I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Gone with the Ghost by Erin McCarthy
Genres: Amateur Sleuth, Paranormal Fantasy
Published by SilverHart Publishing on May 23, 2017
Source: my own shelves
Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: Believe, Shatter, Burn
First in the Murder by Design mystery series that combines amateur sleuth with a dollop of paranormal fantasy. It all revolves around Bailey Burke, a house staging designer and the ghost of her best friend.
It’s a case of getting out of purgatory. Both literally and figuratively. Ooh, that was mean of me. I normally read a book in a day, but this one. This one took me two weeks. I kept putting it down because it was so dull.
It took forever to get somewhere. I suspect part of it was Bailey’s unrequited love for Ryan…she whined on how she would never be involved with Ryan again, her dreams and fantasies destroyed, all using first person protagonist point-of-view. Another negative contribution was the warm/cool back-and-forth between Bailey and Marner. It’s a good thing some of the other characters told me there might be a romance happening, because McCarthy was certainly wishy-washy about it. Then there’s that “great” friendship Bailey had with Ryan. How could she be so clueless about the guy??
I did like the revenge Alyssa got, lol.
The twist McCarthy put on it toward the end was another downer. I must say it was totally unexpected, so in some ways, it was a plus just for being different. I just wish McCarthy had been as good as she usually is…sigh…
And, unfortunately for me, the ending cliffhanger does make me want to find out what happens next in Silence of the Ghost. But I sure ain’t gonna rush.
It’s been six months since Bailey Burke kissed her best friend. Six months of grief when Ryan killed himself that day.
It’s a different kind of grief when Ryan’s ghost shows up in her kitchen, insisting he was murdered. He needs Bailey’s help to solve the case so he can get out of purgatory.
An expert in home design, with her own staging business, Bailey can tell you where to place a couch to improve flow and comfort, but solving a crime? Not her area of expertise. But with help from Ryan’s former partner, Marner, she is unraveling the mystery of what happened to Ryan that day…and unwittingly putting herself in grave danger.
The neurotic Bailey Burke is a former evidence tech who now works as a house staging designer with her own business, Put It Where?, a perfect fit for her neatnik habits. Alyssa Dembowski is a good friend with a night job in IT while Jane is cheap help. Bailey’s mother is a cutthroat prosecutor; her father is a pharmaceutical rep with charm. Jen is her high energy sister married to Doug with four kids, the six-year-old Jasmine, Jessica, Jordan, and finally a boy, Jacob. Grandmother Burke is a master with the back-handed compliments.
Detective Ryan Conroy had been friends with Bailey for the past ten years. Colleen was his sister. Hannah is a hooker who knows every drug dealer in town.
The police department
Detective Jake Marner was Ryan’s partner and friends with both Ryan and Bailey. Detective DeAngelo is a persistent lech. Detective Cox is worse. Officer Rick Pannaconi was first on the scene. Caleb Jensen had been a beat cop when Bailey worked in the department. Sandra still works as an evidence tech and is a friend of Bailey’s.
Allison Loren is the Jenkins/Jensens’ real estate agent. A friend of Ryan’s mom’s, Mrs. Murphy, is the real estate agent who’ll be selling Ryan’s house. Bridgid is her daughter who went to dance school with Bailey. Christy and Tim (he’s a hottie financier) Jenkins/Jensen want to sell their house quickly.
Mikaela and Barry are the joggers who found the body. Ted, an accountant, is a friend of Jen’s. Nick, an investment banker, has been a friend of Marner’s since college. William Peppers has a fictitious account. Michael Kincaid had been the high school quarterback. Bart is an invisible friend to a little girl.
The Cover and Title
The cover is a graphic cartoon with a house in the background all in purples. A wavy, violet striped band spans the top of the cover and provides a background for the golden yellow title. A small badge set in the lower right corner uses the same yellow as a background with the violet in the text for the series information. It’s a band behind which the ghostly Ryan in jeans and a black and yellow plaid shirt stands back to back with Bailey in a violet sleeveless dress and black heels, one knee bent while she holds a tablet in her left hand. Between them, at their feet, lies a smoking gun on the pale gray sidewalk. An info blurb is at the bottom in purple with the author’s name directly below it in the same purple.
I suspect the title is meant to be a play on Gone with the Wind, but Gone with the Ghost should replace that “ghost” with “idiocy”.