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NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED
by E.J. Copperman
Berkley, June 2010
336 pages
$7.99
ISBN: 0425235238


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Alison Kerby is using the money from her sexual harassment lawsuit to renovate an old Victorian house; this will give her and her daughter a source of income as well as a home once things get up and running. Luckily for Alison, she's pretty handy in the home repair areas, and what she can't handle, the husband of a friend can. What Alison is having a hard time dealing with are the spectral guests.

Maxie Malone is (or was) the former owner of the house. Paul Harrison is (or was) the P.I. Maxie hired to find out who was threatening her. They both died in the house; the deaths were not ruled murder. Maxie and Paul beg to differ; they can't/won't leave until Alison finds out who killed them.

Alison doesn't want to do this. She's got other things to do, like finishing the house in time to get the ads out for the following summer. Maxie takes measures into her own spectral hands; Maxie can move physical objects. She sabotages everything Alison manages to get done until Alison capitulates. As Alison investigates, she learns that there may or may not be a Revolutionary War document hidden somewhere in her house. This provides motive for the death of the previous occupant and her detective, as well as for some mysterious happenings going on right now.

NIGHT is humorous without being juvenile, although Maxie does need to grow up a little sometimes. Alison is another one of those single moms trying to do everything right, and succeeding most of the time. Melissa, the daughter, will probably be just fine - no matter the things that her mother can see that nobody else can. Or can they? Anyway, Alison strikes a reasonable balance between "supermom" and "totally ditzy mom," a woman many of us can live with. Her friends are just as believable. This is a pleasant surprise.

NIGHT takes a little while to get moving; readers looking to jump right into some action should give this a chance. I do have issues with the method of murder; a consultation with Luci "The Poison Lady" Zahray might have given Copperman a slightly more accurate way to kill (though perhaps Copperman did it this way so as not to give anyone ideas?). In the end, this was an enjoyable read and I'd like to know more about Alison's life on The Shore.

P.J. Coldren lives in northern lower Michigan where she reads and reviews widely across the mystery genre when she isn't working in her local hospital pharmacy.

Reviewed by P.J. Coldren, May 2010

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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