Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Review: Bailey Ruth Raeburn, Ghost Extraordinaire Back in Latest Hart Novel!

Merry, Merry Ghost
By Carolyn Hart
Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780060874377
282 Pages

Bailey Ruth is Back!

What a wonderful surprise to see that Carolyn Hart’s Merry, Merry Ghost will be available for a new Christmas cozy mystery to enjoy or give as a gift! Her first in this series, Ghost at Work was wonderful. Merry Merry Ghost is better!

Always fearful that she will not be sent back to earth for another assignment since she tends to bend the rules a bit, Bailey Ruth decides to approach Wiggins, who runs the Department of Good Intentions, and just ask for another! Envisioning her wardrobe carefully, to look subdued and reserved, she visits Wiggins at just the right time...

Susan, a woman from Bailey Ruth’s hometown is “scheduled” to join them in June and several things have occurred that Wiggins feels must be monitored closely. One is that the child of Susan’s son, Mitch, has been left on the doorstep. Mitch had been killed in the Service and his wife had just died, so a friend had brought Keith to his grandmother. Fortunately, Bailey Ruth could be seen by Keith, who was four, and she greeted him and assured him that she would be with him and help take care of him.

The Pritchard’s were a rich and prominent family who did much to help the community, but Susan Flynn had been the last of the family until Keith came. As you might guess, this immediately affected Susan’s life. Even though she was very ill, Keith had brought to her a new joy and desire to live. Still, she also knew that, once it had been verified that Keith was indeed a Pritchard, that she must change her Will to ensure his relationship was acknowledged.

Those who had been in line for inheritance had been with Susan for years, but all were from the Flynn family, with no blood relationship. Obviously, they were upset, and one of them made sure she didn’t live to change her plans!

Ah, you say, yes, a typical story. But not with Bailey Ruth on the job!

Her activities bring nothing but fun, joy, and love to the situation. Bailey Ruth is a wonderful character. I love how she takes advantage of being on earth to create the best outfit for the time, and magically snap it onto her materialized body. Surely when she was alive she must have been one of the best-dressed women in town or now she is wearing the minks and great clothes she didn’t have in the past. And then there are her many decisions as to how she can accomplish what needs to be done, without breaking one of those heavenly rules! In this novel she is there at Christmas and thinks nothing about breaking out in a song or two, appearing for a party, or just enjoying being back on earth to “pop in” and see her children for just a minute!

But the ways she helped to solve her assignment are wonderfully humorous as she tries to help the police and not “appear” as the Merry, Merry Ghost! Carolyn Hart has created another winner for new readers or those following the Bailey Ruth Raeburn series. This is only the second novel, but let’s hope she stays around for a long time! Such Fun!

G. A. Bixler

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