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review 2018-11-03 23:18
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake

After Cas's father died, killed by one of the ghosts he hunted, Cas inherited his athame and began following in his footsteps. Although his mother knows what he does and does her best to help him with any protective magic she has at her disposal, Cas has never told her his ultimate goal: he wants to become skilled enough to find and kill his father's murderer.

The ghost known as Anna Dressed in Blood will be his final one before confronting the ghost that killed his father. She's powerful - if Cas can beat her, he should be able to handle anything. But Anna isn't like other ghosts Cas has gone up against, and there are things going on in Cas's new city that he is unprepared for.

I was flying through this book when I suddenly hit a reading slump. Nothing except audiobooks could even vaguely hold my attention, and I went several weeks before diving back into this. It's a shame, because it badly interrupted the story's flow. It would have been best if I could have read this in a few big chunks over the course of a week.

Although the book is written in first-person present tense, which generally irks me, I barely noticed it here. It helped that I liked Cas's "voice." He reminded me a bit of the Winchester brothers in the show Supernatural, and the dry humor fit as well. If you're a fan of that show, I'd definitely recommend giving this book a shot.

Cas was a loner by choice who, upon moving to Anna's town, soon found himself reluctantly saddled with a couple people he eventually came to consider friends: a slightly telepathic witch named Thomas and Carmel, one of the popular girls. I liked that they both turned out to be useful in the big climactic battle, in ways that made sense. I'm hoping that Carmel gets more of a chance to shine in the next book. I liked that she didn't fit into the usual "popular girl = awful person" stereotype, although I disliked the potential romance between Thomas and Carmel.

Carmel was a little interested in Cas, but Cas only had eyes for Anna. Since he was out of the picture, Thomas, who had a huge crush on Carmel, seemed like a possibility, except she didn't show the slightest bit of interest in him. There was a line in the book that said something to the effect that Carmel could either end up with Thomas or be a shallow stereotypical popular girl and go back to dating jocks. It bugged me, because not wanting to date Thomas wouldn't be shallow of her - it'd just mean that she wasn't interested in him that way. It's possible to be both a decent person and not be interested in dating the main character's unpopular friend.

I liked Anna and the budding romance between her and Cas, although I dreaded the other characters' very valid reactions once Cas's feelings became more obvious. Even if she hadn't killed someone in front of them, romance between a ghost and a ghost hunter didn't seem like a good idea. But Anna was a pretty awesome ghost, and I liked that Cas admired her strength rather than felt intimidated by it. I did snort a bit at Anna's collection of YA stereotypes. Not only was she the most powerful and unusual ghost Cas had ever met, she also had violet eyes.

Cas had a few moments of stupidity - proving the existence of ghosts and his ghost-hunting prowess by taking untrained newbies on a hunt for a ghost he hadn't even researched, for example - but for the most part he was an enjoyable character. I look forward to eventually reading Girl of Nightmares.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-07-07 18:56
The Haunted Heist (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries #3) by Angie Fox
The Haunted Heist (Southern Ghost Hunter) (Volume 3) - Angie Fox
Verity's life hasn't been the same since she accidentally trapped her gangster ghost buddy Frankie by dumping his ashes in her rose garden.  Verity seems to keep falling into trouble even though she's working really hard to get her personal business up and running and to figure out her relationship with Ellis.  Verity may love Sugarland, but Sugarland isn't exactly in love with her any longer thanks to the mother of her would be boyfriend Ellis.  Things look like they may finally be taking a turn for the better when Verity is invited to the bank to interview for a job. Unfortunately for Verity, the interview ends when the bank manger is found dead in the vault.  Verity was only trying to get a new client and instead she's now tasked with figuring out who murdered the bank manager with the help of Ellis and of course her faithful ghost friend Frankie. 
 
As you can tell form the cover, The Haunted Heist is paranormal chick lit. I''m a big believer in light fluffy reading during the summer.  It's the perfect book to take along on a picnic or to relax with at the beach. It is essential that you go into this book and this series with the understanding that it's simply meant to be a bit of entertainment to pass away a lazy afternoon.  
 
I couldn't help to giggle every time Frankie sought to get Verity to turn to a life of crime to end her money troubles. Even driving with Verity is enough for Frankie to suggest that she change her occupation to get away driver.  Their exchanges are the best in the book, even if at times Frankie becomes irritating when he interrupts Ellis and Verity when they are canoodling. Verity, Frankie and Ellis get into a lot of trouble together and it's hilarious. I particularly loved them entering a ghostly speakeasy and the night ending with a ghostly bar fight with ghostly bullets whizzing through the air. 
 
Despite the fact that The Haunted Heist is the literary equivalent of cotton candy, the one thing Angie Fox does really well is her interrogation of class. Verity has eighty dollars in her bank account and no job to speak of, so cash is constantly a problem for her.  Fox doesn't shy away from how difficult this makes life for her.  Fox goes into detail about how because of her poverty, Verity has an extremely limited wardrobe and must borrow clothing from her sister.  Even meals don't come easily and Verity's diet consists of cheap things like bananas and protein bars.  To hide her poverty, Verity even goes without a jacket because the only one she could afford in her size at the second hand shop is hideous.  Verity's life isn't about what she likes but what she can scrape together.  I will however say that I love the idea of Verity driving around Sugarland in 1978 avocado green Cadillac. 
 
 
 
 

Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2018/06/the-haunted-heist-southern-ghost-hunter.html
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review 2017-12-20 23:49
Review: Sweet Tea & Spirits
Sweet Tea and Spirits (Southern Ghost Hunter) (Volume 5) - Angie Fox

After a puzzling phone call predicting a murder, Verity and gangster ghost buddy Frankie are hired on the sly by Julia Harper Youngblood to investigate who is leaving the Sugarland Heritage Society’s mannequins in compromising positions at a Civil War era home for widows and children. When she later finds Julia dead, she’s going to need the ghostly inhabitants to help her find a killer, and uncovers a very salacious history that no one expected.

 

Every time I read the newest book in the Southern Ghost Hunter series, I rave that it’s the best book so far. So, it should come as no surprise to you when I say Sweet Tea and Spirits is the best one so far in this series! Virginia, the MIL you love to hate, offers up a few surprises and even gangster Frankie shows off an unexpected side. I loved the glimpse into Verity’s family history, and I hope Ida will make an appearance at a later point. The exciting ending capped up a suspenseful plot that weaved a bit of saucy Southern history with spectral shenanigans into a thrilling adventure sprinkled with humor.

 

Overall, Sweet Tea & Spirits is an excellent addition to the Southern Ghost Hunter series and a must read for any paranormal mystery fan.

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review 2017-08-04 07:10
What's a Ghoul to Do? (Ghost Hunter Mystery #1) by Victoria Laurie
What's a Ghoul to Do? - Victoria Laurie

 

 

 

Author: Victoria Laurie

TitleWhat's a Ghoul to Do?

Series: Ghost Hunter Mystery

Cover Rating:

Book Rating:

 

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M.J., her partner Gilley, and their client, the wealthy, de-lish Dr. Steven Sable, are at his family's lodge, where his grandfather allegedly jumped to his death from the roof-although Sable says it was foul play.

But the patriarch's isn't the only ghost around. The place is lousy with souls, all with something to get off their ghoulish chests.

Now M.J. will have to to quell the clamor-and listen for a voice with the answers...

 

 

 

 

 

Its taken me a long time to put in the effort to read and write a review for self proclaimed psychic and author Victoria Laurie's book What's a Ghoul to Do because when I bought her books I wound up stumbling onto the whole Amazon/ DAM/ Reader vs. Author / Blog drama when I looked up her social pages since I wanted to know more about her.

 

I didn't care for what I learned. So I shelved her books and forgot about them for awhile.

 

I wasn't fully convinced that I was eager to read books with the Zombie/Ghoul themes since I'm not a big fan of the whole zombie movement.

I mean no insult to fans of both. My fault at the time for not knowing that there actually is a difference between the two.

Eventually I found my interest was piqued by someone who turned me onto Diana Rowland's Zombie series. I read the books and was forced to admit that I rather enjoyed them. A lot. So I figured since I still had Laurie's books on my shelves I might as well give those a go now that I was willing to give the undead a turn and now that Laurie's whole I'm out to punish all negative reviewers escapades was over - just in case I didn't like them either.

 

What's a Ghoul to Do was interesting - not really for me when it came to her portrayal of her characters personalities. MJ kind of felt too childlike/ valley girl for me to feel interested in her. I'm the complete opposite of that so its hard for me as a reader to relate to that kind of character.

Most of Laurie's characters felt like on one hand they were described as this fascinating person but on the other, the moment that character actually did or said something it reversed everything that had been built up about them that made me interested in them to begin with.

I do think that there is potential in this series being really good with some minor changes I just didn't think as the first installment to a series that it was all that great.

It probably would have been better suited as a YA book if Laurie took out the more adult content (its not explicit just adult geared) and kept her characters young since the maturity level of her characters feel more like children/teenagers than an adults.

 

The biggest reason I wanted to read the books - my wanting to get into the zombie/ ghoul thing... I have to admit I'm a poor candidate to judge the level of ghoulishness of this book. The only thing I have to compare it to is Rowland's books and unfortunately What's a Ghoul to Do doesn't even begin to compare. I hate that because its not fair to Laurie but that's all I have to base it on right now.

In my mind What's a Ghoul to Do just felt more like a clever title than actual ghoulishness in the book.

In the end I think I was the wrong reader at the wrong time for this book and this author.

But I encourage you to give a try. See what you think. Could be maybe you'll enjoy it more than I did. I'd be interested in hearing what your thoughts are if you have read it.

 

 

 

Until next time book lovers...

 

 

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews purchased a print copy for personal collection.

All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

If any of Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews has been helpful please stop by to like my post or leave a comment to let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!

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review 2016-10-23 04:50
Ghost of a Chance
Ghost of a Chance (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries) - Angie Fox

Read this review (and more!) at Mystereity Reviews

Another quick foray into Sugarland, Ghost of a Chance has Verity and gangster ghost Frankie helping out ghost buddy Matthew Jackson to recover a necklace that his mother had promised him - 150 years ago. Verity (with Frankie, of course) crashes a party at the Jackson home by working as a server during the annual family Christmas party to reunite a son (who has spent the last 150 years feeling bitterly alone after his mother threw him out for joining the Union army during the Civil War) and a mother who has spent the last 150 years mourning him. The part where Verity was trying to get the mother to look out the window and see him? *sniffle* And a happy ending? You can't go wrong.

The great thing about these very short stories is how rich the plot is, considering there's only 40 pages! The story unfolds quickly, with just the right amount of detail to be a satisfying read without feeling incomplete or rushed.

Overall, enjoyable and satisfying, Ghost of a Chance is a great little tale to while away an hour.

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