A spooky tale of a haunted mansion, evil spirits, and Egyptian curses will leave your poor nails bitten to the quick in this exciting paranormal cozy mystery.
Verity Long has given up her graphic design business to become a full-time ghost hunter. With gangster ghost Frankie by her side to lend her his power to The Other Side, Verity awaits her first ghost hunting job. When Lee, the last heir to the very haunted Rock Fall mansion, calls her in to investigate, Verity has to battle a murderous spirit hell bent on keeping the secrets of Rock Fall from being uncovered.
I could not put this down and read this in one evening. I can't remember the last time I read a cozy mystery with this much depth, it reminded me of the early Ghost Hunter books by Victoria Laurie; a scary baddie, lots of thrills & chills, a sprinkling of horror, a dash of humor, and that creepy kind of suspense that raises the hair on the back of your neck.
"Lord have mercy. Dozens of doll heads, broken from their bodies, stared up at me through the gently moving water in the basin. Their eyes opened wide, their cracked mouths smiled. My blood went cold."
My blood went cold reading that. *shiver*
The plot surrounds the Treadwell family, who died mysteriously after a cache of Ancient Egyptian treasures were brought home after a dig in the early part of the 20th century, was excellent, very well written with lots of red herrings and plot twists. The ghosts were the stars of this book, from the mute little girl, Charlotte to the scarred Governess to Frankie, the gangster who blackmails Verity into allowing a gangster get-together in her backyard in return for his help. Complete with flapper girls, a jazz band, and a spectral craps table, it sounded like the kind of happening party anyone would want to be caught dead at. I loved the descriptions of the grounds at the mansion, a beautiful abandoned garden left to grow wild. My Secret-Garden-obsessed self was in heaven. I'd love to explore something like that (but without the evil ghosts, thanks)
While there are references to previous books, they don't distract from the plot, so this can be read as a standalone but you will want to read the other books after reading this one!
Overall, an exceptional cozy mystery for any time of year, but especially good for a Halloween read.
I was provided an advanced copy of the book by Season Publishing, Moose Island Books and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review