by Cynthia Chow
In honor of Earth Day all of our book reviews & giveaways are ebooks! Details at the end of this post on how to win an ebook copy of Dummy of a Ghost.
It would be hard to imagine anything more terrifying than a puppet inhabited by the spirit of a ghost. Maybe face-eating zombies or clowns? For Kelly Whitecastle though, it is literally just a matter of family business as she is the daughter of Emma Whitecastle, the host of a popular paranormal television show who has the ability to communicate with ghosts. Kelly has inherited her mother’s talent to a more limited degree, but on a night out with friends she most definitely sees–and chats with–the spirit of Chris Mayes’s grandmother when she pops out of a puppet during his ventriloquist’s performance.
Shirley Pearson and her late husband, Doug, are both concerned that Chris and his partner, Edgar, are in danger, so the formerly living couple have found themselves inhabiting the puppets Chris created in their honor. Kelly enlists the aid of her mother and along for the ride is Emma’s companion ghost, Ish Reynolds, better known as Granny Apples. The women soon discover that Shirley was right to be concerned, but Chris and Edgar seem reluctant to go to the police. Despite their lack of complete cooperation, the neighborhood “Snoop Dog” Sylvia Doxson has the information needed to solve the mystery over who, or what, is the source of the danger.
This new series focuses more on Kelly than on Emma, but all of the characters who have made the Granny Apples series so much fun are again present as they balance their lives that mix normal reality and the paranormal. Kelly has not openly embraced her ghostly abilities and is torn over how, if ever, she can reveal the truth to her friends.
This fun novella includes the spitfire attitude and humor of Granny Apples, a ghost from the 1800s who has aided Emma in her adventures, and even Scottish terrier Archie makes an appearance. Always well-written, Jaffarian deepens this very entertaining and witty mystery with the need for parental approval and how to deal with being “different.” Now that Emma has settled into a very successful career and relationship, it is fun and refreshingly to focus on her daughter Kelly, as she struggles with the normal choices any young adult faces along with what often seems to be both a gift and a liability.
As a fun bonus, this novella that was inspired by a sea-monkey collecting fan explores the fascinating art of puppetry and ventriloquism, a profession that may be overlooked but is well worth preserving.
To enter to win an ebook copy of Dummy of a Ghost, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Dummy,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 26, 2014. U.S. residents only.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.