Thursday, June 06, 2013

Supernatural Born Killers - Casey Daniels

Supernatural Born Killers
A Pepper Martin Mystery
Casey Daniels
Berkley Prime Crime


You’d think a cemetery would be a fairly sedate place to work.  If you’re Pepper Martin, you’d be wrong for all sorts of reasons.  First and foremost, she sees and talks to ghosts.  They usually want her to do something for them so they can cross over or whatever it is that ghosts do.  At Garden View Cemetery in Cleveland, there’s also been a recent shake-up in management when the guy in charge got caught messing around with the books.  After a brief lay-off, Pepper is back at work and promoted from tour guide to manager of community relations. 
Her first task is to put together a cocktail party in an effort to attract new donors.  She certainly succeeds in attracting Milo Blackburne, whose huge wallet is matched only by his outsized love of all things Superman.  When you’re wealthy, that’s called being eccentric. During all of this, Pepper is distracted by puddles of water that keep appearing.  The puddles come with a ghost: a man who was clearly drowned, as he appears with duct tape over his mouth, bound, with a cinder block tied to his feet. 

Pepper realizes fairly quickly that the man is the former partner of her on-again, off-again paramour, Detective Quinn Harrison, Jack Haggarty.  Jack disappeared under a cloud of suspicion some years ago.  He radioed in an arrest, but never arrived with the thief in tow.  Instead, the thief in question was found, murdered, and Jack was nowhere to be found.  Every so often, the police get a postcard – always from a different city – signed by Jack.  Quinn thinks maybe Jack just dumped the job and went travelling, as he’d always said he would.  Other cops put a decidedly more negative spin on it.  Now that he’s contacted Pepper, they can get to the truth.     

Having the ghost of Jack appear with his mouth taped shut is an interesting twist, since it means he can’t simply tell Pepper (and Quinn) exactly what happened and who killed him.  Following his line-of-duty injury, Quinn has been reassigned to a community liaison desk job, which makes him very unhappy.  After several books (TOMB WITH A VIEW, A HARD DAY’S FRIGHT, WILD WILD DEATH) it’s nice to see the main characters in different circumstances.  The writing, as always, is breezy and fast, making the pages fly by.  For me, the final payoff is not the strongest of the series (that honor goes to A HARD DAY'S FRIGHT) but without spoiling anything, I’m sure many readers will enjoy it.  Pepper does emerge from this a stronger character, so I hope to see more of her someday.
Rating: 7
September 2012
ISBN# 978-0-425-25152-2 (paperback)


Post a Comment

<< Home