EJ Copperman's Haunted Guesthouse Series - Dark Streets
One of my favorite authors is EJ Copperman. Copperman writes the Haunted Guesthouse series for Berkley Prime Crime, and this series is one of my personal favorites! Let’s take a quick look at them…
In volume 1, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED, we meet newly divorced Alison Kerby who wants a second chance for herself and her nine-year-old daughter. She's returned to her hometown on the Jersey Shore to transform a Victorian fixer-upper into a charming-and profitable-guest house. One small problem: the house is haunted, and the two ghosts insist Alison must find out who killed them. The combination of humor plus supernatural elements make picking up this story a no-brainer!
In Book Two, AN UNINVITED GHOST, Alison and her resident gumshoe ghost are on their next case when the deceased Scott MacFarlane floats in worried that he accidentally killed a prominent local woman. Turns out she's still alive...that is, of course, until she's murdered-in Alison's house. Now, between the demands of her guests and the arrival of a reality television crew, Alison must find the killer before she sees reality from the other side.
In Book 3, OLD HAUNTS, the ghosts haunting Alison Kerby's Jersey Shore guesthouse are sad. Maxie wants to know who murdered her ex-husband, and Paul pines for his still-living almost-fiancee. The only one who isn't missing her ex is Alison-because The Swine just arrived on her doorstep...
A blizzard bears down on New Jersey, in book 4, CHANCE OF A GHOST, but Alison can count on at least two guests—Paul and Maxie, the stubborn ghosts who share her shore town inn. Then there’s her widowed mother, who hasn’t just been seeing ghosts, she’s been secretly dating one: Alison’s father. But when he stands her up three times in a row, something’s wrong. Is he a lost soul…or a missing apparition?
Their only lead is an overdramatic spirit—stage name Lawrence Laurentz—who doesn’t take direction well and won’t talk until they find his killer. Alison will reluctantly play the part of PI, but when the clues take a sinister turn, the writing is on the wall: If Alison can’t keep a level head, this will be her father’s final act—and maybe her own. And in Book 5, THE THRILL OF THE HAUNT, a local homeless man is found murdered under mysterious circumstances, just hours after asking for help in exorcising a specter.
EJ’s most recent release, INSPECTOR SPECTER (Dec. 2, 2014) is the best to date, IMHO.
Detective Lieutenant Anita McElone, a hard-boiled ghost skeptic shows up on the doorstep of Alison Kerby’s Haunted Guesthouse to ask for supernatural help in solving the murder of her former partner. Alison promises to help in any way she can—even asking her resident ghosts, Paul and Maxie, for help with the case. But as Paul’s spirit source reveals some troubling information about the deceased detective, Alison wrestles with what to tell McElone. She doesn’t have to wonder too long, however…because the lieutenant has suddenly disappeared.
If you like mysteries with a dash of the paranormal, this series is definitely for you! You should also check out the mystery series EJ writes with his good friend Jeff Cohen…
The first volume, The Question of the Missing Head, features Samuel Hoenig, a borderline genius with Asperger’s Syndrome who has set up a business answering questions–about anything–for a fee. When he and his new associate try to solve a burglary at a New Jersey cryogenics lab, they stumble onto a murder investigation. But Samuel won’t exercise his brilliant mind on the death… until someone asks him a question.
Columnist: Toni LoTempio
While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She lists among her favorite mystery/suspense writers Erle Stanley Gardner, Mary Higgins Clark and James Patterson, as well as EJ Copperman, Steve Hockensmith, Victoria Laurie, Ali Brandon, Rita Mae Brown, Miranda James and Sofie Kelly to name only a few! Toni is also passionate about her love for animals, as demonstrated with her four cats: Trixie, Princess, Maxx and, of course, ROCCO, who not only provided the inspiration for the character of Nick the cat in the Nick and Nora mystery series, but who also writes his own blog and does charity work for Nathan Fillion’s charity, Kids Need to Read! Toni’s also devoted to miniseries like The Thorn Birds, Dancing with the Stars, reruns of Murder She Wrote and Castle (of course!). She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuts Dec. 2, 2014. She, Rocco and company make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Find them at: www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com or at www.tclotempio.com