Title: Better Dead
Author: Pamela Kopfler
Publication Date: December 26, 2017
Page Count: 303
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
As the owner of a charming Louisiana bed and breakfast, Holly Davis believes in Southern hospitality—but she draws the line at welcoming the ghost of her cheating husband . . .
Burl Davis checked out of this life a little earlier than expected—before Holly could serve him with divorce papers over his extramarital flings. Unfortunately, it was not before he nearly bankrupted her beloved B&B, Holly Grove, a converted plantation that has been in her family for generations. Holly would never wish anyone dead, but three months later she’s feeling a lot more relief than grief.
Until Burl’s ghost appears as an unwelcome guest. Before his spirit can move on, her not-so-dearly departed needs Holly’s human help to bust up the drug smuggling ring he was involved with. She has reservations, to say the least, but agrees to assist him if he’ll make a show of haunting the B&B to draw in visitors. But when Holly’s former love, Jack McCann, mysteriously resurfaces in town and checks in, she has to wonder if her B&B is big enough for the ghost of her husband and the very real physical presence of her old flame . . .
Better Dead by Pamela Kopfler is the first book in the new B&B Spirits Mystery series. The book would be best classified as a cozy mystery read but this one has touches of paranormal with a resident ghost and also felt a bit like a romantic suspense since the point of view does end up switching between Holly and Jack after the first few chapters with just Holly.
I did quite like the idea behind bringing in a ghost in this story. The book starts off with Holly toasting her late husband who was killed in a plane crash right before she was able to ask for a divorce after finding out he had been cheating. Needless to say Holly was not the grieving widow and quite happy to have him gone only to end up with his ghost showing up just after she’d said her final goodbyes. Then to rid herself of Burl completely she needs to help him solve a mystery that has prevented him from entering heaven and beginning his afterlife.
Now I would warn that one could say this one involves a bit of a love triangle if you count Holly’s ghost of an ex hanging around all the while Jack coming in to investigate the B&B who has a history with Holly. The book doesn’t concentrate too much on the romantic aspects though and more on solving Burl’s problems so it shouldn’t bother readers too much and I found it rather amusing myself.
Set in a lovely southern plantation turned into a B&B in Louisiana the author did a wonderful job bringing the setting to life during the story. There’s also a few recipes included at the end of the book for readers to enjoy. In the end this one is definitely starting off as quite a nice series and has me rather curious as to where the author will take the next book.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Pamela Kopfler is a novelist, Southern-fried and sassy. She writes award-winning humorous mysteries with a kick of Southern sass. Her debut novel, BETTER DEAD, is the first in her B & B Spirits mystery series, to be followed by DOWNRIGHT DEAD, and HOG WILD DEAD. (Kensington Books) She is a four-time Golden Heart® finalist and a Daphne du Maurier award winner. She can stir up a roux, mix a cocktail, and loves swapping stories. Putting words on the page keeps her alligator mouth from overloading her hummingbird heinie in real life. She marks her time on earth by the lives of the dogs she has loved–who often show up in her stories. Pamela lives in South Louisiana where the spirits are restless, the food is spicy, and the living is divine.
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