Format: Paperback, 273 pages
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Recommended By: Braine aka +Talk Supe
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Romance
Another day. Another funeral. Another ghost. Another average day in the life of young funeral home director, Emma Lee Raines. After a perilous run-in with a plastic Santa Claus, Emma Lee, co-owner of Eternal Slumber Funeral Home in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky, sees the ghost of town gossip Ruthie Sue Payne, who is proving to be a real pain, more so in death than while living. Recently deceased, Ruthie reveals to Emma Lee that her demise wasn't caused by accidentally falling down the steps at the Sleepy Hollow Inn as everyone believes—she was pushed...murdered. In order for the ghost to cross over—and for Emma Lee to be rid of Ruthie for good—she must find a desperate killer...or risk being haunted forever.
A Ghostly Undertaking is the first installment in Author Tonya Kappes Ghostly Southern Mysteries series. This book was recommended to me by my friend Braine from Talk Supe Blog. I've been wanting to read this series for awhile now, and have even been sent the fifth and sixth installments in this series. This is a cozy mystery series set in the fictional town of Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky.
Protagonist Emma Lee Raines is co-owner & director of Eternal Slumber Funeral Home. She works with her rather perfect in every way sister Charlotte Rae Raines. But, to get things in order, Emma Lee was recently hit in the head by a plastic Santa. Some, like Charlotte, have been calling it Funeral Trauma. Some think Emma Lee needs a bit of help. Regardless, Emma Lee can see, speak to, and touch ghosts!
One of those ghosts, is Ruthie Sue Payne, recently deceased, adversary to Emma Lee's own grandmother Zula Fae Raines who has every reason to want Ruthie dead. Ruthie, realizing that Emma Lee can hear and see her, pushes Emma Lee into doing a bit of detective work to find out who killed her. Oh, yes, Ruthie claims she was pushed, and didn't just suddenly fall down a flight of stairs. How embarrassing for a gentile southern belle who is the biggest town gossip this side of the Mississippi.
I have to admit that I went in to this book with some reservations. However, I have been trying to read other books outside of my so called comfort zone for years now. Braine was nice enough to recommend a few, including this series, to me. Emma Lee is a quirky character who you can't help but laugh along with, and hold you breath fearing she will make things even worse for those around her. Including one Sheriff Jack Henry Ross.
The same Jack who opens up the case of Ruthie after some questions. The same Jack who knows that Emma Lee is speaking with ghosts, and doesn't seem offended by her bizarre nature. The same Jack that makes Emma's heart run like an engine in the Indianapolis 500. Jack and Emma's relationship is not so overwhelming that it takes over the guessing as to who could possibly stoop so low to kill Ruthie without any remorse.
As I have now started this series, I have requested the second novel, A Ghostly Grave, from my local library system. I do want to find out about Emma Lee's new status as a Betweener, and how she wiggles her way through the rest of this series. Thanks to B for opening my eyes and recommending this series to me. Thanks for a fun, fast pace story Tonya Kappes who this is the first book of any kind that I've had the pleasure to read.