Alison Kerby’s guesthouse is haunted all year round. Surviving the dead of winter, though? That’s a spooky proposition. Even with a blizzard bearing down on New Jersey, Alison can count on at least two guests—Paul and Maxie, the stubborn ghosts who share her shore town inn. Then there’s her widowed mother, who hasn’t just been seeing ghosts, she’s been secretly dating one: Alison’s father. But when he stands her up three times in a row, something’s wrong. Is he a lost soul…or a missing apparition? Their only lead is an overdramatic spirit—stage name Lawrence Laurentz—who doesn’t take direction well and won’t talk until they find his killer. Alison will reluctantly play the part of PI, but when the clues take a sinister turn, the writing is on the wall: If Alison can’t keep a level head, this will be her father’s final act—and maybe her own.
Series: Haunted Guesthouse #4| Publisher: Audible | Narrator: Amanda Ronconi | Length: 9 hours 29 minutes | Genre: Cozy Paranormal Mystery | Source: Publisher | Rating: 2 Cups
Alison’s mother, Loretta, has been keeping a secret. She’s been secretly seeing her deceased husband, Jack, once a week. Although when Lawrence Laurentz shows up in Jack’s place claiming he’s holding Jack until Loretta makes her daughter prove someone murdered him. Now Loretta has no choice to go to her daughter for help. Alison must figure out who murdered Lawrence if she wants to know what happened to her father.
I’ve really been enjoying the Haunted Guesthouse series but I just didn’t mesh with this one. There’s so much going on in this book and with the characters it sort of left me feeling a bit frazzled.
Throughout the series, it’s been common knowledge that Jack, Alison’s father, is a ghost and that her mother can see him but for some reason he’s been keeping himself hidden from Alison and her daughter. So when Alison learns that her mother has been have weekly visits with her father, she feels betrayed but when Lawrence appears claiming that he’s keeping Jack hidden, she knows she needs to push those secrets aside and focus on finding her father. There’s a lot of emotional stuff she needs to figure out.
Then we have the introduction of Josh, a childhood friend of Alison’s, who was brought back into Alison’s life through the investigation into her father’s disappearance. They have amazing chemistry but sadly, there was so much going on in the book that the relationship angle wasn’t really fleshed out. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more of him in the future.
The other characters, except Paul, just seemed to be overly annoying in this book. I really used to like Maxie and could overlook her ways but she was just exceedingly childish in this book. Then we have Jeanie, Alison’s best friend, who have a case of overprotective mother syndrome and it was starting to grind on my nerves.
So, the mystery was interesting but the suspect list really could have been narrowed down a bit. There were so many suspects introduces who had their own mini-problems that it made the mystery suffer.
Then we have the deal with Alison’s dad and I have to say, it was a letdown. The ending just felt off kilter.
Amanda Ronconi, the narrator, was brilliant as always and she was what kept me listening to the book.
Overall, this was just didn’t work for me. It was overpopulated with secondary characters and the ending fell flat.
Haunted Guesthouse Series
The Thrill of the Haunt
Ghost in the Wind