Monday, November 21, 2011

MERRY, MERRY GHOST by Carolyn Hart

 In Carolyn Hart’s merry, merry Ghost, character trumps plot.

Wiggins, the celestial heavenly rescue-train coordinator, sends ghost detective Bailey Ruth Raeburn back to earth to protect a little boy.

Because the child’s grandmother is wealthy, almost the whole family and a few employees want to kill her. And someone does.

All this revolves around the grandmother’s impending will. She plans to change her will in favor of the child. The child is a new addition to her life.

There is a love story in this traditional cozy.

The book itself is wonderful, filled with Christmas good feeling. It has its greedy people and a murderer, but the overall tone is an It’s a Wonderful Life-type Christmas tone.

The plot itself is both unusual and ordinary. It is fun to watch how Bailey Ruth works things around to have the grandmother’s ghost enact a deathbed will. And what happens to the will is unexpected. But the author lists the suspects over and over again. (She doesn’t seem to think I can remember.)

I can’t believe the police would have been so careless in their search for the lost will. And there are no clear clues for the reader, no way to figure out which of the many suspects might be the killer.

This is a wonderful book. But, by and large, the wonder is not in the plot, especially in the last one hundred pages. The wonder is in Bailey Ruth, Wiggins, Johnny, Peg, Keith, Leon, Chief Cobb and several other characters. They were enough for me.
NOTE: The name Bailey Ruth fascinated me. It made me think of Ruth Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life (as it was supposed to, I suspect).

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