chez_jae: (Books)
Since I stayed up past midnight to do it, I guess I can say I finished reading A Ghostly Reunion this morning. It's part of author Tonya Kappes' "Ghostly Southern" mystery series, featuring Betweener Emma Lee Raines.

At Emma Lee's work place, the Eternal Slumber funeral home, business has been dead. Having free time, however, allows Emma Lee to work on arranging her tenth year class reunion. No one is more surprised than Emma Lee when Jade Lee Peel returns to Sleepy Hollow for the reunion. Jade was the pretty girl, the popular one, the cheerleader, and she made it her personal mission to torment Emma Lee in high school. Worst of all, Jade used to date Emma Lee's current beau, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross. Ten years hasn't changed Jade; she's still a mean girl, and she's still trying to get her hooks into Jack.

When someone murders Jade, there is no shortage of suspects, and when Jade realizes that Emma Lee can see and hear her, she begins badgering Emma to solve her murder. Emma Lee is happy to do so, if only to get Jade out of her hair. As if that's not enough to deal with, now Emma Lee's sister, Charlotte Rae, is demanding the lovely antique sideboard that has been in the funeral home for as long as Emma Lee can remember. Since Charlotte ditched Eternal Slumber for a bigger, fancier funeral home in Lexington, Emma Lee isn't keen on cooperating.

These books are so amusing and witty. I love the humorous turns of phrase that come out in dialogue, and I adore the wacky characters that call Sleepy Hollow home. Emma's Granny, Zula Fae, is a character all on her own!

Favorite line: "If dumb was dirt, she'd only cover about half an acre."

Fun and lighthearted (for a murder!); four stars:

chez_jae: (Books)
I finished reading A Ghostly Murder last night. It's part of Tonya Kappes' "Ghostly Southern" mysteries.

While overseeing a burial, undertaker Emma Lee is drawn to the grave of Mamie Sue Preston. There, she meets Mamie Sue herself, who claims she was murdered several years ago. She wants Emma Lee to discover who killed her, so that she can move on to her heavenly reward.

Emma Lee is getting better at helping her spectral clients as a Betweener, but Mamie Sue doesn't give her anything to go on. Emma Lee has to snoop around Mamie's home, the doc's office for health records, and among her acquaintances for answers. Some of her activities land Emma Lee in hot water and leave the townsfolk thinking she's gotten even crazier.

In the meantime, Emma Lee's granny, Zula Fae, seems to be up to her old antics, and it's up to Emma Lee to ride herd on her, especially since her sister, Charlotte Rae, isn't much help in that area. To make things worse, Emma Lee is convinced that her boyfriend's mother, Jo Francis, hates her.

Lots going on, and most of it fabulously ridiculous. Fun and funny!

Favorite lines:
♦ "My hard-earned tax dollars are paying you to investigage a pie?"
♦ "After you left, I guess she was so worked up about you going into her room and taking a poop, she might have had a slight heart attack or something."

Still laughing my ass off over that one!

Five stars!

chez_jae: (Books)
Since I had a nap yesterday, I was too wired to go to bed at a decent hour. As a result, I polished off A Ghostly Demise, the third book in Tonya Kappes' "Ghostly Southern Mystery" series.

When Emma Lee runs into Cephus Hardy at the deli, she's surprised to see he's back in town after five years. She's even more surprised to discover that Cephus is dead, and she's the only one who can see him. Cephus insists he didn't abandon his family all those years ago; he claims he was murdered, and now he needs Emma Lee's help to cross over.

Emma Lee knows she'll get no rest if she doesn't agree. However, she also has to deal with dwindling business at Eternal Slumber funeral home, help with her Granny's mayoral campaign, navigate a carnival in town, and suffer the disapproval of her boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry, who thinks Emma Lee needs to leave the investigating to the police. Without a body, though, the police have their hands tied. It's up to Emma Lee to save the day.

These stories are so fun and funny. It was a quick, easy read--perfect for a long, lazy weekend.

Favorite line: "She's always thought she was hotter than Satan's housecoat."

Five stars:

chez_jae: (Books)
On Wednesday night, I finished reading A Ghostly Grave by Tonya Kappes. It's the second book in her "Ghostly Southern mystery" series.

Ever since Emma Lee got hit on the head with a falling, plastic Santa Claus, she's been able to see ghosts. The first ghost she sighted was Chicken Teater, and now Chicken is insisting that he was murdered. He can't rest until the case is solved, and he's counting on Emma to help. While Emma's boyfriend, sheriff Jack Henry Ross, works on the tangible clues, Emma is checking out her primary suspect, Chicken's wife, Marla Maria. Seems that Chicken loved his prize-winning hen, Lady Cluckington, more than his wife, and Marla may have had enough. In the meantime, Emma has to deal with her rambunctious Granny, a big festival in town, and her first-ever beauty pageant.

These books are a hoot! The author is a bit over the top with her southern names (Emma Lee, Charlotte Rae, Hettie Bell, Zula Fae, etc), but it's all very tongue in cheek and fun. Chicken Teater was one of my favorite characters in this story; he certainly had the best lines. Ha ha!

Favorite lines:
"That's where my butt cream went?"
"She could lick a skillet that was in the kitchen from the front porch."
"She's as windy as a bag full of farts..."
"She's shaking like a hound dog trying to shit a peach pit."

Five of five!
chez_jae: (Books)
Since storms kept me offline earlier today, I used the opportunity to finish reading A Ghostly Undertaking by Tonya Kappes. It's the first book in the author's "Ghostly Southern Mysteries" series.

After undertaker Emma Lee Raines is struck on the head by a falling plastic Santa Claus, she has the ability to see and speak to the dead. The local doctor declares she's suffering from "funeral trauma", and half of the town thinks Emma Lee is crazy. When the ghost of newly departed Ruthie Sue Payne appears to Emma Lee, she insists she was murdered and that Emma Lee must help solve the crime.

As if that wasn't enough, Emma Lee's granny, Zula Fae Raines Payne, is the prime suspect, because her late husband was Ruthie Sue's ex, and he left his half of Ruthie's inn to Zula. Emma Lee is determined to prove her granny didn't push Ruthie Sue down the stairs, even if she has to play up the crazy angle in town. Sheriff Jack Henry Ross isn't buying it; he believes that Emma Lee can communicate with Ruthie Sue. When another busybody in town is attacked and left for dead, and Emma Lee's life is threatened, the race is on to find a killer before anyone else is murdered.

This was a light, delightful read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I look forward to reading more in this series.

Four stars:



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