Thursday, May 4, 2017

Latest in Series, Sweet Tea and Spirits, by Angie Fox!

They say you know a ghost is near when bloodhounds howl in the night or when you see a flickering shadow out of the corner of your eye. But as I leaned against the white painted rail of my back porch, I knew a ghost lingered behind me because he couldn’t stop talking about his poker hand. 
“Four of a kind, aces,” Frankie crowed, laying his cards out on the table for his three gangster buddies, who would have been green with envy if they hadn’t shimmered in black and white.
The snub-nosed ghost across from Frankie tossed his cards down onto the table. “You’re cheating!” he declared, but he said it halfheartedly. He knew as well as I did that Frankie couldn’t be hiding an ace up his sleeve. Spirits could only own what they’d died with and Frankie hadn’t been holding any cards on that hot summer night back in 1933. 
“Lucky at cards, unlucky at love,” I teased, gaining a bemused
glance from my boyfriend of several months, the handsome deputy sheriff, Ellis Wydell. I drew close enough to smell his spicy aftershave. “I’m talking about Frankie.” 
“I figured,” Ellis said, wrapping an arm around me. “You need to find him a girlfriend.” 
“I think that’s beyond my pay grade.” I was still getting used to the fact that I could see spirits and talk to them. And that I occasionally hosted poker night. Ghostly matchmaking was a whole other level of weird. Ellis and I shared a grin and I was just about to lean up and kiss him when the phone in my pocket vibrated.
“I wonder who that could be,” I said, not recognizing the number. If the call wasn’t from a friend or family member, maybe it was a potential client. I’d been trying to get my ghost-hunting business started. “Oh, Ellis. I think this could be it.” I stepped away from him and answered. “Hello?” I asked, over the croak of bullfrogs and the chirping of crickets. 
Static clouded the other end of the line. A woman’s voice crackled in the midst of it. “We need you.” Her words sounded hollow, far away. 
“Who is this?” I pulled the phone away to take a second look at the caller ID. 
“I recognize that number,” Ellis said. “It’s the main line for the Sugarland Heritage Society.” The group oversaw historic preservation and resided in one of the town’s most treasured old properties. It shouldn’t be open this late at night, on a Friday no less.
I’ll be there in five.” He headed for the porch steps. “Sorry, Verity.” 
“I’m going with you,” I said, hurrying after him, making sure to bypass the ghosts. Ellis stopped at the edge of the porch and planted a quick kiss on top of my head. 
“Not this time. Break-ins can be dangerous.” He gave my hand a squeeze and then took to the stairs. “Let me do my job.” 
“It’s a murder,” I said, following him down. “That’s the call I just got. A woman reported a murder. The call came from inside the house.” 
He drew his radio out again and cursed under his breath. “Watch your backs. Verity Long just received a call from inside the Sugarland Heritage Society. Caller reported a murder.” I gave it ten seconds before that was all over town. 
“You see why I’m going with you,” I said, trailing him to his police cruiser. Dang. I needed to get my purse.
“Not yet,” Ellis said, turning to me. “The police will be swarming all over the place.” He dug in his pocket for his keys. “This is the biggest thing since the bank murder.”
 “Which I solved,” I pointed out. 
“You know I think you’re amazing,” he said, with the kind of pride that made me go a bit melty, “but let the police do their job, mortal methods only. I’ll tell you what we find and bring you in as soon as we can.” 
“But a murder?” I protested, unwilling to let it go. 
“I’ll check it out,” he assured me. 
Yes, well, he couldn’t see everything. 
“I’ll call you as soon as I have something to tell you,” he said, opening the door and hitting the lights on the cruiser. 
He’d better.

Sweet Tea and Spirits:
Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries

By Angie Fox

I had finished my week-long ReadaThon of this entire series during a much-needed spring break... But when I saw that the latest novel had just been published, I immediately stopped and went out to download that final book (for now). I knew I was hooked!

But I am certainly happy to have done so...This is by far, for me, the best of the best! It's a complex murder mystery, as well as an amazing paranormal tale--ok--a still greater ghost story than all of the previous ones...👀

Which only served to make me become happy when I saw that the author had already begun on the next book...

Verity gets a call at the same time the police learn of a breakin at the local Historical Society... Verity's call indicated that there had been a murder! Only thing, when the police got there, there wasn't anybody around. Soooo, who had called Verity? Or better, "how" did the caller use the telephone?

This is a story where humans really meet ghosts...they are all around the historical building, with even an old ignored cemetery... I'll let Verity tell you what she sees there, but the word to think is...creepy...

The woman who had been killed was the new president of the society, replacing the last, our female villain of the town, and the mother of both men in Verity's love life, who sued Verity when she left her baby at the altar... She had been president for at least ten years, the loss quite upsetting, especially since she'd taken all the records from the library into the building only to be lost...

But that didn't stop then discovering the secret that those records revealed. And that was a doozy of a surprise!

Nor did it result in not solving the murder mystery that pulled everything together...

One of the most delightful parts of this book is the shenanigans that Frankie starts...the ghost who comes back to town and gets into an argument with Frankie who threatens to kill him...deader this time...LOL And, dare I reveal that Frankie finds a ghost girlfriend?! Yes! you need to know to prove how super-cool this latest book is...It is my personal favorite not only of the series, but of the year's read books.  So it had to be added to my 2017 personal favorite lists...

Fox has handled this series in an outstanding, exemplary manner. She makes sure that each book stands alone, providing sufficient background information that is, importantly, not merely a rewrite. Her back story flows within the new book, revealing information which is duplicative but not tedious to series followers.

Character development is extraordinary. Each ghost has a background story that makes you care for them. There was one particular ghost in this book that had been in town during the time her grandmother had been alive. Since the dominating ghost shows the site where he or she is as he saw it when he was alive, Verity, for the first time, was able to see the entire family estate as it once was... This was such a cool idea to add, in my opinion, given that over the years much of the land had been sold off before the home was inherited by Verity... Kinda wish I could have a ghost show me what my property looked like which had been in the family for over 100 years... 

You know when you've followed every book in a series, it soon becomes like a well-known family. Aaron Paul Lazar has the skill to do that with his various series that I follow. This is the first by another author, but definitely inspires the same feelings... Already I'm hoping that Frankie will become a permanent house guest...somehow...

Highly recommended for series lovers, especially if you do it like I did and read the entire series in a week...I never tired of moving on to the next story, and only stopped to eat and sleep... Now that's what I call a refreshing and wonderful spring break. Try it with this series...You definitely won't be sorry!


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Angie Fox writes sweet, fun, action-packed paranormal mystery and romance. Her characters are clever and fearless, but in real life, Angie is afraid of basements, bees, and going up stairs when it is dark behind her. Let's face it. Angie wouldn't last five minutes in one of her books.

Angie is best known for her Southern Ghost Hunter mysteries and for her Accidental Demon Slayer books. She lives in St. Louis, with her football-addicted husband, two kids, and Moxie the dog.

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