Ghost in the Wind
A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery, Book #7
By E.J. Copperman
Author Website: ejcopperman.com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
Never meet your heroes—especially when they’re dead…
Guesthouse owner, single mother, and reluctant ghost whisperer Alison Kerby is about to sit down to movie night with her family and friends when she’s struck speechless. Floating before her is the ghost of her musical idol, 1960s English rock star Vance McTiernan. He’s in desperate need of help from Alison and her resident ghostly gumshoe, Paul Harrison.
Reports claim that four months ago, Vance’s daughter died from an allergic reaction. Vance, however, thinks she was murdered. While Alison agrees to help, Paul is suspicious of Vance’s motives. But after the body of the alleged killer is found in the movie room, Alison and Paul must act quickly before someone else finds a stairway to heaven…(Goodreads)
Alison Kerby is always busy running her haunted guesthouse, being a single mother to her bright daughter Melissa, settling into a relationship with her boyfriend Josh, and doing the legwork for her resident gumshoe ghost Paul. Ghosts occasionally seek out her (Paul’s) help, drawn by Paul’s advertisements on the “ghosternet”, but Alison is awestruck one evening to find her adolescent musical idol Vance McTiernan before her. He implores Alison to find out the truth about his daughter Vanessa’s recent death. Though ruled an accident, he is convinced that she was in fact murdered. Despite Paul’s objections, Alison agrees to investigate. But, without Paul’s help, she flounders in her investigation. She does enlist the help of her other resident ghost Maxie to do her internet research. Vanessa was an aspiring musician hoping to release a solo album. Did her fellow band mates do her in because they were jealous? Was her boyfriend (also a member of the band) unable to deal with their breakup? Was her mother so upset that Vanessa chose the same path as her father that she killed Vanessa to stop her? What about her half-brother who was acting as her manager and agent? Things get dangerous when one of the suspects is killed in her guesthouse.
There is also a minor investigation where an odd woman ghost asks Alison to find Lester, a blond from Topeka.
Ghost in the Wind is the seventh installment in the Haunted Guesthouse series, and I must admit that it is not my favorite. Alison is a pleasant, sometimes funny person and I like her sarcastic asides to the reader, but she really is not a good detective. She takes the bumbling protagonist to a new level here. Her blind devotion to Vance, though it fades as the story progresses, is quite annoying. Her constant sniping with Maxie and Paul’s stoic behavior added to the annoyance. Paul is usually one of my favorite characters, but his jealousy (or whatever his problem is) is unappealing. Vance’s manipulative and sometimes untruthful manner made him really unattractive. Also, I do not think the guests added much to the story this time around. And, finally, Josh’s friend Liz is awful and got on my last nerve.
On the bright side, I love that Alison’s mother and deceased father are able to continue their relationship beyond the grave. I find it sweet that death has not ended their marriage or devotion to each other. Though some readers may find Melissa’s wise-beyond-her-years precociousness irritating, I find her endearing. Josh is also a nice character, and I wish he was highlighted and more flushed out. The impromptu jam session featuring ghostly music legends is probably the best part of the book.
The mystery itself moves along slowly, and I do not feel like I got to know Vanessa well enough to really care what had happened to her. Does that make me a terrible person? I suspected the murderer’s identity as soon as he/she was introduced. This decreased my enjoyment of the story somewhat. I also figured out who Lester and the mystery female ghost were long before the truth was revealed.
Overall, Ghost in the Wind was an OK read, and I will continue reading the series as future books become available. This one just fell a bit short for me. I recommend this haunted read to fans of the series and those who enjoy an aged rocker theme and paranormal cozy settings.