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review 2014-01-23 22:03
Demons are a Ghoul's Best Friend
Demons are a Ghoul's Best Friend - Victoria Laurie

This review also posted at A Bookish Compulsion's Main site

A good second book, Demons are a Ghoul's Best Friend had most of the elements I liked in What’s a Ghoul to Do? The comedic snark, the light mystery that none-the-less was scary and had me invested until the very end, the straight acceptance of the paranormal and the vivid writing that had me able to picture both the world and the characters well. What I felt was weaker in this book was the character interaction. M.J. dipped into the whiny trop a little much for me, pulling the whoa-is-me card and straining relations with Steven and Gilly both before snapping out of it to revert to her usual self. I’m not sure why the about two chapters had her being a whiny witch other than to add drama to the relationship development between her and Steve, a device I was not thrilled with. However it was pulled together at the end, baldly stating she had thrown a fit to demonstrate she needed to concentrate on her work while working and not on furthering relationships, but still I felt it read somewhat sloppy.

Otherwise I enjoyed this fun read and will happily move on to the next in the series.

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review 2014-01-14 17:01
What's a Ghoul to Do?
What's a Ghoul to Do? - Victoria Laurie

This review also posted at A Bookish Compulsion's Home Site


Let me start by saying that this was a really fun book.  Somewhere on the crossroads between a Paranormal Cozy Mystery and a Paranormal Romance, it struck that perfect balance sweet-spot for me.  Just enough mystery to keep me engaged in the plot and just enough romance to have me loving the characters.


Speaking of characters, these were some good ones.  From M.J.’s lead (right through the completely entertaining Gilly, the smolderingly suave yet linguistically challenged Steven) down to Mama Dell who owns the coffee shop at the corner the characters were well drawn, believable, relatable and charming.  I loved reading the by-play between M.J. and Gilly (and I will never think of a fire-drill the same way again) and found the relationship development between Steven and M.J.—from skepticism to acceptance—a fun and realistically tangled journey.


I also really liked the way that the paranormal element was incorporated into this book.  It just was.  No angsts (or only when in relation to how difficult it was to find a date when you can talk with the dead…apparently that scares a lot of guys away.) no metaphysical explanations, just—this is how I was born, either deal with it or don’t, your opinion is not going to change anything.


I found the plot of What’s a Ghoul to Do? an entertaining journey through twists and turns that thankfully all felt realistic at the time.  I never felt like something was being thrown in just to serve the plot (although there were times I felt truly sorry for the character as I winced at yet another twist they had to deal with.).  It was a light and fun ride and I am happily looking forward to reading the next book in this series.


I give What’s a Ghoul to Do? a happy five stars.


As a side note, I saw these books years ago and while they looked interesting I shied away from them because I not a huge fan of Ghouls (the whole flesh-eating thing).  I was happy to find when I read What’s a Ghoul to Do? that, while there were ghosts galore, there were no ghouls to be found.

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review 2014-01-09 17:40
I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas
I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas - Molly Harper,Amanda Ronconi

This review also posted at A Bookish Compulsion

This was a freebie audiobook put out as a Christmas special.

I enjoyed listening to I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas. Audio is not my format of choice, however with this quirky cast of characters listening to voices and accents that were decidedly more out-there than the ones in my head only added to the fun. A snarky and very light read, this trip to the Half-Moon Hallow carried forth Ms. Harper’s don’t-take-too-serious comedic writing style and blended it with her motley crew of diverse characters to humorous results.

I would not recommend this story as a stand-alone as it does pull heavily on established characters, however for anyone who has had an introduction to Ms. Harpers Half-Moon Universe (even if you haven’t read all of the books as I haven’t) it is a fun and quick listen.

Three shiny stars for I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas

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