Another day. Another funeral. Another ghost. Another average day in the life of young funeral home director, Emma Lee Raines. After a perilous run-in with a plastic Santa Claus, Emma Lee, co-owner of Eternal Slumber Funeral Home in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky, sees the ghost of town gossip Ruthie Sue Payne, who is proving to be a real pain, more so in death than while living. Recently deceased, Ruthie reveals to Emma Lee that her demise wasn’t caused by accidentally falling down the steps at the Sleepy Hollow Inn as everyone believes—she was pushed…murdered. In order for the ghost to cross over—and for Emma Lee to be rid of Ruthie for good—she must find a desperate killer…or risk being haunted forever. (Goodreads)
Emma Lee is trying the best she can to handle the “Funeral Trauma” that she is suffering from. Ever since she got hit over the head with a falling Santa Clause. she can see ghosts. This can be very problematic for a funeral home director. When Ruthie Sue Payne shows up after her death, asking for help to find her murderer, Emma Lee does not have a choice but to help her.
This book is such a great read and I am happy to see that it is only the first in the Ghostly Southern Mysteries series. Paranormal ghost cozies are one of my favorite genres and this one is as good as any I have read.
The characters are well developed, well rounded and three dimensional. I really enjoyed learning about Emma Lee and how she became a ghost “seer’. I also enjoyed reading about the bickering that went one between Emma Lee and Ruthie Sue. In life they were not friends and Emma Lee did not particularly like Ruthie Sue. Emma
Lee’s grandmother and Ruthie Sue were sworn enemies and both were married to the same man, at different times. But after spending so much time with Ruthie Sue, Emma Lee realizes that she missed out on not knowing Ruthie Sue while she was alive, and actually liked her. I thought this was a touching moment in the story and a lesson that we can all learn: do not judge someone until you get to know them, you might just be surprised when you do.
The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read. The author is very talented using the written word for descriptions of the setting and the characters. The small town setting is perfectly portrayed and the gossip mill is alive and strong. The mystery is carried on throughout the entire book and there are many twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. I did not figure out the killer until it was revealed at the end of the book.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted paranormal cozy. I am very happy that there are more books in the series to read, and I plan on reading them all. Treat yourself and read them too.