Thursday, July 9, 2009

Guest Blog - Ghost at Work by Carolyn Hart

I have enjoyed Carolyn Hart’s mysteries for years. I really like her character Henry O who is a retired newsperson. Henry O is a seasoned report who has worked all around the world. Her other leading lady is Annie Darling from the Death on Demand series. I am not a big fan although I have read a few of them. This series of books predates the television series on Hallmark called Mystery Woman about a book store owner who can’t resist getting involved with local homicides. I find Annie just a little irritating. It is really hard to justify her sticking her nose into every murder on the island. The population must be getting small.

Ghost at Work is a whole other approach to solving mysteries. Bailey Ruth is a feisty red head who has been dead for many years. She is sent on an assignment back to her home town to aid a woman who is likely to be accused of murder. A body is about to be discovered in the back porch of the rectory. There’s a little of a feeling that she wrote this one over Christmas after watching It’s a Wonderful Life, but it is entertaining. The characters are interesting and well described. I truly did not anticipate the solution to this murder. . . I have decided that my detecting skills are at an all time low. However, I like a mystery that tempts me to look at the final chapter, but I resisted.

It is unclear in which decade Bailey Ruth died. Possibly the sixties. There is no doubt that she is visiting earth in the 21st century. She is puzzled by cell phones and computers. However, I am not sure if Hart has looked at what anyone is wearing in the last few decades. The ghost has the ability to imagine what she is wearing and it is so. One of her outfits is a purple velour jacket and pants. Are women over 80 still wearing those? Is it possible to buy a set like that? Another anachronism is that the mayor of Adelaide is wearing a beehive hairdo. Maybe Hart needs to get out more.

The book ends with the feeling that there are more Bailey Ruth stories in the making. And sure enough Merry, Merry Ghost is due out on October 27, 2009.

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