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jenn

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.

An Open Spook (Haunted Guesthouse Mystery Novella #4.5)

An Open Spook - E.J. Copperman

If you're a fan of the Haunted Guesthouse series, this book takes place from the POV of Alison's mother.  In the books, Alison's POV is that her mom is a bit of a loveable dingbat who cannot see anything short of perfection when it comes to her daughter and granddaughter.  This comes through loud and clear in this novella, and it's a bit wide-eyed for my tastes, but it's not overbearing.

 

If you're not already reading the haunted guesthouse series, this little novella would do well as a stand alone short-story, I think.  The ghosts in this book (and the series) are very interactive and work with Alison to help solve mysteries; both for the living and the dead.  It's a bit scooby gangish, but it's entertaining.

 

This particular short story's plot centers on the POW/MIA bracelets that were worn during the Vietnam era to show support for those that didn't come home.  I liked the author's handling of the subject; she doesn't lean one way or the other (anti or pro war) but she's respectful throughout to both the soldiers and those that protested.  I also liked how the author took a long held belief and twisted it around to show that sometimes, we might think we're doing the right thing by holding on, but it could be that letting go is what's ultimately the best. I learned more than a few facts about the bracelets (before my time) and I especially liked the small addendum at the end of the novella.

 

My favourite line from the story comes from a conversation between Alison's mother and her deceased husband's ghost:

 

“Don’t sell yourself short,” I told my deceased husband. “Your heart was in the right place.”

“Technically, my heart is in an urn somewhere, isn’t it?”

 

(Excerpt From: E.J. Copperman. “An Open Spook.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/dLekL.l)