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by Tonya Kappes
Witness, March 2015
288 pages
ISBN: 0062374818

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Emma Lee Raines became a "Betweener" when she was hit on the head by a falling decorative Santa. Her friends and family call her communications with restless souls who have yet to pass over "funeral trauma," but ghostly spirits in need of her services find her to be the perfect medium. And why not? Emma is after all the funeral director at the Eternal Slumber Funeral Home in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky, so it only makes sense that she should be the one to help her clients achieve that eternal slumber. Because of her gift, Emma wasn't surprised when Chicken Teater's ghost appeared and started talking to her about his death, but she wasn't happy about it. When a grave has to be opened up and a body exhumed it's bad for business. With Chicken by her side, Emma begins her investigation into who sent Chicken to his early death.

Several authors have written series with a ghost-seeing protagonist who goes about solving their murders or righting wrongs from the ghosts' lives. There has not been anyone to do it in such a humorous style. Emma Lee Raines is perhaps the most normal of the characters in the series. The author has made the characters so stereotypical that the reader can't help but laugh. Granny Zula has every single eccentric "old lady" trait imaginable. Her behavior is so outrageously funny she steals every scene that she's in. Chicken's widow Marla is a former beauty queen who wants to open a pageant prep school and still very much lives the pageant lifestyle. The Ladies Auxiliary is a band of know-it-all women who interfere in literally everything going on in town.

If the zany characters aren't enough to get the reader chuckling, then surely the chicken pageants will. Yes, that's right, a major plot line in the book involves Teater's prized chicken, Lady Cluckington and her preparation for a beauty pageant.

This is the second book in the Ghostly Southern Mystery series. These are light-hearted easy reads. There is not a lot of depth to the characters and nothing overly involved with the plotting, but a ghostly grave was surely a lot of fun to read.

Caryn St.Clair resides in University City, Missouri and is a former elementary school media specialist, President of the Parks Commission and a docent at the St.Louis Zoo.

Reviewed by Caryn St Clair, May 2015

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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