My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I really wanted to like this one as paranormal mysteries are something I enjoy and parts of it I did but there were some real issues with this one. It almost felt like a first draft rushed to publication where in logic failures weren’t caught. And for the first two thirds of it, I could overlook that but the last third really irritated me.
Ripley has returned home from California to Devil’s Moon, Kentucky (the names were one of the things I had a problem with but could ignore). She’s been taken on as head librarian having left her university library job after catching her fiancée in bed with her best friend. She’s back with her childhood friend, Tammy (but not her family which are only referred to once as ‘dysfunctional’). Tammy works at the library part time and as a hair dresser and as a bartender (unready to ‘settle down.’). Also, at the library are Leslie, a full-time employee who absolutely hates Ripley for no known reason (and you can make a drinking game out of how many times Leslie stomps anywhere), Jane Austen the cat and Annie, the ghost of the first librarian.
In fact, Annie is so interactive she’s learned how to print out messages as texts to Ripley or on the computer. This freaks Ripley out a bit but not too much because she has a ghost tour in town too. I will say that is one of my problems, because we spend more time does that than we do at the library and there seems to be giant time jumps. Also, I got the idea that Devil’s Moon was a small town so I’m not sure it could support nightly ghost tours (I go on a lot of them and even bigger cities often just do it over the weekends). I could over look that too.
On her first day of work, there was a meeting of the book worms, a book club and one of them is murdered in the same fashion as the mystery they just read. For some reason she thinks the police chief will blame her (giving her reason to investigate but she isn’t considered a serious suspect by one of the policemen, the handsome (and infatuated with her) Brannon who is also a ghost hunter.
To be honest, the first two thirds of the book, she really isn’t much investigating the mystery much despite Annie pushing her toward it. She’s more interested in figuring out why all the ghosts in Devil’s Moon are suddenly trying to talk to her. That and the sort of flirtation with Brannon who wants to investigate the library.
Then comes the last third of the book. Before that my major disappointment was in how terribly Ripley did her day job where Leslie is concerned. She’s the boss and she never once talk to Leslie about her terrible attitude. She hides from her half the time. She even lets it go when Leslie is upset that Ripley wasn’t fired by the board. I mean, this is not how you deal with bad employees and turn the library around.
So, let’s put the last quarter under a spoiler warning. So yeah that’s the warning. Okay. I was so very disappointed with the ending. Ripley is close to Brannon the whole book but when she finds notes hidden in the books in the mystery series bragging about killing Marion and starts getting threats at home, she doesn’t tell him. I loathe when characters do stupid things. There is no reason at all for her not to turn this over. Later both their exes show up at the same festival (completely unbelievable) and she gets mad so doesn’t want to talk to him, hiding from him and ignoring Tammy who keeps telling her to turn the notes over. So, the last quarter of the book was eyerollingly bad. I got this book for free and unless it turns up at the library I’m unlikely to continue. I liked the paranormal part but the whole not telling the police about the notes, so she can solve the case on her own ruined it. That was part of the problem, she’s never a series suspect so there’s really no reason to get involved.
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