Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Review: Be Our Ghost by Kate Kingsbury

Be Our Ghost (Merry Ghost Inn, Book #3)
by Kate Kingsbury
Release Date: October 9th 2018
2018 Crooked Lane Books
Kindle Edition; 278 Pages
ISBN: 978-1683317845
Genre: Fiction / Cozy Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher

3 / 5 Stars

The Merry Ghost Inn is well and truly open for business. Melanie West and her grandmother, Liza, are rapidly getting the hang of running their charming bed-and-breakfast inn on the rocky Oregon coast. Not that business goes without a hitch—when your hostelry boasts its own laughing resident ghost, you’d better be expect the out-of-the-ordinary. But Melanie and Liza take it all in stride…until a hotshot real estate developer arrives in Sully’s Landing, touting his plans to build a tacky amusement arcade smack dab in the middle of the tasteful cliff-side town.

No one in Sully’s Landing can stand the gaudy developer, but it’s still a shock when he ends up murdered. It’s even more shocking when Liza’s friend, Doug, emerges as the chief suspect. Melanie and Liza put on their sleuthing caps yet again and set out to clear Doug’s name.

My Thoughts
Be Our Ghost is the third book in a cozy mystery series featuring Melanie and her grandmother Liza. Unfortunately, I didn't like this one as much as the first two and while it wasn't a boring book or uninteresting, there were just too many things that bothered and distracted me throughout.

First of all, I really do enjoy Melanie as a main character but I am not yet sold on Liza.  I get that the author is trying to make Liza come across as sassy and scrappy and all that, but sometimes it rings a bit false and I was not always impressed by her personality. She could be a bit rude and obnoxious, and to be honest, I could do without her comments on someone else's dress style and habits. Perhaps a bit too much time was spent on discussing their assistant's clothing and bad eating habits and it got old, fast. I do like how the two interact with each other though, and you can tell that Melanie really cares about her grandmother and is willing to do anything for her.  But I really wish she would stand up to her once in a while!! And that ex of hers. Yikes!

Melanie and Liza own the Merry Ghost Inn which even comes with its own resident ghost.  I enjoyed the paranormal element but as of yet have learned almost nothing about Orville and why he is there which has been a bit frustrating.  I would definitely enjoy more ghostly encounters and would love to learn more about him.  While the tease was interesting at the beginning, it kind of gets irritating as the story moves along and you find out pretty much...nothing.  There are a lot of moments in the kitchen working on various recipes and things, but there was very little interaction with the guests.  And you would never know they were running an inn by their behaviour, that's for sure.  Melanie and Liza took off at a moment's notice to investigate and to do other things, sometimes leaving an assistant behind, sometimes not.  I actually began to wonder how they actually ran the inn if they were never there.  I think less details about breakfast and more interactions with their guests would make this a bit more realistic. 

The investigation was interesting but I feel like the duo needed to work on their approach with people when it came to investigating as the way it was written it was fairly easy to figure out the murderer. And I know that if Liza approached me the way she approached some of the people in this book, I would be a bit upset as well and tossed her on her backside out the door.  Sometimes age is not an excuse for rudeness.  And while the attempt was made to misdirect and twist things around, it didn't really work on me.  That being said however, it was definitely interesting meeting the people in this world and I would like to meet a lot of them again as I sense some interesting stories on the horizon. 

Be Our Ghost is one of those books that, while enjoyable on a superficial level, was a bit of a letdown in other areas.  I think having paying guests stay at a haunted inn and then having no interaction with them whatsoever in the book is a bit of a letdown.  While I understand the main mystery was not focused on the inn this time out, it really makes no difference; no ghostly activity at the inn means no ghostly haunted inn.  I also had a harder time accepting Liza and her personality in this one; I just couldn't get past her abrasiveness.  I did really like a lot of the other characters though, so I hope to see more of them in future installments of this series.  Would I recommend this series? I think so, and there is so much potential here that I am still interested seeing what happens next.