Carolyn Hart was most gracious and kind enough to send me an arc of her new book, Ghost at Work. I thoroughly enjoyed the first in this new series.
While heaven is ,well, heavenly, Bailey Ruth Raeburn, late of Adelaide, OK, makes it known to Wiggins, head of the Department of Good Intentions, that she wants to help someone on earth in “dire straits”. Wiggins tells her she may do so, although due to her rash, impulsive and “spirited” nature, she will be on probation and she must remember all the precepts of being a ghost among the living. With a copy of the rules firmly in hand, she is immediately dispatched right back to Adelaide to find herself on the back porch of the Episcopal Church rectory just as Kathleen, the pastor’s wife, is discovering a dead body.
The victim, one Daryl Murdoch ,is not quite the upstanding citizen and dedicated church member he appears to be. It seems there are quite a few people who would rather have Daryl dead than alive.
Bailey Ruth now has the ability to appear when the need arises or to be invisible when she wants , a useful skill in her job to find the real murderer and absolve the pastor and his wife of any accusations because as it turns out, they too might have had a motive. As Bailey Ruth investigates the crime, the reader will laugh out loud at all of her antics while she learns to function as a ghost with a mission. Being invisible is great for moving from place to place quickly and being one step ahead of the investigation.
She begins to narrow down the suspects one by one and at the Halloween Spook Bash held at the church hall, the suspense builds when the lights go out and someone goes missing. It becomes evident to her, but certainly not to the reader, who the real culprit is. Along with a few pop-ins by Wiggins along the way, Bailey Ruth identifies the murderer and ties it all up nicely just before the rescue express sweeps into Adelaide and takes her heaven bound once again.
Hart writes a classic cozy with all the traditional elements of the genre. What she adds is her own exceptional brand of wit and humor along with a fabulous cast of well fleshed out characters. As usual, Hart has such a wonderful way with descriptions, the reader feels they are right there on the scene. The plot is well developed with plenty of suspects, all with motives to commit the crime. This is a truly enjoyable new series with non-stop fun . If you are a mystery fan, this is definitely one not to be missed ! Highly recommended.