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text 2017-08-18 19:43
I recommend these free kindle ones For Halloween BINGO 2017 options
Trouble in Mudbug - Jana Deleon
Southern Spirits (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries Book 1) - Angie Fox

These I already read.  Fun cozy mystery ones with ghosts or other elements that work for the squares.  Hardly deep, profound, erudite literature -- but fun reads by hybrid (traditional and self-published) authors.

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review 2017-08-10 23:22
The Skeleton in the Closet (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries, #2) by Angie Fox
The Skeleton in the Closet - Angie Fox
The small southern town of Sugarland is filled with excited people.  A documentary is being filmed by the history channel about a civil war battle that occurred in the town. The movie is to be billed as residents of the town coming together to fight off the invading Yankees, in order to protect their town from destruction. This should be enough excitement for a small town but when a local librarian is murdered to cover up an old secret, Verity has no choice but to get involved. 
As you may have guessed from the book cover, The Skeleton in the Closet is paranormal chicklit.  It doesn't hide what it is or attempt to be anymore than that. If you go into expecting something light to while away a few hours with then you might just enjoy, Verity's latest adventure.  It's got a grumpy gangster ghost, a pet skunk, mixed in with a murder mystery.
Fox walks the line between exulting the antebellum south and calling it out for what was.  Fox makes it clear that "Tennessee was one of the most divided states in the nation, and our boys had gone off to fight on both sides".  In fact, Sugarland continues to be divided today based on whose family did what during the civil war.  The big elephant in the room however is slavery. Not once does Fox point out that the entire reason for the civil war was slavery, even if she has Verity (the protagonist) make it clear that she believes that the North was proven right in the end. Chicklit is meant to be light but if you're going to write a book about the antebellum south and how it effects the modern era, to do so without including characters of colour is beyond problematic. Where are the Black people in this story?   
Fox didn't shy away from detailing the horrors of war.  In detail, Fox wrote about the surgeon who long after his death continued to operate on long dead soldiers. The surgeon continues to amputate limbs and his surgical gown is covered in blood.  Even though both the northern soldiers and the confederate soldiers are dead, both sides continue dehumanise each other.  It's a small lesson in how war teaches people to see those belonging to the other side as less than human and or civilised. 
This is the second book in this series in which the victim is female.  I like that Verity is a strong protagonist who speaks her truth and stands up in the face of oppression and I like that she seems to have a lot of female support; however, having a woman as victim twice in a row has me raising my eyebrows.  Let's see if this trend continues.  

Where Fox continues to stand out is in her discussion of class. A large part of Southern Spirits (the first novel in this series) dealt with Verity's struggle to pay off a debt and that involved her selling most everything she owned and living on Ramen Noodles.  Fox continues this struggle in The Skeleton in the Closet because though Verity has reconciled her debt, she still doesn't have a job and is effectively poor. Verity puts on a brave face but she's aware that one of her best dresses has a hole in the pocket and with only three dresses to her name, this is most certainly not convenient.  Verity continues to largely live on Ramen Noodles though her friends and neighbours do from time to time offer her a decent meal which she absolutely appreciates.  Fresh fruit is very much a luxury for Verity, so much so that she only eats half a banana at a time in order to treat her pet skunk with the other half.  The dollar store is where most of things that Verity purchases comes from.  Verity absolutely lives a food insecure lifestyle that is familiar to far too many people.
Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2017/07/the-skeleton-in-closet-southern-ghost.html
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review 2017-06-07 23:53
Southern Spirits (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries #1) by Angie Fox
Southern Spirits (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries Book 1) - Angie Fox
Things aren't going well for Verity Long.  The entire town is gossiping about her for standing up her fiance at the alter and now she has to find a way to pay for the wedding thanks to the mother of her gilted ex fiance. Verity has been forced to sell virtually everything she owns and the bank is foreclosing on her house. Verity is hopeful that somehow she will find a way to save her home but she never could have imagined that the answer would lie with a long dead mobster she just accidentally trapped in her garden. 
Clearly Southern Spirits is paranormal chick lit, so don't even pick this up if that's not your thing.  It's exactly as advertised which for me, is the perfect way to spend a hot spring afternoon with a cold beer. It won't change your life, or reveal the mysteries of the universe but it's easy to relax with and a fun little journey.
The only way for Verity to earn enough money to save her home is to figure who is haunting Ellis's restaurant with help of her mobster friend ghost Frankie. Given that it's Ellis's brother that she walked away from and people are already talking, being seen around town with him is decidedly not a good idea in terms of redeeming her reputation. I helps a lot that despite his wealth, Ellis is the family's black sheep. I know that cops see a lot of weird things in their life, but it really is a leap for Ellis to decide that Verity is the one to deal with his ghost problems just based on her knowing where his dead uncle's lighter is. Fortunately, because this book is chit lit, I say just run with it. 
One of things that I really liked about this book was the discussion of class running through. Being in debt and without a job meant that Verity struggled to survive.  Her home had no electricity and she was forced to use a camp stove to heat up her ramen noodles.  Ramen basically became the staple of her diet and she was only able to eat other things when the people in her life treated her. Verity's conversation was regularly peppered with details of what could be found at the dollar store. Even having a fluffy towel after a bath was a luxury because she had no drier for her clothing.  Even with how far Verity had fallen, she realised that she was lucky enough not to have to squat in an abandoned home and that while she was surviving things could actually be worse.
Then we had Harry, who was actually homeless before Ellis managed to get him into social housing.  Harry isn't a very social person and seems to have a problem with alcohol at the very least. Based in the aforementioned, Verity was quite ready to assume that he was responsible to the damage of Ellis's property and even the murder of Ellis's uncle.  Ellis however never wavered in his conviction that Harry was innocent based on his gut instinct, even though the facts all reasonably pointed to Harry.  This of course is yet another case of suspending reality.  Ellis's faith in Harry served to cement the goodness of his character, even though in reality, someone like Harry is exactly who cops would suspect.  Cops have a way of going after the underclass and failing to see their humanity.  Their mandate may be to protect serve but that only applies to the 1% and their corporate masters.

Fox makes a big deal about Verity being a modern day southern belle. Verity is very committed to her southern manners and even southern history. She quickly recognises the uniform of a roughrider and gushes about him potentially meeting Roosevelt.  I suppose I should be thankful it wasn't a confederate soldier, given how far too many southerns love to think of the Civil War, as the war of Northern Aggression. 
Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2017/06/southern-spirits-southern-ghost-hunter.html
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text 2017-05-16 18:22
Southern Spirits (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries Book 1) - Angie Fox

"My tank of a car lurched and every bolt shook as we tested the limits of my decades-old suspension system. Frankie cursed under his breath.(...)"


You're a ghost! Why would the car's weak suspension affect your... ah, molecules? o_O

What a diva.

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text 2017-04-19 23:00
Reading progress update: 34%.
Southern Spirits (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries Book 1) - Angie Fox

I'm having fun with this one.




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