Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Verity Gets Her First Ghost-Hunting Job! In Deader Homes and Gardens by Angie Fox...

Ellis handed me the phone. 
“It’s Lee Treadwell.” “Interesting,” I said, standing. I had no idea what the elderly gentleman could possibly want. Lee was the last of a long, distinguished family line in town. He owned one of the big, old mansions in the historic area and I hadn’t seen or spoken to him in a while. We didn’t run in the same circles and he certainly wasn’t the type to exchange casseroles for a peek at a ghost hunter. 
“This is Verity Long,” I said, bracing my rear against the counter. Ellis listened to my side of the conversation as he began gathering plates. 
“Sorry to disturb you,” Lee said, his voice low and rough. He was hard to hear with all the static on the line. “I tried your house first, and when you weren’t there, well… word has it you’ve been spending lots of time with young Mr. Wydell.” Sakes alive. “Word does get around,” I agreed. This was Sugarland, after all. “Now that you’ve found me, what can I do for you?” 
He cleared his throat. “I need you to be honest,” he said tersely. “Are you serious about that ghost-hunting business?” 
“Serious as the grave,” I assured him. It might not have been the best choice of words, but I was too focused on the fact that Lee could actually have a job for me. Lee Treadwell was well known in this town, respected. If he hired me, maybe everyone else would start to take me seriously as well. 
Lee exhaled sharply. “I need you to come over right away.”
“Is it an emergency?” I’d need to prepare. “I’ve left my ghost at home.” Frankie couldn’t go anywhere without his urn, which was resting in a barrel full of dirt in my parlor. How it had gotten there was a long story. Suffice it to say, I had no power without him. 
“I’ve stumbled across something peculiar,” Lee said, his voice strained. “I need you to see it. Grab your ghost. Pick up a crucifix while you’re at it, because I don’t think you’ve ever seen anything like this.” 
I’d seen plenty. The newspaper hadn’t revealed all my secrets. “Hang tight,” I told him. “I’ll be over as soon as I can.” 
I hung up. Ellis stood a few feet away, with Lucy snuggled in his arms, her head buried under one of his biceps. “What’s the crisis?” 
“I don’t know yet.” I smiled, despite my trepidation. “But I’ve got my first ghost-hunting job.”
~~~

Deader Homes and Gardens:
Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries



By Angie Fox

Verity is a gutsy young woman who makes needed decisions in her life... The fact that she has had some really bad situations arise--like a cheating fiancee and a revengeful ex-mother-in-law who sued Verity and forced her to plan on selling everything to pay for the wedding she never had, has never quite completely got her down... Even if the town thought she was crazy for not marrying the most eligible bachelor in town and decided not to offer her opportunities to continue in her freelance design business.

So when she accidentally met Frankie, whose funeral urn had been given as a gift, and she decided to clean it up a little, thinking it was a vase, she had made her way into an entirely, more intriguing job...maybe she could be paid for being a ghost hunter! After all, she'd been successful in several previous criminal cases, right? So in this next novel, Deader Homes and Gardens, when she gets a call from a client who needs her services, she naturally becomes
excited...even if she had no idea what she might be getting into! Yikes! Because, of course, Frankie wasn't so sure that her new job was actually a job he wanted also!
And he wasn't thrilled to be called upon to immediately head out on a job, when he'd plan to relax...

Nevertheless, when Verity takes his urn with her...he must follow...kinda like this gangster has finally been placed in jail, almost!

Lee Treadwell, her new client, lives in a small cottage, behind the main house which has not been used for many years. One of his ancestors had been into Egyptology and the house was still filled with artifacts. But as soon as Jack Treadwell came home, he died... Some said a curse had been placed on him after opening a tomb of a lost king... During the years more Treadwells died...

It didn't take long for Verity and Frankie to see at least two women who were still residents in the house... one was thought to be the housekeeper and the other a younger woman... Until, finally, Lee decided not to live in the main house anymore...

So why was he calling now?
...but now, something else is happening.” He stood. “Come on. I’ll show you what I mean.” He walked me into the small kitchen and held the back door open. Tiny goose bumps erupted along my arms as the chill of the approaching night settled over me. “You’re not going to believe this,” he promised. “Try me,” I said, glad to give him someone he could confide in. We stepped onto the brick walk out back. Planter boxes lined the way, filled with colorful blooms. I touched my fingertips to a dusting of Goldilocks daisies thrusting out in shoots from a young crop of purple fountain grass. “What have you seen out here?” I asked, on heightened alert should Jack’s ghost appear in the vegetable garden just ahead, or from the small grape arbor to our left. “This is my space,” Lee said, his steps guarded as he led me out into the night. “The family spirits stick to their side.” I could almost hear Frankie rolling his eyes. Most ghosts went wherever they pleased, evidenced by my gangster buddy gliding straight through a row of tomato stakes. I kept close to Lee, on a dirt path between the slim pea sprouts and leafy butter lettuce. “This is lovely,” I told him, careful to avoid the delicate plants. I could tell he’d put a lot of care into his garden. “I appreciate you saying so,” he said, glancing back at me. “Since I’ve retired, I’ve been working to reclaim some of the land, as much as I can handle. The disturbances happen just beyond the cultivated parts of the property.” I stared out at the abandoned mansion on the other side of the hilltop. A high-pitched wail echoed across the expanse, like a wounded animal. It shouldn’t have startled me, but it did. It even gave Frankie pause. He listened carefully as the cry faded. “That’s more lonely soul than angry soul,” he said, as if trying to reassure himself. “Lovely.” I took a step back when a loud crackling echoed from the mansion. Frankie glanced at me. “I have no clue what that is.” He shoved his hands into his pockets in an attempt to hide his discomfort. Not much rattled the old gangster, and it scared me that this place gave him pause. Stone popped and timber creaked, as if the house struggled against its foundation. “It’s been doing that more and more,” Lee muttered. “We’ll figure it out,” I said, fighting to keep the fear out of my voice. I mean, at least the ghosts were active and perhaps attempting to communicate. “Maybe they’re disturbed by the changes you’re starting to make.”
This latest novel was the most scariest in my opinion... After all, add a curse on top of a house full of ghosts, it's easy to foresee lots of strange doings!  And the first strange thing was an old fountain that had not been used for years...Now water was flowing--from the eyes of the statue, not the pitcher from which it would normally flow... and the flow of the water? It was slowly filling up to cover... dozens of doll heads, torn from their bodies!

 I must admit that I would have loved to be Verity as she walked into a haunted mansion filled with items that, really, had been stolen from Egypt. But can you imagine going through not only a haunted house, but one which had a curse placed on it? OK, I'm probably not brave enough to do it, but it was easy to imagine as more and more of the history of the mansion and the events that were happening now come to light...Spooooky!

In order to begin trying to resolve the problem, Verity soon had her sister Melody researching what she could find about the history of the Treadwell family and estate...

In the meantime, Verity had to adjust to not being paid for her first job, except in vegetables and fruits from Lee's beautiful garden...at least, Verity thought, Lucy, her pet skunk, would be thrilled with fresh fruits. And it would save money Verity didn't really have, for food... Good thing Frankie didn't eat...much...

If you enjoy ghostly shenanigans more than the heartwarming type, then this latest book is for you! The mystery is more complex and provocative and certainly grabs your interest, while producing some delightful goosebumps! Highly recommend and this one would be a good one to start reading if you haven't already been following the series! But there's still more to come! Keep watching, 'cause Dog Gone Ghost, a short story, is next.


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