes the target of the killer he knows that he is getting close to solving this case. Mac is a charmer and you can tell that he goes with Kate just to amuse her. Thankfully a dead body catches his attention. There are so many levels of dirt to dig through, thankfully Mac has Kate, Henry, and Deputy Dakota to help him out. This is a great mystery, I didn’t know the who or why of the murderer until the end. I did have a couple guesses that were completely wrong. And then there was lots of action and of course a big reveal during a hurricane. Talk about delivering the killer with a bang. I love Mr. Helm’s mysteries. The Mac McClellan mysteries are wonderful, easy to get into, and filled with lots to keep you on the edge of your seat. Make sure to check them out. I received Deadly Spirits from the publisher for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.
lauralovesreviewingLT More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite in the series so far. I think it’s because I’m falling more for these characters with each new book. That and there’s something a bit more mysterious. Mac McClellan is branching out from private investigations. His girlfriend talks him into joining the Palmetto Paranormal Society. Now he’s ghost hunting. Not one for whimsy, his military background formed him into a no nonsense man, he’s skeptical about things that go bump in the night. It’s not long before his lark with the paranormal becomes real. The president of the society is found dead under suspicious circumstances and, as Mac does his thing investigating the death, more bodies start piling up. Since the dead aren’t speaking, Mac investigates the only way he knows how, checking suspects off his list, digging up knew ones (pardon the pun), and stepping on toes. He may not be subtle, but he’ll get his man, or woman. I really like Mac. I admire his discipline and bravery. Adore his affection for his dog, sneaking him human tidbits even though the dog will thank him with odiferous emissions later. And he’s quite the ladies man. Though he’s not fooled by a pretty cover. He’s just as likely to open a ladies door as to grill her when he suspects something fishy. And he doesn’t stray from his lady love. Mac knows a good thing when he’s got it. The author gives you a wide variety of suspects and more than one mystery to solve. He puts you in the setting, feeling the humidity of the southern air, smelling the fishy scent of the ocean, and hearing the calls of the soaring gulls. I’m a southern gal and felt right at home. Minus a dead body or two. There’s also plenty of action. Things get burnt up and bullets fly. SSDD for Mac. If you’re looking for a fun detective series with a great storyline, look no further.