Dying for the Past

Dying for the Past

by TJ O'Connor


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Dying is not for the faint of heart...

...Neither is the murder of a mysterious philanthropist with ties to the Russian mob and 1939 gangsters.

At an A-list charity ball organized by his wife, Angela, former detective Oliver "Tuck" Tucker is doing his best to prove that ghosts know how to have a good time—until a man is murdered in cold blood on the dance floor.

Never one to let a mystery go unsolved, Tuck is on the case with help from Angela and his former police-detective partners. Together, they must be the first to read "the book"—deceased gangster Vincent Calabrese's journal that names names and reveals the dirty secrets of several modern-day spies.

As Tuck learns the book's secrets, he begins to unravel his own family's wayward past, leading to the question—is being a ghost hereditary? Even while chasing a killer, the biggest challenge Tuck must conquer is how to be back amongst the living...but not one of them.


"The twisty plot is well delivered...Anyone who loves a strong ghost yarn will savor this tale."—Library Journal

"Murder and intrigue stirred with a little history and subterfuge...TJ O'Connor has served up another fast, fun read."—Wallace K. Fetterolf, retired CIA Senior Executive and former World War II Office of Strategic Services Operative

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738742069
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Publication date: 01/08/2015
Series: A Gumshoe Ghost Mystery Series , #2
Pages: 408
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

As an international security consultant and former government agent, TJ O'Connor has conducted security consulting, investigations, and anti-terrorism operations around the world. Today, he provides independent security consulting to government agencies and private businesses. He lives in Winchester, Virginia and can be visited on online at http://tjoconnor.com/.

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Dying for the Past 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very poorly written. Author has a good imagination, but could sorely use some creative writing courses.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Dying for the Past - Gumshoe Ghost Mystery 2 Author: TJ O'Conner Published: 1-8-15 Publisher: Midnight Ink Pages: 410 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense; Sub Genre: Ghost; Supernatural; Cozy Mystery ISBN: 9780738742076 ASIN: B00QVLB9N4 Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley My Rating: 5 Stars . . Tuck has returned. When Angela, his wife, even if Tuck is dead he still thinks of Angela as his wife, Has pulled the rich and well heeled of Virginia together for a gala fund raiser to benefit Angela's Foundation. Angela is the Bell of the Ball and Tuck is having fun tormenting his former partner "Bear" Braddock who refuses to acknowledge Tuck. Suddenly Angela's latest dance partner, Stephanos Grecco falls to the floor and blood begins to pool around him. Chaos erupts and the quarter million dollars in donations disappear. Add into the mix a gangster, Vincent Calabrese, who was killed in 1939 who once owned Vincent House and does not want to leave, the Russian mob, the FBI and some old family memories connecting Calabrese and Tucker families and a Vincent's ledger and you have a story with enough twist and turns to keep you glued to each and every page. Not your usual cozy mystery for sure, but one that will keep you coming back for more. Tuck may be dead, but I think it is the love shared between him and Angela that keeps him here even if it is only in spirit. Fast moving and well plotted this story brings back many of the characters from Dying to Know and introduces a few new ones. Mr. Conner keeps his characters true to their time. Listening to Vincent takes you back to the old gangster era of the thirties. He and Sassy, his girlfriend were straight from one of Edward G Robinson's or James Cagney's films. I think I could have come to love him. Bear has a reality check and finding Angela's stalker becomes priority one. Then there is the Paranormal Investigator, with so many different characters it is hard to believe Mr. Conner can not only keep the straight, but so well developed. If you have not read book one Dying to Know yet don't worry Dying for the Past can be read as a stand-alone, but you may want to read it because it is such a great book. I give it a 5 out of 5 rating.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Tracy Slowiak for Readers' Favorite Wow! What a fun book I just finished reading! What is that book, you might ask? It's Dying for the Past: A Gumshoe Ghost Mystery by author TJ O'Connor, continuing the story of the ghostly detective, Oliver "Tuck" Tucker, a police detective who was killed in the line of duty. But he's certainly not done solving crimes. He still lives with his wife, Angela, and his dog, Hercule, and is desperately trying to continue his work with his old partner, Bear Braddock. Bear, on the other hand, is having quite a hard time believing that he's actually communicating with Tuck, making their relationship a little rocky. But when a rich benefactor is killed during a college fundraising gala given by Angela's department and Angela's uncle is accused, well, Tuck might have to pull out all the stops to solve the crime. I so, so enjoyed Dying for the Past. This was such a fun read, and what a premise! A deceased detective still solving crimes; it just can't get any better than that. Author TJ O'Connor has done a great job in creating a spectacular story line, a fun mystery, and characters that his readers simply will not be able to forget about. Any reader that enjoys mysteries, even a little bit, should absolutely read Dying for the Past. I am so pleased to highly recommend this fantastic book, and am so looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series. Author TJ O'Connor, you definitely have a winner with these!
lauralovesreviewingLT More than 1 year ago
Detective, or should I say former detective, Oliver Tucker, likes to be called Tuck, describes hinself as a puff of dust. That’s because he’s dead. But that doesn’t stop him from detecting and theirs one heck of a muder and mystery to be solved. While his widow, Angel is on board and accepts he’s still around, albeit as a ghost, friends and his former partner, Bear, are still in denial. I had many a chuckle as Tuck used his ghostly presence to give them a spooky Boo now and then and steered them where he wanted them to go with comments from beyond the grave. I realized pretty quickly this was the second book in a series, but the author caught me up quickly on the history. The first book is about Tuck’s own murder and how he stayed around afterwards and helped solve his own case. I imagine it was just as fun as this book and I’ll be going back to read it too. So the skinny is, Angel, Tuck’s widow, holds a swanky charity ball and someone gets murdered right in front of everybody. To top it off, all the charity donations get snatched right out from under their noses. As Tuck digs into the case, he meets some other ghosts, those being mobsters, the sexy Sassy, and even some relatives from long ago. All of them are tied to this case, which stems from events about a book back during the cold war and before. Russian spies. Mobsters from the 30’s. Dead guys, several of them. A mysterious book. And a trail that leads to Tuck’s own ancestors. Lots of shenanigans and mystery in this one. Tuck is a hoot. He gets a kick out of taunting his former partner, Bear. The poor guy is in denial and Tuck likes to give him a creepy boost now and then. Bear better get on board before people start looking at him like they do Angel. Angel is a sweetie and she’s got a lot of sass herself. She likes having Tuck around and even gets jealous when he has an encounter with the sexy Sassy, another ghost. People are starting to look at her funny as she talks to Tuck, sometimes forgetting others can’t see or hear him. She takes it in stride. You’d think after solving his own death, Tuck would have moved on, seen the bright light. But nope, his remaining here was a bit of a mystery even to him. He might have some of it figured out, as other ghosts do approach him to help with their murders. Tuck can do what they can’t, he can interact with the living, be heard and talk to them. Well, some of them. So he’s still detecting and will keep on doing it until it’s time to go. The end of the book was such a hoot. You tore from one event to the next, all of it culminating in the big bang ending. I wanted to read the end, yet I didn’t want the story of Tuck and his gang to be over. I have a feeling there will be more in this series as Harry has some ancestral mysteries yet to solve. One of them being about his mother and father. Hope to see that soon.
Griperang72a More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I have read by this author and I can’t wait to now go back and get the first book in this series. I would suggest that you start with book one when reading this series even though you can read it as a stand alone. I like the ghost aspect of this mystery. I enjoyed his writing style as the book just seemed to flow. Another thing I liked about this book was that it was fast paced which made reading it very easy. The author kept me guessing until the end of the book which makes a great mystery. The characters were well developed and the scenes were well described. I would love to visit the historic Vincent House. I thought it was interesting how Tuck was trying to solve the murder from the after-life. He could only be seen by his wife, his dog and his former detective partner. I am looking forward to the next book by this author.     
LauraMHartman More than 1 year ago
Tuck is back! After solving his own murder in O’Connor’s first novel, Dying to Know, Oliver “Tuck” Tucker thought he would move on to the afterlife. But he is destined to be a ghost detective for the unforeseeable future. His wife/widow Angela is hosting a charity gala in the historic Vincent House. The huge home, grounds and additional houses in the estate take up a city block in the small town of Westchester, Virginia. The fine citizens there to enjoy the evening for a good cause aren’t the only ones in attendance. Long dead mob boss Vincent Calaprese and his hot babe Sassy watch as strangers dance, dine and die in their home.  The Gala is a hit; donations roll in as the revelers enjoy cocktails and the band. The dance floor is full when a bullet finds its way into Spence Grecco’s body, killing him instantly. Was the bullet meant for him, his beautiful young wife, Bonnie or someone else at the event? Mysteriously, the shooter seems to disappear into thin air.  Bear, Tuck’s former partner, and the local police arrest the likely suspect, but quickly realize they might not have the right person. As the police interview everyone at Vincent House, the FBI barges in and claims jurisdiction on the case. The local cops are not going to back away that easily; Bear and Tuck are still on the case, much to the chagrin of the FBI.  Meanwhile the ghost gangster from 1939 can’t leave his former home, but desperately wants something from 2014. Calaprese needs Tuck’s connection with the living to retrieve a book that has information in it that may be connected to the Gala murder. Surprisingly, several of the suspects are also after this mysterious book.  There are more twists and turns in this novel than a ride down San Francisco’s Lombard Street. It takes a masterful author to perfectly meld ghosts, gangsters, a lovable Labrador, professors, ghostbusters, Russian Mobsters and a couple of beautiful women – both dead and alive -  into an intriguing mystery. O’Connor pulls in all of these crazy characters, adds a solid story with equally fun and interesting subplots to give us a fictional feast to enjoy. If you haven’t read the first book in this series, Dying for the Past works well as a stand-alone mystery. I would suggest reading Dying to Know only because both of them are really good mysteries, and you may as well start at the beginning of Tuck’s adventures. O’Connor’s easy to read style is laced with humor and kept me guessing up until the very end. Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review. 
TessT More than 1 year ago
Once again, a new series that I missed the first book of. I suggest that if you decide to read the series, that you get them in order so as not to miss anything. When I was asked to read and review this book, I almost refused. It just didn't sound like the type of book I would enjoy. Someday I will  not be so quick to judge, I am very glad that I didn't refuse and you can be assured that I will be on the lookout for Dying To Know. Death is not all it's cracked up to be, but then again, neither is being a ghost. Being shot and then returning as a ghost put a slight crimp in Tuck's style. Coming back as a ghost, who can only be seen by his wife and his partner from the police department. Tuck and his wife Angel are definitely not your "normal" P.T.A. parents, which makes them that much more entertaining. T.J. O'Connor has written a fast paced, keep 'em glued to their chair, longing for more book. I suggest that you go pick up Dying To Know and Dying For The Past. I don't think you'll be disappointed. FTC Full Disclosure - A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
rhonda1111RL More than 1 year ago
4 STARS Dying for the Past is the second book in the A Gumshoe Ghost Mystery series. It is full of drama, mystery, fun characters including lots of ghosts, twists you might see and twists that blind sided me. Kept my attention, kept me guessing to the end. Oliver Tucker better known as Tuck is dead but not gone. He is a ghost. His wife, dog can see him and hear him. His ex-partner Bear can hear him but does not admit he can. Tuck used to be a detective. Professor Angela Tucker has a fundraiser at old mansion where one of guests has been murdered on the dance floor. Also her funds has been taken and a another detective has been shot. Bear is on the case, he gets a new partner to work with but his old partner is still helping him. Tuck runs into more ghosts of mobsters from the 30's still live in the mansion. The head mobster ghost wants Tuck to find his book. The other is a hot ghost who flirts with him. The FBI wants to take over the case from the local police. They want to find the book too. The Russian mob wants the book. Their is someone stalking Angela and even tries to break into her house. You don't know who the bad and good guys are till the end and you learn not everything is all white or black. Tuck sometimes when he touches things jumps back in the past and witness things from long ago or just from a few weeks. Some funny moments when Tuck decides to scare some people. I would read more of the Gumshoe Ghost in the future. I was given this ebook to read by Net Galley and Midnight Ink. In return I agreed to give honest review of Dying for the Past.