chez_jae: (Books)
Yesterday, I started reading A Ghoul's Guide to Love and Murder, and I finished it today. It's the tenth installment in author Victoria Laurie's "Ghost Hunter" mystery series. Unfortunately, it's also the last installment. Color me disappointed.

MJ and Heath have just returned from a well-deserved vacation, where Heath proposed, MJ accepted, and they got married. MJ wants to keep it a secret, because her BFF Gilley is planning his own wedding, and he will be outraged to be upstaged. The Ghoul Getters crew has secured a movie deal, and they're all flush with money.

Before the movie's premiere, there is an exhibit at a local museum to showcase some of the gear used by the ghost hunters. When MJ discovers that Gilley has loaned a dangerous, possessed dagger to the exhibit, she and Heath are frantic to get it back. Before they can recover it, the dagger is stolen, and someone is murdered. Now it's up to the Ghoul Getters and a skeptical cop to track down the dagger before anyone else gets killed. However, MJ and Heath must first battle several of the supernatural baddies they shut down in previous cases. Complicating matters is the fact that MJ has just learned she's pregnant.

I was underwhelmed. I love this series, and I freely admit that part of my pique is due to being disappointed that this was the end. However, I felt the author was trying to cobble things together in a hurry. I wasn't "present" for the proposal/marriage, and each of the encounters with the demonic spooks seemed forced and rushed. Even the climactic scene wasn't as scary and intense as other books in the series have been. Also, I have to say that at times throughout this series, I've been annoyed with the character of Gilley. He's a selfish twat, and his antics at the first part of this book just made me want to punch him in the face. He did redeem himself, but I was less than impressed.

Favorite line: ...I was grouchy and hungry enough to shiv an old lady for a doughnut.

In short, the book was just "okay", and I'm sad that the series is ending. In addition, I felt that the author was doing a lot of unnecessary plugging of her other series ("Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye").

If I could give this a 3 1/2, I would. I'll give a nod to the series as a whole and give it four:

♦♦♦♦
chez_jae: (Books)
Between yesterday and today, I read No Ghouls Allowed by Victoria Laurie. It's the latest installment in her "Ghost Hunter mysteries" series.

The story follows MJ as she and her boyfriend Heath and her best friend Gilley return to Georgia, where MJ's father still lives. Her father is getting remarried, and his fiancee is having trouble with an old mansion she purchased and wants to renovate. MJ and Heath offer to check it out, thinking it's a simple haunting that they can easily dispel. Instead, they discover a powerful, malevolent spirit known as the Sandman. Worse, the Sandman has a personal bone to pick with MJ.

This book was more creepy than previous ones in the series. There was less humor to defuse the tension, and the activity was downright scary. Still, it was a compelling read, and I am as eager as ever for more of MJ's adventures.

Five hearts!

chez_jae: (Books)
Tonight, I polished off The Ghoul Next Door, which is the newest installment in Victoria Laurie's "Ghost Hunter" mystery series. I usually rock through these stories, and this was no exception.

MJ Holliday is taking a break from filming her TV special Ghoul Getters, along with her boyfriend Heath and her best friend Gilley. Back home in Boston, MJ is contacted by her ex-boyfriend, Dr Steven Sable, who asks her to help his fiancee's brother. MJ is taken aback that Steven has not only replaced her so quickly, but that he's also gotten committed so soon after their break-up. Nevertheless, she agrees to meet with him and his fiancee.

The woman's brother is being harassed by an evil entity. MJ and her crew set up surveillance equipment to observe him. He slips out of the house and returns covered in blood. At the same time, police respond to the scene of a murder mere blocks away.

MJ doesn't believe her young client is a murderer, and as she and Heath and Gilley investigate, they find that this is only the latest in a string of similar killings, all committed by men who have certain things in common.

These are cozy mysteries, but the author infuses enough creepiness and scary moments in the books to prevent them from being fluffy. Now, I need to wait until January 2015 for the next one.

Five stars!

★★★★★
chez_jae: (Books)
I have been remiss; I finished this one about two weeks ago. Oops?

I powered through What a Ghoul Wants by Victoria Laurie in under a week. It's from her popular "Ghost Hunter Mystery" series, featuring MJ Holliday and her partner and boyfriend Heath Whitefeather.

They, along with their "Ghoul Getters" crew, arrive in Wales to investigate a haunted castle, where the ghost of the Grim Widow allegedly drowns victims in the castle's moat. While there, MJ and Heath find themselves investigating some recent suspicious deaths and battling the Grim Widow herself.

I love this series. The books alternate between being humorous, fun and playful, and downright scary. If you enjoy paranormal mysteries, this series is a must-read.

★★★★★
chez_jae: (Default)
Yesterday, I began reading Ghoul Interrupted by Victoria Laurie, and I finished it today. I love her "Ghost Hunter mystery" series, and I typically devour them quickly. I only wish the author would come out with more than one book in the series per year.

In this story, psychic medium and ghost hunter MJ Holliday travels to New Mexico with her boyfriend and fellow ghost buster Heath Whitefeather to investigate members of Heath's family being attacked by a demon. The plot was fast-paced and engaging, sprinkled with humor to alleviate the more frightening parts.

If you like cozy mysteries and/or the paranormal, I highly recommend this series.

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