What’s a Ghoul to Do? by Victoria Laurie

August 21, 2008

What’s a Ghoul to Do? is a paranormal mystery about M.J. Holliday, a medium who works as a ghostbuster. Her latest client is Dr. Steven Sable, a man who has seen his grandfather’s ghost. Steven hopes that M.J. can clear up his questions about the old man’s alleged suicide before helping the spirit cross to the other side. When Dr. Delicious (as M.J.’s parrot calls him) insists on helping with the investigation, M.J. is forced to make an exception to her usual rule about only working with her professional partner. As she and Steven learn the secrets of his grandfather’s past, they find out that someone is willing to kill them before they put all the pieces together. Along the way M.J. is tempted to break her other big rule, the one about not dating clients.

This is a light read that’s pretty much what you’d expect. The romance plot gets almost as much attention as the mystery, but there’s a little action thrown in to keep the story moving. The mystery plot could have been better, but my only major complaint was a twist at the end that felt like a bit of a copout. This is not one of those mysteries where you have any hope of figuring out the full story before it’s revealed.

I could see the two main characters growing on me, but they each have some issues. M.J. is sometimes brutal about using her abilities, she kept asking strangers if they knew the ghosts she saw hovering around. Stephen is still learning English, so he’s always making funny little mistakes. And I do mean always. Once I counted three mangled phrases on a page. Yes, I get it, he’s cute and foreign. The only other character I had much of a response to was M.J.’s partner, Gilley. All I have to say about him is that I hope he gets shipped of to the Island of Misfit Stereotypes.

This book is pure fluff, but sometimes that’s what I’m in the mood for. I’ll try at least one more of these, and hopefully at least some of the character-related kinks will get worked out. Or hey, maybe Gilley will be murdered. He’d probably be a lot more bearable as a ghost.

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