Friday, 30 April 2010

The Chick and the Dead

Author: Casey Daniels
Genre: Supernatural/Mystery
Pages: 323
Series: 2nd book in the Pepper Martin series
Series Order:
1) Don of the Dead (2006)
2) The Chick and the Dead (2007)
3) Tombs of Endearment (2007)
4) Night of the Loving Dead (2009)
5) Dead Man Talking (2009)
6) Tomb with a View (2010)
First Line: "It all started with Gus Scarpetti."

Synopsis: Pepper Martin is a tour guide for one of Cleveland's biggest cemeteries. Since hitting her head on a tomb stone this former rich girl has been able to talk to dead people. The first ghost she spoke to was a Mafia Don. Once she helped him figure out who 'had him whacked' she thought she was done dealing with the dearly departed.
Unfortunately the Don was singing her praises on the other side and now Didi, a poodle skirt-wearing ghost who died in the 1950's needs Pepper's help. Didi claims that she wrote the best selling book "So Far the Dawn" that her sister Merilee took credit for and has been reaping the acclaim and not to mention the royalties. Merilee is in Cleveland celebrating the opening of a museum dedicated to the best selling book. Pepper isn't sure whether she should believe or even help Didi (who has a history of lying) but since she's in desperate need of some cash, she decides to help by taking on the job as assistant to the 'author from hell' Merilee to hopefully uncover the truth.

My Thoughts: This was a good, quick read. I actually liked it better than the first book in the series, "Don of the Dead".
This is a light-hearted mystery that is fairly predictable but still an enjoyable read. I'm looking forward to seeing how the author continues the character development of Pepper. She's a good main character (strong, quirky, mind of her own, big mouth ...) but the author needs to fill her out more. I do wish there were better secondary characters. Pepper's co-workers could be quirkier and have a bigger role. It feels like Pepper carries a little too much of the storyline on her shoulders.
The impending relationships between Pepper and either Detective Quinn Harrison or Dan are dealt with more in this book. Dan makes a few appearances in the book which are quite mysterious. I have my own thoughts on who Dan really is and I'm interested to see in future books if my suspicions are correct. In the meantime, Pepper and Quinn have quite the sexual tension between them which makes for some amusing verbal sparing.
My Rating: 3/5

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