Alison Kerby is busy turning the attic of her Jersey Shore guesthouse into a bedroom for her daughter. Not only would it give her daughter her own space away from guests, it would free up a room to create more of that all-important cash flow. It's a good idea, but those around her have other plans.
Alison doesn't even have time to climb down from the ladder before she finds herself in the middle of "Revisit Your Failed Relationship Week." The resident ghosts want Alison to put her newly minted private investigator's license to good use: Maxie wants to know who killed her ex-husband, and Paul needs a status update on the woman he was going to ask to marry him. And wouldn't you know it... right in the midst of all this chaos (and I'm not including the guests wandering in and out expecting ghostly apparitions to appear on cue) walks The Swine, err, Alison's ex-husband.
Once again, E.J. Copperman (AKA Jeffrey Cohen) has crafted a light, fun mystery that's the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Alison is just the type of stressed, smart alecky character that I love. The fact that her guesthouse has a deal with Senior Plus Tours to provide accommodations for senior citizens wanting "special experiences" has all sorts of wackos walking in and out of the premises, and you have to know that the author knows how to play this for all it's worth. However, it's the relationship between Alison, her daughter and her mother that mean the most to me. The love, thoughtfulness, snarkiness, and exasperation make readers feel as though they've walked right into the middle of a real family.
Alison is helped in her attempts to be a private investigator by Paul, who was one before he was murdered in her house. Alison is a pretty smart cookie, and Paul must be a decent teacher because his pupil seems to be picking up a thing or two-- which is good because she has a lot on her plate. By the time everything's done and dusted, everyone's pitched in to find answers to all the questions, and isn't that the way it should be? In Alison Kerby's haunted guesthouse on the Jersey Shore, no man (woman, or ghost) is an island. They're all in it together.
If you enjoy light-hearted books with good mysteries, good humor, and characters that feel as real to you as family, I think you'll like reading E.J. Copperman's Haunted Guesthouse series.
Old Haunts by E.J. Copperman
Berkley Prime Crime © 2012
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Cozy Mystery, #3 Haunted Guesthouse mystery
Source: Purchased at The Poisoned Pen.