A Ghost for Christmas is the first book in the Destiny Bay Cozy series and follows our main character Mele who, recovering from a bad romantic breakup, decides to visit her Aunt Bebe. She arrives, however, to find a dead body on her Aunt’s doorstep.
As it turns out, the corpse was that of Kyle Madronna, a wealthy vineyard owner who was pretty much despised by everyone who knew him. He was also trying to steal her aunt’s business which made Mele suspect that her aunt may have had something to do with the murder. Then things heat up even more when a second murder takes place only days later. Mele, along with the help of two family ghosts and the local detective, gets closer to discovering the identity of the killer. Of course, Mele’s meddling puts her own life in jeopardy culminating in a face to face encounter with the killer.
It was a fun, humorous, light little mystery with no real violence or gory bits. The protagonist was likable as were the secondary characters (except for the villain, of course) and I felt that the story was believable. I was a bit disappointed, however, because given the title of the novel, I thought it would be more ghost centric but this was not the case. There were two ghosts in the story: Aunt Jane and the handsome Dante but they played a very minor role in the story, appearing only a couple of times and all we really learn about them is that Dante was a ghost from Mele’s childhood. The story also had little to do with the Christmas season so in this way, I thought the title was a misnomer; the title suggested that a ghost and the holiday would be central to this story, neither of which was the case.
A Ghost for Christmas was quite a quick read and really could have used some further character development, IMHO. But still, it was a fun, entertaining story though I’m undecided as to whether I’ll be continuing on with the series. I don’t mind a cozy mystery from time to time, but truth be told, I prefer my mysteries and thrillers a little more on the darker side.
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