Molly Harper's Better Homes and Hauntings is a standalone novel that centers around a group of individuals who are hired by software mogul Deacon Whitney to renovate a dilapidated supposed "haunted estate" that has been in his family for more than a century. The estate, called Crane’s Nest, lies on a private island near the New England Coast. In the process of renovating the estate, the group comes together to also dig into the hundred year old mystery into the death of Catherine Whitney, and the curse that apparently follows Catherine's descendants around like a noose.
Nina Linden is probably the most interesting character in the group with her background, struggles, and attempts to finally take her fledgling landscaping business, Demeter Designs, into prominence, and out of the shadows of her former boss Rick who has done everything in his powers to destroy her reputation. Having been chosen for a massive renovation of the estates landscaping by Deacon over Rick, Nina finally sees the light at the end of the dark tunnel. If only she can survive through hauntings that apparently plague the estate and have chased previous workers away. If only her heart can survive the emotions that bring her and Deacon on a collision course.
I won't hesitate to say that the story wouldn't have been the same or enjoyable were it not for the presence of Deacons best friend and architect Jake Rumson, Cinderella Cleaning Service owner Cindy Ellis who has her own unique and heart warming story, and Dotty Whitney, Deacon's wayward cousin who truly believes in the families curse and has every intention of ensuring that it ends with the discovery of what really happened to Catherine, Gerald, her diaries, and the family jewels that nobody can find.
Better Homes and Hauntings is a typical Molly Harper novel. The characters are fun to read about, they have a whole lot snark, and humor, while also coming together as friends, and yes, much more. The mystery behind Catherine's death was actually not that hard to guess once you start piecing the puzzle together and getting a glimpse into Catherine's diaries that show a different side to her, and puts the so called conspiracy theorists to rest once and for-all.
One of the best things about this story is that it really doesn't stick to one character with hopes that she alone will be the one to solve the mystery. Nope. It takes everyone involved which makes for a much better story. You also see the group coming together to be a bit more than friends, and of course, what would a story by Molly Harper be without a bit of smexy action on the side?
Author - Molly Harper
Title - Better Homes and Hauntings
Published by Pocket Books
Release date: June 24, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format: Paperback 384 pages