A Ghostly Reunion
by Tonya Kappes
on Tour January 16 - February 17, 2017
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal
Published by: HarperCollins / Witness
Publication Date: December 27th 2016
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 006246695X (ISBN13: 9780062466952)
Series: Ghostly Southern Mysteries #5
Proprietor of the Eternal Slumber Funeral Home, Emma Lee can see, hear, and talk to ghosts of murdered folks. And when her high school nemesis is found dead, Jade Lee Peel is the same old mean girl—trying to come between Emma Lee and her hot boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, all over again.
There’s only one way for Emma Lee to be free of the trash-talking ghost—solve the murder so the former prom queen can cross over.
But the last thing Jade Lee wants is to leave the town where she had her glory days. And the more Emma Lee investigates on her own, the more complicated Miss Popularity turns out to be. Now Emma Lee will have to work extra closely with her hunky lawman to get to the twisty truth.
This is my first time to read a Tonya Kappes. Though this is a series, it was not hard to get into the story. There was enough information as to how the story evolved or what the series is about. This could be read as a stand alone.
This story was set in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky. Yes, the same movie or book that had a headless horseman roaming at night. I think it is aptly set in this small town with the same name since this book talked about supernatural occurrences as well. Ghosts. Or as our main character, Emma Lee calls them in-betweener clients.
Emma Lee is the director of their family-owned funeral parlor. This was managed before by his grandma and parents and now has been passed on to her and her sister after they retired. Her sister, Charlotte Rae, left her and the business to join another funeral parlor right after Emma Lee found that she had a gift. She can see dead people --but only those that had been murdered. Now it is up to her to help them cross over by finding their killers. In this story, it turned out that her arch nemesis in high school, the girl who bullied her was murdered before their reunion. Would Emma Lee help Jade Lee Peel cross over into the light?
My first observation was the two-word names. Is this one of the southern charms because it is really cute but just a mouthful. It was just the first thing that struck me when I started this book. I actually liked it. It gives a hint of uniqueness and identity to the story. And if it is really part of the southern charm, then it had stayed through to its setting.
I enjoyed the story. It was straight forward and what I liked most about is was that I was not able to identify the killer. I had no clue which is really really good. I liked that it had me guessing until I can't help but wait for the final reveal of the culprit. This mystery story was so well-written. I was not able to formulate any theories or hypothesis about who the killer is. I just followed the story until the final conclusion. It seemed that all people who spoke to Jade Lee Peel was a suspect but there was not evidence to go by. Hmmm...
Aside from how the story was woven with enough suspense and mystery to get anyone hooked, I also liked the hodgepodge of eccentric characters which added to its charm. Emma Lee, her sister and her grandma have a very interesting and hilarious relationship. Emma Lee's friends or bullies from high school were an even curious breed of personalities. Add in all the other hosts of personalities in their town and those that were not from it. It was all a conglomeration of distinct individuals that have added to the colorful mixture and hue to the story.
The conversations also were funny. Not to mention the conversations of Emma Lee with the ghost of Jade Lee Peel. Imagine the dialog of these two who had never seen eye-to-eye when the other one was alive. Ghost Jade Lee Peel and Emma Lee's conversation were to watch out for. And I just noticed, these two even have the same middle names. I wonder if the author intended this? Or if the characters were even aware of this?
I give the book 4/5 glasses of southern sweet tea. For a crime mystery, this was a light read. It was amusing because of the smart and feisty dialogs and because of the supernatural aspect. This is a breath of fresh air for this kind of genre. I am looking forward to reading the next book and the rest of the previous books in the series. Nice to meet you, Tonya Kappes.
Sun don't shine on the same dog's tail all the time.- Tonya Kappes, A Ghostly Reunion --
Thank you again, PICT for the review copy.
Tonya Kappes has written more than fifteen novels and four novellas, all of which have graced numerous bestseller lists including USA Today. Best known for stories charged with emotion and humor and filled with flawed characters, her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. She lives with her husband, two very spoiled schnauzers, and one ex-stray cat in northern Kentucky. Now that her boys are teenagers, Tonya writes full-time but can be found at all of her guys’ high school games with a pencil and paper in hand.
Click here to view the 'A Ghostly Reunion by Tonya Kappes' Participants