Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wild Wild Death - Casey Daniels

Wild Wild Death
A Pepper Martin Mystery
Casey Daniels
Berkley Prime Crime
The good people of Cleveland – the sports fans, anyway – believe that there is a curse on their town.  The curse was supposedly levied over a hundred years ago by an Indian performer in a Wild West show who died there.  Before his death, Chester Goodshot Gomez asked his friends to take his bones back to his ancestral home in New Mexico.  If they failed to do so, he would curse the town where he was buried.  Well, they failed to do so, and now sports fans blame this guy for their teams’ losing seasons.
Until recently, Pepper Martin was the tour guide at the Cleveland cemetery where Goodshot’s bones rest.  She was recently laid off, due to budget cuts.  The job was a perfect fit, since Pepper has a gift that allows her to see and talk to ghosts.  During her enforced downtime, Pepper gets a ransom note, saying that her friend, paranormal investigator Dan Callahan, has been kidnapped.  The kidnappers want Goodshot’s bones delivered to New Mexico, or Dan dies.  And that’s how Pepper ends up breaking into a mausoleum, removing the bones, and taking a westward road trip with a ghost riding shotgun.
Those readers who have joined Pepper on previous outings (TOMB WITH A VIEW, A HARD DAY’S FRIGHT) will know that, to Pepper, this all makes perfect sense.  It also serves to get her out of Cleveland and away from Quinn Harrison, the detective who dumped her after she told him about her gift, and still won’t talk about it now that he has proof.  I don’t remember Pepper being quite this goofy about things in previous novels (someone shoots at her and she’s worried about her boots, for instance) but she’s still a fun character.  This novel contains an unexpected and interesting twist that changes things up enough to make it all seem new again.  The setting is new, the story is compelling, and the outcome gives Pepper a whole new outlook on life.  This is a more-than-solid entry in a fun paranormal series.
Rating: 7
January 2012
ISBN# 978-0-425-24582-8 (paperback)


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