Monday, December 8, 2014

If You've Got It, Haunt It (A Haunted Vintage Mystery)

Author:  Rose Pressey
Genre:  Myster

Four Stars
Cookie Chanel has opened her own vintage clothing boutique, It's Vintage, Y'All, in the charming town of Sugar Creek, Georgia. Always on the lookout for stylish second-hand steals, she attends the estate sale of deceased socialite Charlotte Meadows. But she gets a lot more than she bargained for when Charlotte's ghost appears before her--offering fashion advice and begging Cookie to find out who murdered her.

As the persistent poltergeist tags along and a possibly psychic pussycat moves into the shop, Cookie sorts through racks of suspects to see who may be hiding some skeletons in the closet. Do a clothing store owner and a disembodied socialite have a ghost of a chance of collaring a killer--or will Cookie's life be the next one hanging by a thread?
Cookie Chanel owns a vintage clothing shop, It's Vintage, Y'All in Sugar Creek, Georgia.  She also dresses the part, wearing something vintage nearly every day, and even drives a vintage car.  So it follows suit that she would get the clothing for her shop by attending estate sales, and one morning while doing the same, she makes eye contact with a woman who appears agitated...and has a right to be.  It is Charlotte Meadows, the woman whose sale she is attending.  The problem is Charlotte is dead - murdered - and Cookie is the only one who can see her.  When Charlotte discovers this, she begs Cookie to find out who killed her.  Even though Cookie is reluctant to get involved, another murder soon occurs, and it is Cookie who finds the body.  Worse, the dead person was also investigating Charlotte's murder.  Worse yet, someone is posting threatening emails to Cookie's blog about her digging into the murder.
Yet here she finds herself, haunted by a spirit who refuses to leave until she finds out who did the deed....and if that isn't enough, a beautiful white cat wanders into her shop one day - and can apparently communicate through the Ouija Board and Tarot cards...and is psychic to boot.
So here we have the beginning of a new paranormal series with a twist - apparently Cookie can't see all the dead (so far, and which I certainly hope continues on because I am getting bored with heroines who can communicate with every dead person they come across), but only Charlotte so far, and she is on a mission to find her killer.  I enjoyed that tremendously, and the idea of a cat who is - albeit - watching out for Cookie as well by giving her hints as she goes along.  I also enjoyed the fact that Cookie wasn't "raring to go," as it were, but only agreed because she really didn't have much of a choice.  Two good things about this book, and that's a huge plus.
What I thought was a bit strange was the fact that the police detective investigating the crime, Dylan Valentine, almost immediately was flirting with Cookie, even though he knew very little about her.  I say this because he knew she was somehow involved with his case, even though she denied it and he didn't have any proof.  Yet that should have made him slightly wary, at least until the next book.  But he let her and everyone else know that he was interested.  Personally I felt that for someone who was fairly new in town, unless he was desperate, which he didn't appear to be, he was moving rather fast.
In the end, it's not deep reading or a suspenseful thriller.  What it is, is a fun read, and I'm looking forward to the next in the series.  I hope to see more of Charlotte in the next book, so I hope she sticks around with the cat.  I even hope to see the progress of the romance of Dylan and Cookie (although not too fast of a progression).  Recommended.

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A Souffle of Suspicion (A French Bistro Mystery #2)

Author:  Daryl Wood Gerber Genre:  Mystery Hardcover; Digital Book ISBN #:  9781683315865 Crooked Lane Books 325 Pages $25.25; $9.99 ...