Title: A GHOSTLY DEMISE
Series: Ghostly Southern Mystery #3
Author: Tonya Kappes
Format: Kindle (293 pages)
Published: Witness (August 25, 2015)
ISBN: ASIN: B00PQRWLRC
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3 out of 5 Wine Glasses
The prodigal father returns—but this ghost is no holy spirit
When she runs into her friend's deadbeat dad at the local deli, undertaker Emma Lee Raines can't wait to tell Mary Anna Hardy that he's back in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky, after five long years. Cephus Hardy may have been the town drunk, but he didn't disappear on an epic bender like everyone thought: He was murdered. And he's heard that Emma Lee's been helping lost souls move on to that great big party in the sky.
Why do ghosts always bother Emma Lee at the worst times? Her granny's mayoral campaign is in high gear, a carnival is taking over the town square, and her hunky boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, is stuck wrestling runaway goats. Besides, Cephus has no clue whodunit…unless it was one of Mrs. Hardy's not-so-secret admirers. All roads lead Emma Lee to that carnival—and a killer who isn't clowning around.
My jaw dropped when I saw Cephus Hardy walk up to me in the magazine aisle of Artie's Meat and Deli. I was admiring the cover of Cock and Feathers, where my last client at Eternal Slumber Funeral Home, Chicken Teater, graced the cover with his prize Orloff Hen, Lady Cluckington.
A GHOSTLY DEMISE by Tonya Kappes is an entertaining cozy southern mystery, light on romance, but teeming with ghostly shenanigans and political games. It's the third book in the author's Ghostly Southern Mystery series and, while I liked it, I feel that I would have enjoyed it much more if I'd read the previous books. If you are considering starting the series, I would recommend reading it in order as there are a jillion of colorful characters who were obviously introduced in the previous books and it's a bit overwhelming at first to keep them straight.
On the plus side, there were plenty of laugh-out loud moments even as a struggled. This is the background of the heroine as I understand it. Emma Lee, the Eternal Slumber Funeral Home undertaker, can see ghosts of the dead who are stuck between the here and the here-after. Only she and the Sheriff, who happens to be her boyfriend, know of her gift. Neither she nor Sheriff Jack Henry Ross are thrilled about her gift as she doesn't get to choose the when and how of the apparitional interactions. The spirits cannot be shushed when they want their murders solved. I felt that Emma's boyfriend was a saint as it's very difficult for them to plan any quality couple time since the ghosts aren't respectful of it.
The mystery in this book involved the murder of Cephus Hardy. He first comes into play when he greets Emma Lee at the deli demanding her assistance in solving his murder. His timing couldn't have been any worse as Emma's Granny is running a political campaign. Granny used to own the Eternal Slumber Home, but gave it to Emma a few years ago. Now her seventy-seven year old Granny, who is red-haired and twice-widowed, runs the Sleepy Hollow Inn and is famous for her iced tea. Granny is running for Mayor against O'Dell Burns, who runs Burns Funeral Home, the other funeral home in town. Granny will do anything and everything to be elected and keeping Granny out of trouble is a full-time job for Emma already. Needless to say, the competition with Burns doesn't stop at the bodies of dead people.
Chaotic doesn't aptly describe Emma's life as she tracks Cephus' killer with crazy Cephus aiding her search, while coping with Granny's insane antics on the campaign trail, as she's trying to have a quiet lovefest with her boyfriend. Whew!
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from this read:
"I'll be glad when this election is over!" Mary Anna yelled out the window of her car. She pulled the silver convertible classic Mercedes into the driveway of Eternal Slumber. "I was mobbed by O'Dell's sister and my momma this morning before I even had my boobs tucked in."
There were two things Southerners hated to see knocking on their door. Jehovah Witnesses, because the majority of us were Baptist, and the undertaker. It was understandable that when Terk Rhinehammer opened the door, his face turned white as all the blood was drained from it after he looked past me and saw my hearse.
"What's wrong?" He used his hands to pat down his chest. "I'm not dead, am I?"
Teddy did a muscle pose with his arms before he did the whole bouncing pectoral move with his boobs. "I'm a wrestling champ. International."
It was hard for me not to stare at each boob taking its turn bouncing up and down.
"Oh." My brows lifted along with my mouth. "Impressive."
With loads of laugh-out-loud humor, Southern witticisms and fast-paced action, I enjoyed this enough to where I want to go back and read the first two books. I would think that fans of the series would eat this book up. I would recommend this series to anyone who enjoys comical Southern cozy mysteries.
Suggested Reading Order:
A GHOSTLY UNDERTAKING (Book #1)
A GHOSTLY GRAVE (Book #2)
A GHOSTLY DEMISE (Book #3)
A GHOSTLY MURDER (Book #4)