“Be My Ghost” by Carol J. Perry
Maureen Doherty’s job as a sportwear buyer for Bartlett’s department store has come to an end. Like so many other brick and mortar stores all over the country, the venerable Boston store is closing its doors for good. Although she’s been given a generous severance check to tide her over while she looks for another job, Maureen knows that the amount won’t support her and her golden retriever, Finn, for very long, especially with Boston’s high rent prices. As she worries about her lack of professional options, she receives surprising news from an attorney in the Florida Gulf Coast town of Haven. Penelope Josephine Gray, a woman Maureen’s never heard of, has died and left Maureen the Haven House Inn, the town’s small hotel. Maureen is initially suspicious, but lacking any other options, she decides to pack up and head south with Finn.
When Maureen arrives in Florida, she discovers that the Haven House Inn is badly in need of upgrading, bleeding money, and is rumored to be haunted. Its manager, Elizabeth Mack, was trusted by Penelope to run the day-to-day activities of the inn for years, and she expected to inherit it when Penelope passed away. Elizabeth resents Maureen and resists any changes Maureen suggests.
The first night Maureen is there, one of the inn’s guests is found murdered after drinking a special cocktail mixed by the hotel bartender. Maureen is the unlucky person who discovers him, and she becomes a prime murder suspect. Later that night, as she and Finn are trying to get settled in their new digs, a ghost named Lorna Dubois drops by to say hello—wearing one of Maureen’s dresses.
“Be My Ghost” is the first in the Haunted Haven series penned by Carol J. Perry, who also writes the Witch City Mysteries. It’s a delightful read with a cast of characters I’m looking forward to knowing better. Loved it!
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