Home to some of the Old South's most famous Ghost walks, historic Wilmington's "Haunted" mansions delight thrill seekers and the the curous alike. For Ashley Wilkes, newly commissioned to work as historic preservationist on one of Orange Street's stunning antebellum homes, it's not ghosts she tangles with, but actual dead bodies.
Two skeletons - possibly the remains of owners believed to have left town suddenly and under strange circumstances- have added more spice to the season. Ashley starts poking around, suspecting there is more to the grisly discovery than meets the eye. As she digs into the walls and the mystery, she finds shocking clues that tell her a killer is poised and ready to strike...before she uncovers the scandalous truth at the heart of the crime.
I read this book because it takes place at Halloween - I always like to 'Read the Season,' as it were, and I am glad I did.
So here we have Ashley Wilkes, historic preservationist, on her first important job, restoring a home for a television personality, Mirabelle Morgan. It is not an easy job, either. Ms. Morgan is one of those people who wants everything done her way, the kind of person who is referred to with the capital "B" in front of their nickname (if you get my drift). When she's not making life a living nightmare for Ashley, she is doing so for everyone else who works for her.
When Ashley discovers the skulls buried in the walls of the house, Mirabelle, instead of being horrified, decides this will be great for her television show ratings and wants the kitchen finished sooner than ever, so that she can begin filming in her new home. However, this does not go over too well with others, and soon Ashley finds that not only must she contend with police keeping her from restoring the home, but with people who want Mirabelle out of the way - permanently.
So now Ashley, who is doing some sleuthing on her own to find out if the bones actually do belong to the previous owners, is trying to keep Mirabelle happy (which isn't working, by the way), and questioning her neighbors (which isn't going over very well at all). And if that isn't enough, her mother is developing Alzheimer's and Ashley and her sister Melanie must move Mama to a home to keep her safe, which only leaves Ashley with guilt feelings about it; and of course, that doesn't help the situation.
Along the way, she finds herself extremely attracted to the detective assigned to the case, Nick Yost, but knows that because of the investigation, anything that could develop needs to be put on hold temporarily.
Add a couple more murders, a definite dash of intrigue, and you have an interesting story which is enjoyable to read. There are enough twists and turns to keep anyone interested, the characters are interesting in themselves, and I recommend this book for anyone looking for a nice cozy to read around Halloween.