Genre: paranormal mystery
Emerald O'Brien, single mother of two, is the owner of the Chintz 'n China Tea Room where guests are served the perfect blend of tea and tarot reading. She never set out to be a detective, but once word gets out that she can communicate with the dead, there's no turning back...
It was definitely a ghost. There, at the foot of Emerald’s bed. A pen hovered above a piece of paper and scrawled these alarming words: I was murdered by my husband but nobody knows. Help me. True, Emerald was considered the town witch, but she owned a teashop, not a detective agency. What did the spirit expect? But after another darker entity emerges, bent on destroying her world and her family along with it, Emerald’s life takes a screeching detour onto a wild and dangerous road. As she careens into a web of deceit, lies and secrets woven around her ghostly visitor, death strikes again Now, along with her friends - an ex-supermodel and a cop-and her new love interest, Emerald must search for clues to put the killer behind bars-and this tortured soul to rest.
As most of you know, I am a big fan of Yasmine Galenorn’s Sisters of the Otherworld series. But I discovered her books through this series. The Chint’z ‘n China series. And I really do not want to call it a cozy mystery, as there is nothing cozy about it. This book does not shy away from the nastier things in life, abuse and such. Emerald divorced her abusive husband, her best friend the ex-supermodel is still fighting her boulimia problems and the paranormal parts in this book are not light and fluffy and fun either. It is very scary at times.
The fact that there is a ghost in her bedroom, does not frazzle Emerald, but that it claims to be murdered by her husband and asks for her help is. She did not know the murdered woman, a famous romance author living in their small town, but her best friend did. Harlow rubs elbows with the social elite in town, and she knows all the latest gossip. Perhaps together they can find out what happened to Susan, now the police have ruled it an accidental death.
But the ghost is not the only unwanted thing in her house. A darker entity is trying to hurt them badly. Apparently her precocious young son has been playing with his great-grandmother’s stuff to impress his friend. And he has called up something very, very bad. Now it is up to Emerald to get it out of her house, before it kills her, or her friends.
Emerald is busy enough as it is, raising her two children alone, as their father has no interest in them whatsoever, running her china shop and tea room, and getting ready for the busy Christmas season. This year she is determined to celebrate it properly, as the previous two years she did her best to ignore the festivities. But her children deserve more. And now there is even a new man in her life, who is connected to the ghost as well. Will he think her crazy and a witch when she tells him about her self, or will he accept it and stay in her life?
As I said, I do love this series, and I do admire Emerald. She is 36, starting to have some gray hairs, and she is not supermodel thin. She is a real woman, and a psychic. I do love it as it is so often that the heroines in cozy mysteries are young and very pretty. But I really don’t think I can call this series cozy. It is too dark for that. And there are lovescenes as well, which is unusual for a cozy mystery.
I decided to re-read this series, when Yasmine told on her blog that the series is re-published again, and she might write some short stories set in this world. Never again a full length novel, but I am allright with that. Re-reading did show me some things that made me wonder, as Emerald does go into danger alone which is not smart at all.
But I think Yasmine Galenorn but a lot of herself in this novel, and she showed that true evil can be both paranormal and human. And the humans are truly more creepy in being evil and enjoying it.
If you like something darker to read, I do recommend this series. So far there are 5 books. I am very glad I have the original books, with the beautiful covers as I really dislike the new covers.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian