Friday, February 17, 2017

A Ghostly Reunion (Ghostly Southern Mysteries #5) by Tonya Kappes | Blog Tour | Book Review

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
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Goodreads 

A Ghostly Reunion by Tonya Kappes

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.

A Ghostly Reunion by Tonya Kappes | Blog Tour | Book Review iamnotabookworm

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.

Sexy isn’t a firm fanny in a thong, ladies.”

Hettie Bell didn’t seem so sexy in her hot pink leggings and matching top as she gasped for breath in her downward dog position in the middle of Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky. Her butt stuck straight up in the air, right there on display for everyone to see. Her black, chin-length bob was falling out of the small ponytail on both sides and her bangs hung down in her eyes.

“Sexy is confidence and self-acceptance. It’s exactly what yoga provides.”

Hettie Bell curled up on her tiptoes with her palms planted on one of the mats she provided for us. The rickety old floor of the gazebo, in the middle of the town square, groaned as we all tried to mimic her pose. “Yes!” Beulah Paige Bellefry hollered out like we were in the first pew of the Sleepy Hollow Baptist Church getting a good Bible beating from Pastor Brown himself.

“Amen to a good pose!”

Beulah continued to adjust her feet and hands each time she started to slip. If she wasn’t a bit overweight, I’d say it was her eighties silk sweat suit that was slicker than cat’s guts giving her problems. Or it could’ve been those pearls around her wrist, neck and ears weighing her down. Beulah never took off those pearls. She said pearls were a staple for a Southern gal.

“You said it, sister,” Mary Anna Hardy gasped. She teetered side to side, nearly knocking into Granny. Her sweat left streaks down her makeup. Who on earth got up this early and put makeup on to do yoga? Mary Anna Hardy, that’s who.

“God help us!”

“That’s it.”

I pushed back off my heels and crossed my legs, staring at all the Auxiliary women’s derrieres at my eye level.

“I’m here to do some relaxing, not Sunday school.”

Sleepy Hollow was smack-dab in the middle of the Bible Belt and if God wasn’t thrown in our conversations, then we weren’t breathing. But the last thing I wanted to think about was my butt stuck up to the high heavens and everyone up in the Great Beyond looking down upon me.

Tonya Kappes

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.

Catch Up with Tonya Kappes on her Website , Twitter , & Facebook 

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Tonya Kappes and Witness Impulse. There will be 1 US winner of one PRINTED set of The Ghostly Southern Mysteries #1-5 by Tonya Kappes. The giveaway begins on January 15th and runs through February 18th, 2017.

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