Thursday, January 10, 2019

Fashions Fade, Haunted is Eternal (A Haunted Vintage Mystery #7)

Author:  Rose Pressey
Genre:  Mystery

Mass Market Paperback; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9781496714664
Kensington Publishing
304 Pages
$7.00; $6.99 Amazon
December 18, 2018


Cookie Chanel - owner of the chic clothing store It's Vintage Y'all in Sugar Creek, Georgia - has been hired to dress models for a fashion shoot.  The spread will be featured in Fashion and Style magazine's October issue - so the models are posing in a cemetery.  As someone who can see and talk to ghosts, Cookie's not spooked by the location.  But she is surprised when a new ghost appears, decked out in 1920s couture.  And she's shocked when she hears a gunshot.  Then a model runs toward her saying the grumpy photographer has been edited out of the picture - for good.  With help from her ghostly pals, Cookie must zoom in on the truth before she's the next to strike a final pose...


Cookie Chanel lives in Sugar Creek, Georgia and owns a vintage clothing shop, It's Vintage Y'all.  She also communicates with ghosts and has her own resident spirit named Charlotte that she 'picked up' while at the deceased woman's estate sale.  Currently she's at a photo shoot in a graveyard (!) with a group of models and an obnoxious photographer when a shot rings out and she finds the photographer's dead body.

Unfortunately, this also brings another ghost to her, a 1920's flapper named Minnie who can't remember why she's there but thinks it might have something to do with the pearls Cookie recently bought that match exactly the ones Minnie is wearing.

Her boyfriend, Homicide Detective Dylan Valentine, also knows about the ghosts and seems accepting of that fact, which says a lot about how he feels about Cookie.  But when Dylan asks her to stay out of the investigation, Cookie never really agrees, deciding to find out who killed the man.  Still, there are surprises in store, such as where did the black cat in the graveyard come from, and why has he decided to latch onto Cookie; what happened to Heather (who's discovered something interesting), and who's trying to kill Cookie?  If Dylan - or Cookie - don't figure it out soon, she'll be the next ghost to visit someone hoping to solve the crime...

Because I enjoyed all the others in this series, I had high hopes for what appears to be the finale; but unfortunately, it didn't measure up.  The writing seemed disjointed somehow; almost as if the author wanted to get the book out of the way and go on to other books.  The conversations were between Cookie and her ghosts were boring, and half of them didn't make any sense.

I also didn't (still) understand why Charlotte kept pushing Cookie to go to listen to conversations when she, as a ghost, could have done so much easier and not been detected.  Why was she pushing Cookie to get into possibly dangerous situations when she could have gone anywhere undetected?  Charlotte has a knack for encouraging Cookie to go do something that will get her into trouble, and then denying she had anything to do with it.  (No wonder someone killed her.) 

And why was Cookie even investigating?  In the previous books, the ghosts had always asked Cookie to find out who killed them and why - but this time, there was no such scenario.  There was no ghost hanging around her demanding she discover who killed him.  (Yes, there was the 'ghost cat' but he wasn't hounding her constantly and following her around demanding she find his murderer).  Yet for some odd reason, she felt the need to figure it out.  (Because of this, I had a hard time believing that she would just stay out of Dylan's future investigations).  Cookie usually isn't as stupid as she was in this book, just walking into potentially dangerous situations and even leaving behind a police officer that was assigned to protect her (note to officer:  they don't fall asleep on stakeouts if they value their jobs).

I also, unfortunately again, didn't think the reason the man was murdered was plausible, and we were left with some unanswered questions that bothered me.  I also felt that as far as the vintage thing goes, Dylan and everyone else went a little over the top for Cookie.  It all came off as too saccharine for me; it could have been so much better.  It was fine for a quick mystery read.


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