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Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

No Ghouls Allowed (Ghost Hunter Mystery, #9)

No Ghouls Allowed - Victoria Laurie

Well.  That was NOT a cozy.


On the plus side, I can use this book for my PopSugar Challenge for "A book that scares you" - because this book scared the bejeezus out of me.  I started reading it yesterday and foolishly took it to bed with me last night.  It didn't take long to realise I was going to need another book to read if I was ever going to get to sleep; the short trip down my dark hallway to my library nearly did me in.


Now I'll qualify myself: for those of you who regularly read horror, or hard-edged paranormal, this book is probably a walk in a sunny park; you might even find parts of it humorous.  But I was raised an old-school RC; coupled with a natural inclination toward skittishness and a wildly active imagination, let's just say I have a very healthy respect for traditional connotations of good and evil.


Still, just like my mom, I enjoy a good ghost story.  Once in awhile, I like reading something that brings on a bit of... let's call it tension.  I do not like being frightened.  This book straddled that line - even crossed it a bit when I was dumb enough to think I could read it at night.


M.J. and Heath go to her childhood home for her father's wedding and find themselves sucked into investigating the haunting of a house her soon-to-be stepmom is trying to renovate.  Only these aren't ghosts, these are demons.  


Ms. Laurie balances this book (and her others) with a constant message of love, but the trigger warning list in this book is long.  Ghosts, demons, ouija boards, child-harm:  this is a confronting story on a lot of levels.  I like that Ms. Laurie talks about the risk of ouija boards; she doesn't get preachy about it, but she makes it clear her feelings about kids playing with them.  


The plot is pretty twisted (see trigger warning list above) and the ending felt horrifyingly inevitable as it was happening.  Looking back at it, I can see a point in the story where I should have seen the ending coming but frankly I was too freaked out by the spooky and my deductive reasoning skills probably weren't as sharp as they could have been.


4 stars because ultimately it was a book that had me hooked but the character of Gilley, while nowhere near as obnoxious as usual, was still silly and childish.  By the end of the book I just kept picturing a fat little pig he ate so much ice cream and was constantly asking for more.


I hope Ms. Laurie doesn't feel like she needs to keep topping herself with this series - this one was just about as much as I could take and still say I enjoyed myself.  If she goes for anything more intense it might just put paid on my anticipation of the next one.  Thank goodness I have some nice, calming, British historical mystery with which to wind down with.



[PopSugar 2015 Challenge: A book that scared you.]