Reviewer: Connie Payne
Title: Ghost a la Mode - 1st in the Granny Apples Mystery series
Author: Sue Ann Jaffarian
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Release Date: September 2009
Year/Setting: Present day, Julian CA
Overall Rating: 3.75
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Very Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal/Moderate
Sue Ann's Website: www.sueannjaffarian.com
Her life is changing and there’s nothing she can do about it. Emma Whitecastle is in the process of a fairly messy divorce to a fool of a sleazy talk show host, her daughter will be moving across the country to start college in the fall, and she’s just begun hearing and seeing Ish Reynolds (Granny Apples), a long dead ancestor. Nothing to be concerned about really; it’s just her sanity in question.
Emma initially has a bit of a hard time absorbing her new-found ghost seeing/hearing abilities. Who wouldn’t? If your ancestor appeared to you and asked (gruffly demanded) you to prove she didn’t murder her husband I imagine you’d react the same way, with disbelief and a bit of trepidation. But Emma soon, cautiously, comes to grips with her gift. With the help of Milo, a clairvoyant, she stumbles and fumbles her way through ghostly etiquette.
Decision made, Emma decides to visit Julian, the home of Granny more than a hundred years ago. As unlikely as it is, perhaps she’ll come across some sort of long lost evidence that will clear Granny’s name. What she doesn’t bargain for is surly Philip Bowers, whose family has owned the Reynolds property for decades. He throws a wrench in her simple, innocent fact-finding excursion with wild claims as does Granny with her interference and exasperating demands.
Between Granny and Philip her progress is frustratingly stalled. It’s ok, she can deal with a little annoyance. Unfortunately they’re not the only ones causing road blocks and detours. Could anything be that simple? Of course not, are you kidding? Events unfold to add to the confusion with trouble and danger lurking not too far behind…Luckily for her Phil has come around, somewhat, and is more than willing, well, kind of willing, to protect her, crazy or not. Unfortunately his protection may not be enough as someone wants to kill her and she has no idea why.
It becomes obvious with the clear and colorful descriptions, many analogies and metaphors as well as the convoluted mystery, which puzzles Emma, that Ms. Jaffarian is dedicated to her readers and their reading experience. She creates a world you can visually step into, characters you immediately like. She invents twists and turns to a century old murder, the clues that begin to surface soon become murky and shadowed.
Ghost a la Mode is entertaining and intriguing; it’s hopefully just the beginning of a long series.
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