Silence Of The Ghost
(Murder by Design #2)
by Erin McCarthy
Expert home stager Bailey Burke has come to terms with the fact that her friend, Ryan, is a ghost, but she thought after they solved his murder together, he would get sucked into the light. Instead, he’s hanging around and interfering in her love life, and mocking her inability to drink Jameson.
When a body is found near her historic neighborhood of Ohio City, mimicking the famous Torso Murders, and she starts hearing voices, Bailey thinks she’s really lost it now. Ryan’s ghost is one thing, but a whole gaggle of undead talking to her? No thanks. But Ryan informs Bailey she’s not nuts…she is a spiritual medium. And with him as a middleman between the victims and the police, they can give the dead justice and he will finally get his one-way ticket to heaven. Considering Eliot Ness allegedly went to his grave bitter that it was the one case he couldn’t solve, Bailey doesn’t see how an uptight lightweight like herself can handle the modern equivalent. But now that Ryan has scared off every man she’s tried to date, including his former partner Marner, she has Saturday nights free for murder-mystery solving.
Yet dealing with the dead is more difficult than de-cluttering a hoarder’s house. Bailey finds herself pulled in all directions… and possibly conned by a killer.
I’ve learned a few things about myself recently. I can eat a whole pint of ice cream in one glorious dairy-fueled sitting. I’m attracted to Cleveland cop Jake Marner, who I had previously known for years without ever lusting after. And I see dead people.
I had once assumed that ghosts were either exactly as they were in life (a la Rose on the Titanic meeting Jack at the stairs), or caught as they were the moment death stole their breath. Which would suck if you died in the shower.
I really didn’t understand how I was even on purgatory’s radar. I couldn’t get a date, yet the afterlife was monitoring me? Not very encouraging.
Not only was I getting ghostly contact with Ryan and Hannah, people I had known personally, but now apparently if I even came near a corpse its ghost would attach to me. I made a mental note to stay the hell away from funeral homes and ERs. I’d wind up with a flash mob of spirits following me. A real life Thriller video.
My mother always looked like a million bucks and ten years younger than she was. Maybe her sour attitude had preserved her. Like pickling in vinegar.
Body parts is a big old ten on the scale of shit I don’t want to see.
A perusal of Goodreads informed me that the illustrious Erin McCarthy has 106 distinct works across several different genres, and for some inexplicable reason, this is the first one I have read… for shame! But, at least I chose a good one to start with, and while it was the second book in a cozy mystery series and I felt a bit at sea in the beginning – as if starting off of the back foot mid story – it was relatively easy to catch on and catch-up, although I would like to go back and read the origins of the tale with the first book, Gone With the Ghost.
Bailey was helping her recently deceased friend Ryan, who now appears to her as a ghost, solve his murder so that he would be allowed to exit purgatory. Then suddenly another ghost unexpectedly arrived who was Ryan’s last girlfriend, and then another popped up, that oddly, the first two ghosts could not see. All of her new friends turned out to be murder victims. Bailey seemed to be collecting restless spirits like I collect books.
I rarely read paranormal but I enjoyed the premise as well as the peculiar assortment of characters, secondary story threads, and amusing and light storyline. I was entertained by the tale and enjoyed Ms. McCarthy’s comical, insightful, and witty writing style with hidden Easter Eggs of humor tucked in throughout. One of my favorite elements in the story was Bailey’s friend, Alyssa, who was “revenge dating” a man who had humiliated her in high school as a chubby teen. Alyssa had matured into a gorgeous vixen and had learned to use her sexy curves to her advantage, although she confessed to Bailey, “All I hear when I look at him is him calling me a cow in the cafeteria and seventy-two people laughing.” Sigh, Ms. McCarthy is a clever scribbler and has been added to my “List To Stalk.”