Monday, October 22, 2012

What's a Ghoul to Do?

M.J. Holliday is a medium who, with her best friend Gilley, works as a paranormal investigator (think ghostbuster). She takes a case for a very handsome client, Dr. Sable, who is convinced his grandfather's death was not a suicide.  M.J., Gilley and Dr. Sable travel to his family lodge out in the countryside to investigate. It quickly becomes clear that there is something very odd about the old man's death.

This book is light on the mystery (it's fairly obvious what's going on right from the start) and heavy on the romance (with the typical I hate you, wait, no, I love you kind of element that is sadly such a common situation in so many books).  It was light and fast-paced, but I found myself unable to connect with the characters or really care much about the mystery - it all seemed to be happening right on the surface.

It really bugged me that Dr. Sable, not a native English speaker, has a sophisticated grasp of very tricky English grammar and vocabulary, but then makes blunders with idioms that are clearly designed simply for humor but make no linguistic sense at all.  Plus he's a native Spanish speaker, yet has no idea what certain obvious words mean - like "cryptic" (it's nearly identical in Spanish).  This probably won't bother most readers, but language is one of those things that really fascinates me, so I personally find this kind of thing annoying.  Don't make a character be from another country if you can't be bothered to find out about that language.  This issue made him feel like a construct rather than a character, further distancing me from any sort of emotional element in the book.

For readers looking for a light read, heavy on the romance, easy on the mystery, this should appeal.  I think I will pass on the rest of the series, though.

Books in the Ghost Hunter mystery series:
1. What's a Ghoul to Do?
2. Demons Are a Ghoul's Best Friend
3. Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun
4. Ghouls Gone Wild
5. Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls
6. Ghoul Interrupted
7. What a Ghoul Wants

Also reviewed:
Abby Cooper: Psychic Eye

What's a Ghoul to Do? (#1 in the Ghost Hunter mystery series) by Victoria Laurie (Signet, 2007)

Also reviewed at:
Aneca's World: "... it's a fun and light mystery, with a chick littlish feel, really fast paced and entertaining to spend a few hours with. It was just a bit too light for me."
Confessions of a Book Addict: "This was a fun, light read nothing too intense here and MJ was a great character..."
Skunk Cat Book Reviews"The ending was the worst ending in any mystery I've ever read. Seriously, it was so bad I couldn't believe the editor okayed it. It's doesn't even make sense."


  1. This is so sad because I saw the book and title and thought "'oo, this looks interesting" and then from what you describe I know I won't like it. And then I read the quote from Skunk Cat Book Reviews and laughed out loud and am certain I won't want to try this. ;)

  2. Cat - Yeah, it was a little disappointing. I laughed at Skunk Cat's review, too! Tell us what you really think, Skunk Cat! :-)


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