Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Ghost of a Chance by Elizabeth Eagan-Cox

The first in the Shannon Delaney Paranormal Mystery Series; as one might expect there is time given over to the introduction of the main characters of which there are quite a few. I’ll be interested to watch further developments in later books. Solving a mystery that is over 130 years old may seem a daunting task, but interesting, especially when the mystery involves a famous magician, his old mansion and mysterious chest, handsome descendants, and a psychically sensitive heroine.

Working as a team, five main characters try to determine what happened to Eric Blackthorne, the magician of over 130 years ago; did he just disappear or was he really murdered? The story builds throughout the book as the team resurrect clues from varying sources. The excitement of discovery and meaning of each clue is contagious to the reader. Not least of the clues appear to come to Shannon in the night. Is she dreaming them or are they manifestations? Is there a ghost helping her? and are the hilarious appearances in the night truly clues? All these questions come to bear on the case and play their role in the mystery. I loved the author’s wily way of incorporating not only clues but humor in the mix! The story flows well, the discoveries of the past weave through the present day smoothly and build the reader’s interest. Hints of jealousy and romance appear throughout the story, and it seems to end with a promise of more about to blossom with the continuation of the series, but not without its complications.

I really enjoyed this first book and look forward to the growth of the series. I am definitely hooked on Shannon’s dreams! The cast of characters form a unique alliance, too. Once the first characters were established the book took off and took over, leaving me reading almost straight through at one go. Easy to read, strange quirks to throw us off balance, glimpses of life of the rich and of early San Diego, two families tied together in mutual interest in the case, all make for an effortless but exciting journey through a very “cold case”!

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