Who you gonna call?
The Mint Julep Murders is book eight in The Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries series and was published on April 25, 2019. This was the first book that I have read in this series.
Normally I wouldn’t think that paranormal activity and cozies would pair well together. But then again what is natural about paranormal activity? I can now thank the main character, Verity, for officially introducing me to paranormal cozy mysteries.
Lets see what cannot be seen
Our introduction to this strange world steadily builds from the start. Fortunately, I was able to jump right in and catch up on the history of Verity to establish what her goal is and why there is a ghost named Frankie puffing cigarettes and riding shotgun. Frankie really is a gangster because I can’t imagine meeting a ghost more hardcore than he.
Having watched more than my fair share of mafia flicks I would peg Frankie as more of the muscle than the brains behind any operation. Even death won’t keep the mob ties away and we find ourselves headed to a good old fashioned asylum for the criminally insane so that Frankie can tie up some loose ends and move on to whatever criminal activities he has on his agenda this next fiscal quarter.
There’s money in haunting
Apparently touring allegedly haunted vacant asylums for the criminally insane is big business. Not sure if it is as lucrative as the businesses Tony Soprano engaged in but it certainly must be as aggravating if the clientele is as annoying as the ones currently visiting The Mint Julep Manor.
Not that the owner of The Mint Julep Manor, Barbara, is exactly a barrel of fun. She reminds me of Elsa Mars from American Horror story singing “Life on Mars” as she eagerly invites her customers to empty their pockets and experience the ghost freak show.
The customer is always right
These annoying customers pay for what they get and then some. Some shows you just cannot just walk away from. All of the characters learn that lesson the hard way as the doors are slammed on them by forces unseen leaving them trapped in a place full of murderers with nothing to lose. The supernatural elements quickly begin to work against them offering nothing more than torrential rain, a swelling creek and an actual murdered body along the way.
It should come as no surprise when this cake is topped off with a cherry when those so eager to visit the old insane asylum are literally trapped inside. Yes, they have the pleasure of being locked away like criminals by the ghosts that they came to spy on. That is when the fun begins with Verity determined to help everyone out, including her ghost who is no longer exactly happy to be there and while figuring out a way to uncover the killer.
I actually liked this book a great deal and would give it three and a half stars stars. Verity as the main character has noble intentions and has a very interesting set of talents for communicating with ghosts while thinking on her feet. Frankie offers comic relief even if it is a touch cold- pardon the pun. The other characters, with the exception of her police officer boyfriend, all have something to gain and ulterior motives that lead them to The Mint Julep Manor.
The one thing I struggled with was some of the repetitiveness in the action sequences when the book started to pick up speed. Otherwise I appreciated the surprises and twists along the way- I love that about a good mystery that unfolds with multiple stories and answers to seek within.
I would recommend this to anyone interested in a ghost cozy. I would not be opposed to reading more of the series particularly around Halloween.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with this book to review in exchange for my honest opinion.