donderdag 24 november 2011

Victoria Laurie – What’s a ghoul to do?

The first book in the Ghost Hunter Mystery series, published April 2007.

What's a ghoul to do?

M.J., her partner Gilley, and their client, the wealthy, de-lish Dr. Steven Sable, are at his family's lodge, where his grandfather allegedly jumped to his death from the roof-although Sable says it was foul play. But the patriarch's isn't the only ghost around. The place is lousy with souls, all with something to get off their ghoulish chests. Now M.J. will have to quell the clamor - and listen for a voice with the answers...

M.J. and Gilley have a ghost hunter business. M.J. does the actual ghost part, while Gilley stays safe in the van, monitoring her as best he can. He is terrified of ghosts. They have been best friends for ages. As the business is not going so well, as M.J. has stopped giving readings to people, he is urging her to take the next rich client. Dr. Steven Sable’s grandfather has died a few months ago, and the police have ruled suicide. But Steven doesn’t believe it. His grandfather was a very positive person, and was taking care of himself.
Steven wants M.J. to come with him to the hunting lodge, and talk to his grandfather. M.J. refuses, she doesn’t want the client with her when she is confronting a ghost, that will only be a disaster. Later that night, M.J. gets set up on a blind date, and low and behold, the date is Steven. Who first insults her, and then tries to make it up to her by cooking her a nice dinner. She finally agrees to taking the case, and Steven with her.
The so called hunting lodge is a huge mansion, on a lot of acres of woodland. She will need Gilley to help her out inside as well, scared or not. But there are more ghosts around, someone pushes Gilley from the stairs, and both Steven and M.J. see Andrew Sable.

The ghosts are not the only scary characters in this story. Someone is following them around, there have been some burglar attempts at Steven’s house, and now a murder attempt on the two of them! And what is Steven’s estranged father doing all around town? It was Steven inheriting the estate of his grandfather, including the hunting lodge (or mansion), so why is his dad so interested in real estate?

After enjoying the Abby Cooper – Psychic Eye books so much, I was eager to start this new series. I already met M.J. in one of Abby’s books and liked her. But I have to admit, I don’t know if I will read the rest of the series. M.J. is very good at what she does, but in private, she is not such an interesting person, very careful not to get hurt. Her partner Gilly is gay and a very good computer hacker, but also very scared of the ghosts they hunt, and which M.J. puts to rest. But the major thing that kept irritating me, was the client, dr. Steven Sable. His background is Argentina/German, and his English is not good. He kept saying the wrong things, and M.J. keeps correcting him, and giggling a lot. And it just irritated me more and more. Sure, he is very goodlooking, but he is not my kind of hero.
At first he doesn’t believe in M.J, although he wants to hire her. Not like she is offering her services to him. And then he keeps questioning everything she does, interrupting her when she is busy. And he keeps making advances, while M.J. wants to wait till after the case, and has to keep him at bay. She needs to go slower.
So, when at the end of the book, it is clear he will be part of the business, I was not happy, as I was hoping for the end of Dr. Steven. New book, new case, new people to meet after all.

What I did like, is M.J.’s pet parrot. A very talkative one, she takes with her on the trip.

I did like the explanations of the ghosts, and how they can appear. How M.J. puts a horrible poltergeist to “rest”, and helps other ghosts cross over. How she carries messages to loved ones, that gives them peace. The mystery part was not so very difficult to figure out after all, but I liked the story. It’s just the characters I can’t connect with. So little background on any of them, except for Steven, as we learn more about him and his family.
Also, both his grandfather and father have not been keeping their marriage vows, both have had mistresses, with children. And the characters seem to find that perfectly normal, as the wives are not nice women.
I still like the writing style, which is fluent and action filled. I really, really will never do what M.J. is doing, staying in a haunted house at night! I love how she is not afraid, and both Steven and Gilley are. Some ghostbusters!

So, a good story, well written, but I just don’t like the characters.

7,5 stars.

4 opmerkingen:

  1. Looks cute, but there is the but, if you do not like the characters then it does not look good. I need to do that

  2. I like this series, but I have the same deal with the characters as you do. I don't feel connected. I don't run right out and get the books when they come out and I think I may be done with the series. Life is too short and all that.


  3. @Blodeuedd: I agree, I need to like the characters, especially if they have multiple books.
    @Vickie: so, they are not getting any more likable? that is a shame. Well, there is a third serie as well, am going to try that one soon.

  4. Hm... this looks like a read for me, but I also need to connect to the characters. Will have to think about it.