Book 1, A B&B Spirits Mystery
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As the owner of a charming Louisiana bed and breakfast, Holly Davis believes in Southern hospitality—but she draws the line at welcoming the ghost of her cheating husband . . .
Burl Davis checked out of this life a little earlier than expected—before Holly could serve him with divorce papers over his extramarital flings. Unfortunately, it was not before he nearly bankrupted her beloved B&B, Holly Grove, a converted plantation that has been in her family for generations. Holly would never wish anyone dead, but three months later she's feeling a lot more relief than grief.
Until Burl's ghost appears as an unwelcome guest. Before his spirit can move on, her not-so-dearly departed needs Holly’s human help to bust up the drug smuggling ring he was involved with. She has reservations, to say the least, but agrees to assist him if he’ll make a show of haunting the B&B to draw in visitors. But when Holly’s former love, Jack McCann, mysteriously resurfaces in town and checks in, she has to wonder if her B&B is big enough for the ghost of her husband and the very real physical presence of her old flame . . .
Great series starter!
This is the first book in a new series titled B&B Spirits Mysteries. I have never read this author before, and I’m not sure she has any more books, but I am now a huge fan. I love mysteries, and I love paranormal books, and this series combines them both in a wonderful way. This author has written a great paranormal cozy mystery with a wonderful dose of humor, and I loved the characters in this book. From the cook running from the kitchen because of the ghost to the tour taker getting scared, the book was great fun from beginning to end! I did find Holly’s dead husband Burl a little exasperating at times, but I know he was supposed to be that way. I can’t wait to read more in this series, and I think I’ve found another favorite. If you like fun paranormal cozies, give this one a try as I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Highly recommend! Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the e-book which I voluntarily reviewed.
First book in A B&B Spirits Mystery series
Better Dead by Pamela Kopfler is the first A B&B Spirits Mystery. Holly Davis owns Holly Grove Plantation in Delta Ridge, Louisiana which she turned into a bed and breakfast three years prior. Holly’s husband, Burl passed away three months ago just before he was served with divorce papers for his cheating ways (and so much more). Holly is celebrating the end of her mourning with champagne and raises a toast to Burl. The next thing she knows he is there before her (then chaos ensues). The next morning Holly wakes up on the floor with white powder all around her (long story) and the Deltas are peering at her through the window. Burl was not a drunken hallucination and he cannot move on until Holly helps with his unfinished business. He only has until midnight on Halloween to make things right or he will be stuck at Holly Grove forever (Holly’s worst nightmare). Holly is the only person who can see and hear Burl. Before his death, Burl was involved in smuggling drugs through Holly Grove and he believes busting up the ring is his unfinished business. Holly agrees to help Burl in exchange for him haunting the house during the Haunted Pilgrimage Tour of Homes. Holly needs to turn a profit, or she is in danger of losing Holly Grove (thanks to Burl). Then Holly’s old high school flame, Jake McCann returns to town and wishes to stay at Holly Grove. Unknown to Holly, Jake is an ICE agent trying to stop the drugs being smuggled through the plantation. He is as handsome as ever and Holly is still attracted to him. However, it is hard to flirt with your deceased husband in the room. Can Holly discover who is behind the drug smuggling and put a stop to it? Why has Jake returned to town? Watch Holly juggle her duties at the B&B along with Burl, Jake, the Deltas, and a housekeeper who wants the ghost out of the house.
Better Dead is a Southern cozy mystery with paranormal elements. The story is told from Holly and Jake’s POV. I prefer stories that are written from one viewpoint (preferably third person). It allows readers to stay immersed in the story and not be distracted by the changing voice. Better Dead is a humorous story with one zany antic after another throughout the whole book. While I do not enjoy reading these type of stories, many other readers find them delightful. I prefer intelligent, strong female characters. I was never drawn into Better Dead. I read it, but just found it unbelievable. Some examples are: The Deltas believing fire hydrant foam dust to be cocaine and that Holly has a drug issue (the gossip quickly spread throughout the whole town); the gold sex toy that Holly breaks and then needs fixed (because she is snooping through her guests luggage); the housekeeper who brings in a priest and a medium to get rid of the ghost; housekeeper and Holly wearing garlic to keep the ghost at bay; Holly runs a B&B, but she cannot cook (or reheat) without destroying food (which happens in the book). I was curious why the B&B served dinner? Especially since the housekeeper cooks the food in advance (she does not stay until dinner) and then Holly has to reheat it (would you pay for this service). Like I mentioned before, many people will find these things hilarious (I am just not one of them). There was too much of it along with the bickering between Holly and Burl (tiresome and repetitive) and Holly ogling Jake (and thinking about him). I believe the author was trying for screwball comedy type humor (but did not pull it off). The mystery is in there among all the zaniness. The culprit can be identified before the reveal (do not let the crazy distract you). Holly gets herself into one dangerous situation after another since she refuses to listen to anyone (which gets her into trouble and then she needs rescuing). The characters lacked development and Burl was annoying. Better Dead was too long (I did not think the book would ever end). Better Dead was not my cup of tea.