Release Date: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Avon Books | Witness
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Paranormal - Humorous
There's a ghost on the loose—and a fox in the henhouse
Four years ago, the Eternal Slumber Funeral Home put Chicken Teater in the ground. Now undertaker Emma Lee Raines is digging him back up. The whole scene is bad for business, especially with her granny running for mayor and a big festival setting up in town. But ever since Emma Lee started seeing ghosts, Chicken's been pestering her to figure out who killed him.
With her handsome boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, busy getting new forensics on the old corpse, Emma Lee has time to look into her first suspect. Chicken's widow may be a former Miss Kentucky, but the love of his life was another beauty queen: Lady Cluckington, his prize-winning hen. Was Mrs. Teater the jealous type? Chicken seems to think so. Something's definitely rotten in Sleepy Hollow—and Emma Lee just prays it's not her luck.
Tonya Kappes' A GHOSTLY UNDERTAKING is the perfect cozy weekend read. At least for me it was. I mean it was difficult to hold in guffaws and giggle snorts when Emma Lee Raines is investigating the wrongful death of a chicken... errr... I mean a dude named, Colonel Chicken Teater. Who is crazy obsessed with his prize winning hen. Who paid more attention to Lady Cluckington (hen) than his pageant Queen and certified cougar, Marla Maria Teater?! I know it's a lame rhetoric, but I'm sure you get my drift.
Add Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky's crazy gossip mongers to the mix led by Emma Lee's own Granny, a hen pageant, some yoga poses and ripped eyebrows, a hearty rendition of Old McDonald, and you have a laugh out loud paranormal cozy mystery that's BEGGING not to be taken seriously. There's an abundance of snark, romantic tension, and hilarious anecdotes to keep you flipping/swiping the pages to the left.
What I'm most pleased about is Emma Lee's noticeable character development compared to the previous book, A Ghostly Undertaking. I liked her there, but I felt the secondary characters led the story and she was just hosting the gig for us. I'm so happy that we get to see more of Emma Lee's colorful personality here. Funeral Trauma nonewithstanding, our heroine is very clever in terms of getting herself out of sticky situations, and has a sharp tongue hidden underneath all of that Southern Belle charm.
A GHOSTLY GRAVE is a strong sequel to the series. It will definitely get you hooked on Ghostly Southern Mysteries in case you needed more convincing after the first one. I also think you can get away reading A GHOSTLY GRAVE as standalone or the series in reverse order, because TKappes gave quick recap of highlights that happened in A Ghostly Undertaking so you can get in the know of things. Ultimately if you love cozy mysteries, ridiculous ghost hauntings, and plain laughing in general, make sure you pick up Ghostly Southern Mysteries, you'll devour it in one sitting.