Review of ‘Midnight Slain in Georgia’ by Anne Hagan

‘Midnight Slain in Georgia’ is a well crafted short story ideal for the upcoming Halloween season. Callie works for a travel company organising tours. One of them is a ghost tour of Savannah. Part of Callie’s job is to vet applicants to be included on the tour, and when one comes up with a link to history, she wants nothing to do with it. But along with her partner, Jo, she is required to check it out. Will an overnight stay change her mind about the property? And who is the ghost supposedly haunting the B&B?

The first thing that appealed to me about his story was the link to Anne Hagan’s ‘Loving Blue in Red States’ series. I’ve read all of them and was delighted to get a follow-up with two of the characters. There’s no need to have read the previous story, ‘Savannah Georgia’, but if you have you’ll bet an extra kick out of this story. The characters of Callie and Jo have a good humoured relationship which comes through here. They also have a hot and steamy time together and this is very evident in this story. The story was brilliantly executed and made me gasp. A clever and delightful tale.

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘Origins’ by Jen Jensen

Jamis Bachman is a ghost hunter, and in this second mystery she finds herself in Arizona trying to help out the new owners of an old house in the desert. Scary apparitions appear each night, but there may be more to it than unhappy spirits. With the help of her friends, she must find out what the ghost wants, before it’s too late.

This is a creepy, scary story, with plenty of twists and turns. Behind it all there are some fascinating historical details, and characters who kept me turning the page. If you’re up for a few frights and like a well-written mystery, then this is the book for you.

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘Spirited’ by Julie Cohen

If there is one book you must read this year, ‘Spirited’ is it. Viola Worth has a passion for photography, a skill taught by her father. When her photographs begin to show the unexpected and intriguing, she becomes friends with celebrated medium Harriet Blackthorne, and her life changes forever. Viola’s husband Jonah struggles with his own demons and a notoriety he feels he does not deserve. As their lives intertwine, secrets emerge that must, in the end, be faced.

The writing is beautiful and poetic and places the reader in a time and place, where rules were different and society was not ready for the truth. This is a slow-build, with a gentle style, where the casual cruelty of the Victorian era is all the more shocking. It’s about secrets and lies, about love and friendship. But also about believing the impossible and above all the enduring nature of love. My heart was bursting as I turned the final few pages. A masterpiece.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘The Mortician’s Daughter’ by Nan Higgins

‘The Mortician’s Daughter’ is one of those books where you completely accept the premise and run with it. Aria has always dreamed of being a singer and up until her 22nd birthday that’s where she was headed. When she realises that ghosts exist – and they want to talk to her – life is never going to be the same. Finding out her father’s funeral home business is just a front for AfterCorps, an organisation set up to help the ghosts move on, is also a huge shock. Sloane has known about this side of life forever and joins Aria in training to work for AfterCorps. Far from being freaked out by it all, she relishes the challenge and wants a job in the Criminally Demonic Unit. But the pair are about to find out that there’s more going on within the company than they thought – and deciding who to trust is becoming more and more fraught with danger and uncertainty.

I loved this book. Nan Higgins has imagined a world not unlike our own, but with some magnificently thought out paranormal twists. I felt sorry for Aria when she was faced with giving up on her dreams, but I was also fascinated with the world that had opened up to her. I wanted to know more about it and the first person telling worked well in immersing the reader into each discovery. This world deserves a whole series of its own. A great read.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Legacy’ by Charlotte Greene

‘Legacy’ is a scary, creepy story that had me jumping out of my skin. It was brilliant. Jo and Carter are cousins and have spent their whole lives taking vacations in the family cabin in the mountains. But after a few years of neglect, the cabin is in need of repair and a good cleaning out. With a few friends, they hike to the remote cabin and hope to spend a couple of relaxing weeks sorting it out. The trip is anything but relaxing though. Strange occurrences give Jo cause for concern, but when it starts to become dangerous, and people get hurt, she has to start thinking the unthinkable. Meeting the most gorgeous woman out of the blue takes her mind off it for a moment, but all of the women have to admit that the cabin, and the mountain are not safe places to be.

The creeping tension is beautifully done and I was seriously spooked. Charlotte Greene ramps up the fear factor slowly and with delicate precision. Her masterful writing is so suited to this genre and I can’t imagine anyone doing it better. She weaves the relationship dynamics of the group, with references to the past and manages to introduce the scary elements bit by bit, never overdoing it. There were some surprising twist to the tale and some lovely romantic moments too. Jo’s burgeoning relationship with ranger Andy was tender and sweet, but also had an intensity that caught my breath. It was an amazing story, about family, love, history and fulfilment. Highly recommended.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Muses’ by Elizabeth Andre

‘Muses’ by Elizabeth Andre is the second in the Paranormal Grievance Committee series and a very enjoyable read. Once again we are back with Julie and Maya and their motley crew of ghost hunters. In this instalment the group is hired by Lily, a woman desperately looking for an answer to her uncle’s death. A trio of ghostly figures are causing mayhem in the family home and Lily needs them gone. 

I like Elizabeth Andre’s writing style. It is light and fun and immersive. She makes me feel as if I am solving the mystery alongside them. I am a huge history fan and I love how the author weaved a story from the past, with wonderful detail, and the present day mystery. The great bunch of characters really make it for me too. Although Maya and Julie run the show, the other characters are allowed to shine. I really enjoyed it.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘The Curse Of The Old Woods’ by Elizabeth Andre

The curse of the old woods is an intriguing story from the start. Maya and Julie are paranormal investigators with their own companies. They are thrown together when both are hired by an elderly lady, Mrs Fourier, to investigate the disappearance of her sister Katie many years before. The mystery of why Katie disappeared and why her sister needs the two women to help them connect again had me gripped. This ghost story has all the chills too and is well crafted. The strength of this story and the reason it works so well is the interaction between all of the characters in it. Maya and Julie don’t work alone but have friends and family helping them. I was so glad to find that this is the first in a new series as I can really see it working. A very enjoyable read.