A Ghostly Grave
Ghostly Southern Mysteries #2
by Tonya Kappes
Witness, $7.99, 288pp
Published: March 2015
A Ghostly Grave is the second of Tonya Kappes’ Ghostly Southern Mysteries, following A Ghostly Undertaking.
Emma Lee and her sister Charlotte Rae run the family undertaking business, Eternal Slumber Funeral Home, in the small Kentucky town of Sleepy Hollow. Ever since a plastic Santa fell off the roof of Artie’s Deli and knocked Emma Lee out she has been visited by the ghosts of murdered people who need her to solve their murders so they can cross over. This time around Emma Lee is trying to discover who murdered Chicken Teater which may not be easy since he was buried four years ago. Emma’s prime suspect is his widow, Marla Maria Teater, a former beauty queen who now lives in a double wide trailer taking care of Chicken’s prize winning hen, Lady Cluckington. Chicken left no will but keeps mentioning a mysterious agreement he has with Marla, though he never quite comes clean with the details. Emma’s boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, is the only one who knows she can see ghosts but he is reluctant to have her involved in any investigation. On other fronts, Emma Lee’s grandmother, Zula Fae Raines Payne, is running for mayor against her arch-nemesis O’Dell Burns, owner of the other funeral home in town. Then O’Dell Burns is attacked and first Emma, then Zula are suspects.
Again, the action zips along, these are quick reads with interesting, somewhat quirky characters. The mystery is involved enough that the murderer is not immediately apparent. The only real sour note is Charlotte Rae who make only a couple of brief appearances which is nice because her attitude towards her sister is grating. Recommended. ~~ Stephanie L Bannon