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A Ghostly Demise
Ghostly Southern Mysteries #3
by Tonya Kappes
Witness, $7.99, 288pp
Published: August 2015

Emma Lee Raines is a “Betweener,” a person who helps the ghosts of murdered people find their murderer and cross over to the other side.  Along with her sister, Charlotte Rae, she runs the family undertaking business, Eternal Slumber Funeral Home as well as sometimes helping her grandmother, Zula Fae Raines Payne, at her bed and breakfast. 

This time out her client is going to be a little harder to help, Cephus Hardy disappeared five years ago so Emma is first going to have to prove he is actually dead before her boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, can take steps to investigate. Along with the mystery of where is Cephus’ body and who murdered him, we have a hotly contested mayoral race between Emma’s grandmother Zula and O’Dell Burns, owner of the rival undertaking business in town, a visiting carnival and another murder, with a second ghost following Emma around wanting his murder solved as well.

Zula is quite a character, Charlotte remains her annoying self, mitigated only by her minimal appearance in these books, and Jack Henry flips back and forth between being too protective and dismissive of Emma and supporting and understanding her. Overall, the best developed characters in this series, aside from Emma and Zula, are the ghosts that come to Emma for help.

Once again the action moves quickly, these are fast, enjoyable reads. All in all this is an enjoyable cozy mystery series with a touch of the paranormal. Recommended ~~ Stephanie L Bannon

Click title for reviews of the other three books in the series: #1 A Ghostly Undertaking, #2 A Ghostly Grave and #4 A Ghostly Murder.

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