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Praise for the Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye mysteries
“Victoria Laurie has crafted a fantastic tale in this latest Psychic Eye Mystery. There are few things in life that upset Abby Cooper, but ghosts and her parents feature high on her list ... giving the reader a few real frights and a lot of laughs.”—Fresh Fiction
“Fabulous.... Fans will highly praise this fine ghostly murder mystery.”—The Best Reviews
“A great new series . . . plenty of action.”
—Midwest Book Review
“An invigorating entry into the cozy mystery realm. . . . I cannot wait for the next book.”—Roundtable Reviews
“The characters are all realistically drawn and the situations go from interesting, to amusing, to laugh-out-loud funny. The best thing a person can do to while away the cold winter is to cuddle up in front of a fire with this wonderful book.”—The Best Reviews
“A fun, light read, and a promising beginning to an original series.”—The Romance Reader’s Connection
“A fresh, exciting addition to the amateur sleuth genre.”
—J. A. Konrath, author of Rusty Nail
“Worth reading over and over again.”—Bookviews
SIGNET Published by New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:
First published by Signet, an imprint of New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
First Printing, April 2007
Copyright © Victoria Laurie, 2007
All rights reserved
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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eISBN : 978-1-101-00764-8
This book is lovingly dedicated to two women of profound beauty and intellect:
Adell Chase, my southern bell of truth and the wisest woman on earth;
Here’s a news flash—writers are selfish people. Truth is, creative types like me are driven by one impulse—to make up a world in which we get to control everything and everyone. We decide who enters and who exits, what the weather will be, who will hook up with whom, who will win and who will lose. It makes us feel powerful and, in all honesty, has relatively little to do with thinking about what will make anyone else happy.
Which is why, at the end of pounding out three-hundred-plus pages, we are often surprised by how many of our friends, colleagues, fans, and family have generously helped us perfect our creations. And I suppose that’s what tempers us a bit, to know that while we may love to play God, we still need some angels to help us get it right. It’s these angels that I’d like to humbly thank right now:
First and foremost, my incredible editor, Molly Boyle, who takes my overly wordy, addicted-to-adjectives manuscripts and turns them into what I meant to write. Molly, you’re so good at what you do that you have not just impressed me—you’ve blown me away. I’m unbelievably grateful for all your patience (didn’t know you’d need so much of that with me, did you?), your hard work, and your fantastic instincts. You and I shall make one helluva team, girlfriend—thank you, thank you, thank you!
Next, my astounding and amazing agent, Jim McCarthy. What can I say that I haven’t said before? (No, seriously, help me out here, cuz every time I mention you, I gush and gush and I’m runnin’ out of gushy things to say!) LOL . . . Truly, Jim, I think you must be some sort of cosmic gift from the Big Guy upstairs who either took great pity on me or got me mixed up with some other far more deserving schmuck when he sent you my way. And just to be clear . . . if there was a screwup? I’m not giving you back . . . ever! So plan on stickin’ around, sugar; we gots a looooong way to go just yet.
Adell Chase and Karen Ditmars, to whom this book is dedicated: Ladies, I’ve been so lucky in my life. Everywhere I go, I meet the best of humanity, and a few of them, like you, I am blessed to call friends. You two leave me breathless with your wisdom, your courage, and your will to be strong, independent, smart, and capable women. When I grow up, I swear I want to be just like you two!
My sister Sandy Upham and my brother and sister-in-law Jon and Naoko Upham—you guys have no idea how much I love you and how very much your support means to me. I’m so proud of you three fantastic human beings that I’m lucky enough to be related to. Huge hugs and kisses comin’ your way!
Also, a relative newcomer to my troupe of favorite people on earth, Michael Torres, aka The Boy. Thank you so much for the incredible way you inspire me, cheer me on, and never have an unkind word. You’re such a beautiful man, M.T., both inside and out, and I’m beyond thrilled that you’ve come into my life. That morning phone call to cheer me on when I’m in my writing slump is such a gift; please know that I appreciate and adore you for that and so much more.
Dr. Stephen Pap, who gave me the inspiration for Dr. Delicious, thank you first and foremost for fixing my hand— which is all healed now, thank God—and also for being so generous with your boyhood stories and background. I told you that you’d make a great character—I wasn’t wrong.
And last but certainly not least, please let me thank all my incredible friends who have never wavered in their support, love, and encouragement: Kristy Schiller, Nora Brosseau, Silas Hudson, Laurie Comnes, Pipa Terry, Betty Stocking, Jaa Nawtaisong, and Leanne Tierney. You guys rock, and I’m so grateful. ☺
“Good morning, Miss Holliday,” the real estate agent cheerfully greeted me outside 84 Dartmouth Street.
“Hi, there. You must be Cassandra,” I said, shaking her hand. “Please call me M.J.”
“You’re younger and prettier than I thought you’d be,” she commented as she nervously twisted the pearls at her neck.
“Thank you,” I said, then quickly got down to business. “I know we talked a little on the phone, but what can you tell me about this house?”
Cassandra paled slightly and looked up at the three-story brownstone, a turn-of-the-century gem that was right at home in Boston’s opulent Back Bay neighborhood. “I’ve had the listing for almost a year, which, as you can imagine, is unheard-of here in the Back Bay. Brownstones like this one sell around here in a matter of weeks, not months.”
“Sticker shock?” I asked.
“No, nothing like that. At one million it’s an absolute steal! And we’ve had a lot of interest in it, despite its history. But every time we get close to making a deal, the buyer backs out. They all say the same thing: The place just has bad energy.”
“You said someone was killed inside?”
Cassandra nodded. “Yes, the daughter of the current owners was raped and murdered a little over a year ago.”
“That’s awful,” I said, looking back toward the brownstone. “Did they catch the killer?”
“He was shot by police as he tried to make a getaway out the back. Unfortunately, they arrived too late to save the girl.”
“So, really, two people died in the house.”
“Yes, I suppose so,” she said.
“And what’s been happening since then?”
“Well,” she said, her hand going back to twist the pearls, “every time I show the house I get the feeling I’m being watched. And more than that, sometimes I feel like I’m being followed. People come in and don’t seem to want to stay. Most folks just take a tour of one or two rooms; then they leave like they’re being chased out.”
“I see,” I said, but I had a feeling there was more. “Is that all?”
“No,” she said after a moment. “The other day I was showing the house to this couple who really seemed to be okay with the history of the place. They considered it a good trade-off for such a bargain. But just as we were getting ready to leave, we all heard a woman’s scream from one of the bedrooms upstairs. I thought someone had come in while I was showing the couple around, so I ran up there and looked all over but no one was there. Then, just as I was coming back downstairs, I felt . . .” She paused.
“I felt someone touch me.”
“Like a hand on your shoulder or something?”
“No,” she whispered, her eyes large and frightened. “Like someone touched me inappropriately.”
“Ah,” I said with a nod. Now I knew who the aggressor was. “Okay, if you’ll unlock the door I’ll get to work.”
“Can you really help us, M.J.?”
“That’s what I do, Cassandra,” I said. “I’m a ghostbuster. Give me a few hours and let me see what I can do.”
Cassandra followed me up the six steps to the front door and unlocked it for me. “You’ll be all right in there by yourself?” she asked, her face suddenly worried.
“I’ll be fine,” I said confidently. I’d faced scarier stuff than this before. Pausing as the door swung shut behind me, I moved into the foyer and, looked around, setting my duffel bag down in the corner by the staircase. I wanted to get the lay of things before reaching into my bag of tricks.
I let my eyes travel around the room, getting a feel for the brownstone’s configuration. The front foyer had several doorways leading to the rest of the house. To my right a corridor led to the kitchen. The living room was directly in front of me, and off to my left was what looked like a study. From my back pocket I pulled out my electrostatic meter, a small gadget that measures variances in electrostatic energy. I held my arm out and waved it in a circle around the foyer, noting the thick, luxurious carpet, high ceilings, crown molding, and expensive wall covering. The digs were definitely opulent, and even without furniture you could tell this place oozed money. And, according to my electrostatic meter, the place oozed something else, too.
With an eye on the needle bouncing back and forth across the gauge, I moved ahead through the foyer and into the living room. The needle gave a jolt as I edged over to the French doors that swung out onto the terrace. The needle bounced again. I put the little gadget in the back pocket of my jeans and closed my eyes for a moment and got myself centered.
Before I was a ghostbuster, I was a professional medium, which has proven to be the most beneficial skill for my success rate as a top-notch buster. In other words, I can sense energies that both have crossed over to the other side successfully, and those that have become stuck, or “grounded,” as we like to call it. In 84 Dartmouth I had immediately picked up the energies of two grounded spirits, one female and one male. I decided to focus on the female first.
Moving away from the French doors, I followed the small tug in my solar plexus, heading through the hallway and up the stairs. As I closed in on the female energy, something slightly disturbing happened. I felt the male energy, which was thick with ill will, begin to follow me. “Back off a little, pal,” I said quietly to him. “I’ll deal with you in a moment.”
The male energy didn’t want to listen, but continued to shadow me up to the second floor, where I paused on the landing before continuing up to the third floor. There, at the end of the hallway, I saw a dark shadow dart into one of the bedrooms. “It’s okay,” I said to the shadow. “I’m not going to hurt you.” I walked down the hall and into the bedroom, and noticed an immediate dip in temperature. I crossed my arms and shivered slightly, feeling the icy coolness penetrate my clothing and my skin, seeping into my bones. I’d never gotten used to the deep chill that comes with rubbing up against spectral activity, but I pushed my discomfort aside and focused hard on the task at hand. “What’s your name, sweetheart?” I asked the empty bedroom softly.
There was no response, but I could feel the fear emanating from the woman’s spirit. I sensed her in the corner of the room, and sure enough, my mind’s eye flashed an image of a young woman in her early twenties, crouched and cowering by the window. I moved over to that area and felt the temperature dip even lower. I knelt down and closed my eyes to concentrate. I said aloud, “I’m here to help you. He can’t hurt you anymore, honey. And I’ll make sure he doesn’t get away with what he’s done. Please talk to me. Tell me your name.”
With relief I felt the name Carolyn float into my mind. I smiled sadly. The poor thing—not only had she been raped and killed by the beast behind me, but now she was stuck in a confusing state of limbo. Where are my parents? she asked me desperately.
“They’re safe, but they’re very worried about you, Carolyn. They’ve asked me to help you. Will you allow me to?”
I opened my eyes and stared at the blank space in front of me. I couldn’t see Carolyn, but I could definitely feel and hear her. She didn’t answer me right away, so I continued to try to win her over. “I promise to keep you safe, but you’ve got to trust me. I will guide you home, but I can’t do that if you’re unwilling. Will you trust me?”
“He promised what, honey?” I knew she was talking about her attacker.
He promised not to hurt me if I cooperated!
I sighed heavily. The rat bastard. I was going to enjoy dealing with him. “I know, my friend, I know,” I said gravely. “He lied. But that’s in the past. He cannot hurt you again. I absolutely forbid it.”
Where are my parents? This plea was even more urgent in my head than the first time she’d asked me. Carolyn was coming close to panicking, and if she did I’d lose contact with her. She would no doubt seek the comfort of the limbo plane that hovered just beyond the one we existed on. This was where lost spirits typically hung out, coming into our reality only when they were strong enough to deal with what had happened to them.
“Carolyn, you must listen to me,” I said sternly, hoping the command would snap her out of her desire to run. “You have to stay with me. I can get you out of here, but only if you do exactly as I say. I will guide you to safety, but we need to be quick—”
He’s here! she interrupted me. Hide! We’ve got to hide!
“Damn it,” I muttered as I turned around. Sure enough, an ominous dark shadow hung in the doorway, floating back and forth in the opening. If I didn’t do something quickly, I’d lose Carolyn. “Stay right here, Carolyn,” I said as I stood up. “I’m going to get rid of him if you hide right here until I return. I promise I’ll help you find your way. Will you wait for me?”
A feeling that I can only describe as a nod touched my mind. “Good girl,” I said, walking toward the black shape. As I got close I could see my breath as I exhaled, and my teeth wanted to chatter. I resisted the urge to shiver and walked purposefully at the black shape.
I stopped when the shadow disappeared in front of me. To my right came a loud thumping noise. I snapped my head to where the noise had come from, but only the wall stared back at me. “So that’s how we’re going to play it, huh?” I whispered, then gathered my anger and shouted, “Listen, you miserable slug of human compost! You coward! You evil, vile excuse for a man! I think you’re afraid of me, and I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts that you won’t follow me if I leave this room, because you don’t have the guts!” With that I dashed out of the room, and immediately felt the dark male energy give chase.
I tore down the hallway and grabbed the banister, turning the corner to jump down several stairs in one leap. The dark energy behind me seemed to thrum with excitement as my adrenaline surged. I could feel him trying to gather his strength. In a moment he would try something dirty, and I made sure to keep one hand on the railing for balance. It was a good thing I did, because in the next moment I felt a hard thud in the center of my back, and a microsecond later a strong tug on my right breast. “You son of a bitch!” I swore at him as I shook it off and continued down the stairs. “I’ll get you for that!” I said as I reached the first floor and dashed to my duffel bag. I scanned the living room, looking for what I knew had to be there, and feeling the slow, prickly sensation of something snaking around my neck.
I scowled and moved forward into the living room, searching the walls intently. “Eureka,” I said after a moment. “Gotcha, you rat bastard!” I moved closer to study the small black hole that I’d spotted in the atmosphere just above the wall. The hole was nothing more than a small one-foot-by-one-foot section of air right next to the wall that to the naked eye looked vaporous and was tinted a light gray. I could sense the energy behind me shift from hungry to nervous. “You didn’t think I knew about this little doorway of yours, did you?” I said over my shoulder as I set the duffel down and squatted to pull out my drill. “Let’s see how much of a bully you are after we close up this bad boy, shall we?”
I dug out three spikes made of magnetized metal, and a hammer to help drive them home. The force behind me thudded into my back with all his might, and I pitched forward as my head hit the wall. “You ass!” I said, turning to face him. In front of me I saw the dark shadow again, and in my mind’s eye conjured a face that was mean and full of rage.
Stop! he shouted at me.
I laughed and held my drill up to him. “Time to shut the portal,” I said, and turned back to the wall. My drill was battery operated, which prevented the likes of him from screwing around too much with it, and allowed me to begin the drilling.
No! he screamed again, and to my right there was an incredibly loud bang!
I laughed at his futile efforts, and after I’d completed three holes I turned around. “Not so tough now, are you?”
The black shadow hovered in front of me, and I could sense that his attention was quite focused on the three spikes at my feet. “This is your little gateway, isn’t it?” I said, pointing to the area where I’d drilled the holes. “Well, let me tell you something, pal. I’m not going to stand for it. You have ten seconds to make a choice. If you stay here I will help you cross over to the other side, where you’ll have to face what you’ve done and be held accountable. Or you can head through here now, and be locked in down there until you’re ready to face your own demons and go home on your own.”
The energy in front of me wavered for a moment, and for a split second I thought I’d convinced him to let me help him. But I was sorely disappointed when the miserable scum grabbed my boob again! I growled low in my throat and whirled around, snatching the magnetic stakes and inserting the first into the hole. Behind me there was an audible male scream as I lifted my hand with the hammer, preparing to drive it home on the head of the spike. “Do-or-die time, buddy!” I yelled, and brought the hammer down. A split second before I made contact with the spike I felt the ghost behind me dash into the portal I was preparing to close. “Coward!” I roared at him as his energy dissipated into the wall.
I finished pounding in that stake, then moved on to the other two. After I’d finished I stood back a little, eyeing my handiwork. The wall was a mess, with plaster and bits of drywall on the floor, but at least the portal was gone, never to return—that is, as long as the stakes were in place.
I tucked the drill and hammer into my duffel, then quickly went back upstairs. To my immense relief I could sense that Carolyn was still hovering in the corner. “Hey, there, girl,” I said gently as I eased into the room. “I’m sure you heard everything. He’s gone, Carolyn. The man who hurt you is gone for good.”
I’m afraid, I felt her say.
“I know you are, but trust me: I can help you with that. First, show me what happened.”
I don’t want to. . . .
“I know, I know. But sweetheart, I need to see it. We both need to see it. Take me to the end of it, if the beginning and the middle were too painful. Take me to that time right before you found yourself confused and lost.”
There was a pulling sensation to my right, and I looked over to the far corner of the room. I saw a struggle taking place. Carolyn was naked and bleeding from her nose. Her attacker was standing over her and had her gripped by the throat. She was clawing at him, her eyes wild with terror. My own insides tightened as I watched the scene unfold. This was the worst part of the job. Seeing what really happened to innocent people in those final terrifying moments was an awful thing to experience.
“That’s good, Carolyn,” I said, hating that I was putting her through this, but knowing it was absolutely necessary. “Now go a little bit further, honey. Go beyond that moment where you’re fighting for your breath.”
The scene changed, and I saw Carolyn’s murderer drop her limp body on the floor. His head then snapped up as I heard the faint sound of a siren. In the next instant the killer dashed out of the room, leaving Carolyn lying where she was.
“Good, honey,” I said when his image had left the room. “That’s terrific. Now, I need you to focus on your body for a moment. Can you see that?”
I need to get up! she said. I need to run away!
“But you can’t, can you?” I said. “You can’t, Carolyn, because you’re not breathing. See?” I said, pointing to the lifeless image of her. “Your body has died, my friend. It’s time for you to accept that.”
I had a sudden, almost overwhelming sensation of deep sadness in my chest, and I knew that Carolyn had finally registered that she was dead.
I said, “Carolyn, listen to me. Even though your body has stopped functioning, your soul needs to move forward. I can help you do that, but you’ll need to do exactly as I say. Pay close attention to my words and follow my directions and I’ll get you out of here, okay?”
With relief, I felt that mental nod come into my mind. “Good girl. Now, above you I want you to sense a great bright light coming down from the heavens, through the ceiling, and descending onto your head. Can you sense this, Carolyn?”
There was a pause, and then, Yes.
“Wonderful! You’re doing great!” I praised. “Now, as this light envelops you, I want you to feel its warmth, its goodness, its purity, and its love. Can you feel all of those things, Carolyn?”
Another pause, then an excited, Yes!
“Awesome! Now, in front of you there should be a path. It may look a bit like a tunnel; sometimes it’s different depending on the person. Can you see this path?”
“Great. I need you to be very brave and take a step onto it. It leads to more of the light, more of that love that you’re sensing right now. It’s a good path to follow, and while you’re on it you will never be hurt again.”
I held my breath, waiting for Carolyn to make that next oh, so critical move. If she blanched, I’d have to come back and try to coax her over another time. If she went for it, she’d find her way to the other side without worry. Finally I sensed something like acceptance from her, and right before I felt her move forward, I clearly heard her say, Tell my parents I love them. Tell them I’ll look after Midnight and I’ll be all right now.
I smiled brightly. “I promise I’ll get the message to them, girl. You take care—okay?” But she was already gone. In the next instant I became aware of the silence. I opened my eyes and looked around. The room was empty; there was no energy in it besides myself. As I sent out my intuitive feelers, the room felt warm and clean and happy. I smiled and stood up, and, glancing at my watch, I realized I needed to get a move on. My next client was meeting me at my office in about a half hour.
I made my way back down the stairs, retrieved my duffel, and headed out the door. Cassandra’s car was parked in front of the brownstone. I met her at the bottom of the steps and she said, “Well? How’d it go?”
Excerpted from "What's a Ghoul to Do?"
Copyright © 2007 Victoria Laurie.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What's A Ghoul to Do? Was a brilliant start to this series. The characters were fresh and fun (Gilley instantly became my favorite, although Dr. Steven Sable is a close second), M.J. stayed just as kickass as she was in the beginning and I loved the blooming relationship between her and Steven. The mystery never dried out I thoroughly enjoyed every little bit and the ghosts were just as fun to read about as the living breathing characters. I would recommend this to anyone into the paranormal looking for a fast and fun mystery.
This book was a good read. It was light hearted with a small twist to the ending. The ending is why I want to read the next book.
A fun read :) at times predictable, yet still enjoyable.
Having read another series by Victoria Laurie, I was anxious to start this Ghost Hunter Mystery series. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and found it a great way to escape my daily life. The plot is unique and I enjoy the characters.
Originally on my blog: The Bibliophile's Corner Cover Talk: I’m pretty sure I’ve said it before, but I just love covers for cozy mystery series. They are always so eye-catching. Why I Read It: The Book Nympho is doing a read-a-long for the series this year and I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to finally get my hands on this book . Characters: M. J.’s medium skills are more than just a job. It’s all she’s ever known. Watching shows like Ghost Whisperer and Medium, I always picture characters with this gift like this as tough, but prone to crying. A lot. That is not the case here with M. J. She is definitely tough, and instead of of crying, she Gilley is M. J.’s partner and without him, she would be lost. Between one night stands with lovesick men and trying to get M. J. into the dating world, Gilley runs the hardside of the business. I think perhaps the most interesting part of his character is how scared he is of the homes that M. J. is trying to bust. He stays in the van and monitors safely from the inside. Steven Sable Jr., A.K.A. Dr. Delicious, provides quite the case for M.J. Good looking and successful, his business just might be the big profile case that M. J. needs. The only really irritating thing about this character is his English. Or rather, his not knowing English that well. I just find it a bit unbelievable that a successful doctor in the U.S. doesn’t have a solid grip on the nations language. But maybe that’s just me. Plot/World-building: From the first page, Laurie did a great job at pulling me in. M. J. is in the midst of a case, seals up a portal, and calls it a day. I really love M. J. and her blunt, no-nonsense attitude about her gift. There is no beating around bush and she does not talk to clients softly. She is upfront from the beginning and “sorry-not-sorry” if you don’t believe her. After Steven convinces M. J. to take his case, the trio head up to his hunting lodge and are immediately thrust into a haunted situation. The TV’s are turning on, people are getting pushed on the stairs, the elevator is going up and down on it’s own. Some creepy things for sure, but to make it even more interesting, there is someone very much alive trying to stop Steven and M. J. from solving his grandfather’s “suicide”. The only part of this book that bothers me a bit is the romance between Steven and M. J. I just don’t particularly care for them together, but more than that, I just don’t care for Steven that much. Sure, he’s good looking, but dear lord, he needs to learn English… Final Thoughts: Ghostbusters, mediums, creepy house, pesty ghosts. It was definitely a great read and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.
M.J. Holliday can see and talk to ghosts. She has had the gift ever since she can remember. Her best friend Gil is her business partner and organizer of the busts she goes on. Things change for them when a rich doctor, Steven Sable, comes into their office. He wants them to ghost bust his grandfather's cabin and he wants to tag along. M.J. always busts alone and the prospect of having another person with her isn't something she is comfortable with. This book is fast paced, fun and just enough romance to make you want to read the second novel.
I was two chapters in and I ran out and bought all the books that followed in this series.
M J Holliday has stopped working as a medium and now works as a ghostbuster with her long-time friend Gilley. He organises things, runs the computers and finds data for her. She converses with the ghosts and makes sure that they don't bother people any more. She has a few rules, she works alone and she doesn't date clients. Dr Steven Sable is going to change a few things. He's a bit sceptical, but his grandfather's ghost is causing trouble. To cap it all he's not too sure it was an accident.It's not a bad read but I didn't see any read development of their relationship, it just went from irritated with him to in bed with him, it almost felt like it was tacked in because a paranormal book needed a romance in it. Not bad but I think she could do better.
Two Minute Review for ¿What¿s a Ghoul to Do?¿ by Victoria LaurieMJ Holiday and GilleyGillespie run and agency that will get rid of your ghostly problems for a fee. It is dangerous, scary and hilarious work. The two are bound for trouble when a handsome doctor with a charming accent asks them to find out who killed his Grandfather. The Doc is convinced it is not the suicide they are calling it. MJ is smart, funny and vivacious in this sweet supernatural thriller. I enjoyed the dynamics of the characters and it is fast action packed book, but I found it rather shallow fun.
Title: What's a Ghoul to Do?Author: Victoria LaurieGenre: Paranormal Romance, Mystery# of pages: 281Start date:End date:Borrowed/bought: boughtMy rating of the book, F- [worst] to A [best]: ADescription of the book: M.J. Holliday along with her business partner Gilley ghostbust. In in her debut novel, M.J. has a new client, the hansome Dr. Steven Sable. It seems that Sable's grandfather jumped from the roof of the family lodge in an apparent suicide. But Dr. Sable knows better. Once they get to the lodge, M.J. figures out they are dealing with more than Grandpa Sable's ghost. It is up to M.J. to figure out why.Review: Initially, this book was slow to start for me but once I got reading it was a really fun read. I've never read a paranormal series about a ghostbuster/medium before. Laurie has interesting characters and storyline to work with. I will be continuing with the series.
M J Holliday is a Ghost Buster. No really, she is an expert at clearing houses of spirits that are stuck in houses or in some cases, bad spirits that deliberately haunt a building. Now she has been hired for a slightly different job. Steven Sable is convinced that his grandfather was murdered. He know his grandfather's spirit is still around and Stephen wants find out who killed him.I am a sucker for ghost stories. This one is pretty good. I like MJ and her partner Gilley. The mystery was pretty good and kept me guessing. The romance was nice. My only problem is that Stephen is not a native english speaker, and he keeps making all these mistakes. I think they were intended to be funny, but I found them mostly irritating. I want to read more of these. I hope that Stephen's mastery of American slang gets better.
I've read this book twice and still enjoy it! I love this book. The mystery is enhanced by the ghostbusting elements and the romance between M. J. and Dr. Sable. Both times I could not put this book down until I was through. If you like odd-ball mysteries, ghosts, and the stubborn, smart, and charming lady detectives-this series is for you.
What's a Ghoul to do? was so much fun to read. Right off the bat, I fell in love with M.J. because she's a ghostbuster - as in she tries to get the ghosts to cross over without all the effects from proton packs and the like. She has a very special talent of speaking with the ghosts - she's a medium. So that's just too cool!In the beginning, she hesitates with Dr. Sable because of her rule - they work alone. But once Gilley gets wind of it - he won't take it - they need the money because the business is slow. Well, after getting set up on a blind date from the town match maker - her date ends up being Dr. Sable and of course, she can't help herself - he's hot and they need money. So they come to an agreement.As the story moves forward a lot of things start happening. Gilley gets pushed down some stairs and wants to sit the rest of the investigation out. Steven's father has been around town after his father died and they need to find out who is trying to hurt them. But the tale unfolds quite neatly with a bow. All the plot twists and turns that just keeps you turning the pages cause you just have to know what's going to happen next. So to find out what Steven's father is up and what these ghosts want, I guess you'll have to give the book a try!Victoria Laurie has a funny, non stop action spooky thriller that is just as much fun as a roller coaster ride! Her characters are loveable and witty. Of course, she threw in some romance to spice things up. So I am definately going to be reading the next book in this series, Demons are a Ghoul's Beset Friend! And of course, seeing that Ms. Laurie is alos a psychic, for her to place that into her book was great!
MY THOUGHTS:I have never read a paranormal book before and im glad I chose this book! M.J is a medium and she and her best friend Gilley have set up a "Ghost Busting" business. I really enjoyed this book. I loved all the main characters but i did have a soft spot for Gilley. I can't wait to read the next M.J and Gilley adventure
I struggled with this book. MJ is a ghostbuster, who along with her gay partner Gilley (this gay partner/best friend thing is feeling a little cliche)try to send ghostly spririts to the 'other side'. The premise sounds intriguing and there are several scenes involving these ghosts which are very interesting. I enjoyed these interactions between the ghosts and MJ and or Gilley. However, the book almost feels sabatoged by the character of Steven Sable. He has got to be the most horrid love interest I have ever come across. What is even worse, is that the author clearly intends for him to be amazingly sexy and romantic. He knocks MJ off her feet. As others have previously mentioned here, Steven struggles speaking English. I read the reviews, but thought surely it wouldn't be as distracting as reviewers suggest. It was worse!!! Every scene with Steven was clogged in passages where he would use some word incorrectly and MJ would always pause to figure out what he meant, and then laugh at how cute he was for messing it up, then give him the correct wording to use. This could happen three or four times per page! Even worse, was the fact that many of these misused words aren't even close to sounding realistic. Towards the end of the book, I was actually happy whenever Steven wasn't in a scene! I groaned outloud when I read that they plan for him to be an ongoing character. Its a shame, but this character is pretty much the only reason I would hesistate to recommend this book on. I will not read the follow up anytime soon, if I read it at all, however I am encouraged by reviews that suggest Steven has a much smaller role in the next book, and its been reviewed higher than this one.
M.J. Holliday has the ability to communicate with ghosts. She and her business partner, Gilley Gillespie, take on a suicide case in an effort to get some answers for their client, the rich handsome Dr. Steven Sable. By accounts, Sable's grandfather has jumped from the roof of his lodge but Steven doesn't buy it. A caper ensues as the three try to figure out what happened and why.Even though ghost busting is now standard paranormal fair, this series manages to be engaging with enjoyable if a bit stereotypical characters, a good-paced plot with just enough mystery to be interesting, humor and a touch of romance. Very similar to the Psychic Eye Mysteries, Laurie's new series is quick, light and fun to read.
A very cute mystery featuring a ghost hunter/medium with a gay sidekick and a parrot. Good mix of romance, mystery, humor, and paranormal.
I am trying to get in some spooky reads for the R.I.P challenge over at Stainless Steel Droppings. It's my favorite time and challenge of the year. I am also trying to tackle the massive TBR pile of books I own so this killed two birds (ravens) with one stone. I think I grabbed this one a thrift store based on it's cute pink cover and stashed it away for this challenge. This book falls on more the chick lit side but since it had ghosts I'll say it qualifies.The story centers on M.J. Holliday, a wise cracking lady who "ain't afraid of no ghosts." M.J can communicate with the dearly departed, receive their last messages, and help them cross over, all for a price because it's her business after all. One day doctor Steven comes in and asks her to investigate the death of his grandfather who died under suspicious circumstances. Was it a suicide? "Doctor Delicious" doesn't think so. M.J. soon learns that she has more to fear from the living than the dead.I really enjoyed this book. It has everything a "chick" could want. Gay best friend, hot boyfriend, cute pet, and spunky heroine. This book was written by Victoria Laurie who claims to be a psychic and used her first hand knowledge as a medium to write the novel. She wrote another series as well but haven't checked those out yet. I would be interested in reading the next book in this series to see where she takes M.J's and Steven's relationship. There is a teaser for the next book at the end of the novel. This was cute, cozy, paranormal mystery. It's perfect for those who like their ghosts on the non scary side. This book should be enjoyed with chocolate and fuzzy slippers.
Love the new characters and series. Victoria Laurie always writes an interesting story and this one is no different. The paranormal activity comes across as fairly authentic, which goes to show that Ms Laurie knows her stuff!
To my surprise, this was a very enjoyable book. MJ is a medium turned ghostbuster who has taken a job to fi. out if Dr. Sable's grandfather was murdered or committed suicide.
The first in the Ghost Hunter Mystery series. A fast enjoyable read.
In my opinion, What's a Ghoul to Do should NOT be judged by its hideously pink cover. The book has three main characters and a parrot: 1. A psychic medium/ghost buster. She used to do psychic readings but found ghost busting is more of a thrill. The story is told through her point of view. 2. Her business partner/computer hacker, a very funny gay man. He totally steals a few scenes in this book and it's worth reading just for him! 3. The Love Interest. He's a doctor and a foreigner with a complex family history who inherited a haunted 'lodge'. The parrot is just a hoot. So, the psychic is hired to bust the ghost in the haunted 'lodge'. The romance is predictable: hate-at-first-sight turning to interest. The story is a mystery and despite its cover, it's shelved in mystery, not romance. The family politics and inheritance get interesting. Overall, the story is quite humorous and entertaining.
"Name your pr<_>ice." He says while ripping off an arm.
I loved this book. The author gave me chills & made me laugh out loud. I have to read therestof the series. Iwould recommend this book as a great fun read.