In Hot Water by J. J. Cook is the third book in the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade series. This book, as well as the first two, is a great read.
Stella has decided to stay in Sweet Pepper as the fire chief permanently and now she has a fight on her hands trying to save the cabin where she lives. The same cabin that belonged to the old fire chief, Eric Gamlyn, who is residing there as a ghost. Few people know that Eric is still around as a ghost, and even fewer people can see him. Stella is one of the lucky ones who can see and talk to him. Most of the community feels like the old chief is a town legend, but there are some who want to get rid of him as a ghost permanently. That is why the cabin is in jeopardy of being destroyed. They believe that if his cabin is removed, his ghost will go with it.
While dealing with trying to save the cabin, the fire brigade has numerous emergency calls to handle. One of these is a fire, where a prominent citizen of Sweet Pepper is murdered. With the help of Eric and a few of her friends, Stella attempts to solve the murder and determine the cause of the fire. But that will not be easy and it will not be danger free.
The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read. There is suspense, mystery, humor and romance all blended together perfectly. The characters are well developed and the mystery is carried on well throughout the entire book. The writing is descriptive and it is very easy to feel like you are right there watching all the action unfold. But to me the real star of this series is the relationship between Stella and Eric. You can tell that they have a high respect for each other and there is a certain amount of love between them. With the banter and bickering between them, it sometimes feels like they are an old married couple. It is hard to remember that Eric is a ghost at times.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery. And if you enjoy a ghostly cozy like I do, then this series is a must read.