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Ghost in Trouble: A Mystery (Bailey Ruth) Hardcover – October 12, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Agatha-winner Hart's charming third mystery featuring ghostly emissary Bailey Ruth Raeburn of heaven's "Department of Good Intentions" (after 2009's Merry, Merry Ghost), Bailey returns to earth to protect Kay Clark, a former Adelaide, Okla., acquaintance, from danger. After the fatal fall of Kay's old boyfriend, Jack Hume, at the Hume estate, the Castle, Kay pays her respects to his family at the Castle, where an enormous vase nearly flattens her. In delightful Topperesque fashion, Bailey appears to Kay in an ever-changing array of fashions as Kay's "assistant," Francie de Sales, and together they investigate Kay's brush with the vase. When they discover Jack may have been murdered, suspects range from Hume family members to two of Jack's former lovers. Often disregarding the "precepts for earthly visitation" (avoiding public notice, not consorting with other departed spirits, etc.), Bailey with her sunny Pollyanna attitude makes an irresistible cozy sleuth.
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From the Author

Carolyn talks about mysteries and writing in a new video. Please go to her website at and click on the upper right hand corner --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Bailey Ruth
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061915017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061915017
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,100,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

If you love Topper and Blithe Spirit, celebrate Christmas with It's a Wonderful Life, and live to laugh, please join the Late Bailey Ruth Raeburn, Heaven's irrepressible sleuth, on the Rescue Express October 1 In GHOST GONE WILD. Bailey Ruth returns to earth to help a scruffy but lovable 20-something-video-game inventor who has lots of money and just as many enemies. Bailey Ruth foils a shooting, but discovers her Heavenly supervisor has no idea she's on earth and this time she may never make it back to Heaven!

DEAD, WHITE AND BLUE is the 23rd in the Death on Demand series. Annie Darling insists a woman can't disappear without a trace but a sultry siren walks into the pines on the Fourth of July and no one has seen her since.

For more about Carolyn's books and comments, please visit her website at

Carolyn writes the Death on Demand series set in a mystery bookstore on a South Carolina sea island and the Bailey Ruth Raeburn series featuring a lively redheaded ghost.

Carolyn is also the author of several WWII novels, including ESCAPE FROM PARIS which is mewly available this month from Seventh Street Books. Escape from Paris is the story of two sisters who defy the Gestapo to help British fliers avoid capture.

In Ghost at Work, Bailey Ruth returns to earth to help someone in trouble. She moves a body, investigates a murder, saves a marriage, prevents a suicide, and--in a fiery finale--rescues a child who knows too much. In Merry, Merry Ghost, Bailey Ruth protects a little boy from danger. In Ghost in Trouble, Bailey Ruth tries to corral a wilful woman determined to play hunt-the-killer. Ghost Gone Wild puts Bailey Ruth at risk of never returning to Heaven.

Letter from Home, a WWII novel set on the home front, received the Agatha Award for Best Mystery of 2003. It was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers. Thirteen-year-old Gretchen Gilman is working for the small-town newspaper during the hot summer of 1944. Murder occurs on the street where she lives, forever changing her life and the lives of those involved.

Hart was one of 10 mystery authors featured at the National Book Festival on the Mall in Washington, DC, in 2003 for Letter from Home and again in 2007 for Set Sail for Murder, 7th in the Henrie O series. In Set Sail for Murder (new in paperback March 2008), Henrie O joins a troubled family on a Baltic cruise and death is an unwelcome passenger.

Hart has been nominated 9 times for the Agatha Award for Best Novel and has won 3 times. In 2007 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at Malice Domestic. She will be the International Guest of Honor at Bloody Words in Toronto on June 6-8, 2008.

Hart is a native of Oklahoma City, a journalism graduate of the University of Oklahoma, and a former president of Sisters in Crime. She is also a member of Authors Guild, Mystery Writers of America, the International Association of Crime Writers, and American Crime Writers League.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By K. Davis on September 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm wary of ghost discussions, but author Carolyn Hart presents this in a rather wholesome way. She has Bailey Ruth Raeburn as someone who has died and gone to heaven. She is not an angel. She participates as a volunteer in the Department of Good Intentions under the supervision of another deceased human living in heaven, Wiggins.

When these individuals return to earth, they are "ghosts." In this story there is a seance, strictly forbidden to Christians--if it is real, that is. Bailey and Wiggins carefully discuss whether Bailey can go to it or not, and why.

Of course I can't give away the story here, since it is after all a mystery. I pretty much never figure out in advance whodunit! But the one who did do it makes sense here, when it is revealed at the end.

I have trouble keeping up with who is who when reading a story with a lot of characters, and working at that is good for my brain. I did manage to follow who was who in this mystery pretty well. After all, there have to be enough possibilities for whodunit to make it a mystery!

This is another winner by Hart!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Janice Sims VINE VOICE on October 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've read all three Bailey Ruth mysteries and they just keep getting better and better. This time Heavenly emissary Bailey Ruth is sent back to her hometown of Adelaide, Oklahoma to save the life of a woman she had a run-in with when she was alive. She and Kay Clark don't get along in the beginning. Kay was the woman who, in Bailey Ruth's opinion, stole the husband of one of her good friends years ago. However, being from Heaven now, Bailey Ruth must reserve judgment and get on with her mission. Kay Clark is in Adelaide because the man she had the affair with, Jack Hume, came back home to Adelaide after making a name for himself in Africa as an adventurer, and wound up dead after what appeared to be an accidental tumble downstairs. Kay suspects he was pushed to his death. Bailey Ruth arrives just in time to save Kay from a similar fate. Now, the two of them know that Jack's death was not accidental and Kay has obviously gotten the attention of the killer. But who among the wealthy Hume family, and friends, had a motive to kill Jack? Practically everyone. While Bailey Ruth and Kay snoop around, Bailey Ruth enjoys her sojourn on earth by eating burgers, switching clothes on a whim, (she's a terrible clotheshorse), and avoiding being seen or heard. She still hasn't mastered the not being seen or heard part, which makes for quite a few comic moments. Loved it!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. Widman VINE VOICE on September 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In the latest foray of the investigative emissary from Heaven, Bailey Ruth is once again brought back to her hometown of Adelaide, Oklahoma. She is on a mission to save Kay Clark, a woman that she knew in her human life. Kay is at the center of a mysterious death that occurred at the Castle, an estate that is home to the Hume family. Kay is a difficult charge for Bailey Ruth, who has enough trouble following the precepts of Heaven's Department of Good Intentions (and her boss, Wiggins) on her own. Right from the get-go, Bailey Ruth is off to a bad start, "swirling" in and out of being to try to help her charge yet not attract attention. But that of course is impossible. With her redheaded locks and her constant penchant for changing her outfit multiple times each day, you'd think she'd been a fashion model in her former life. She is very obsessed with her image but I suppose as a ghost, there's only so much to entertain yourself...

I was eager to read the latest adventure of Bailey Ruth in Ghost in Trouble. It was a bit of a disappointment. I found it to be a fairly boring read. There are few laugh out loud moments but the plot felt formulaic. The mystery was stretched out and while I wasn't able to guess the who-dun-it, the reveal wasn't an Aha! moment that you usually get at the end of a mystery. The chemistry and back and forth dialogue between Kay and Bailey Ruth was the best part of the story. They played off each other to perfection. I especially liked it when Kay remarked on her need for constant wardrobe changes. I wanted to give her a high five for that comment because it made me feel validated in my annoyance with Bailey Ruth's outfit changes being so overstated.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C Thilmany TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Bailey Ruth Raeburn spends part of her afterlife working for Heaven's Department of Good Intentions where her supervisor reluctantly sends her on an assignment to protect the life of Kay Clark in Bailey Ruth's hometown of Adelaide, OK. She's more than thrilled to discover a mystery is afoot; a possible murder ruled as an accident. Kay is someone she hadn't particularly liked when she'd been alive and the woman isn't cooperating with Bailey Ruth's idea to go away where the woman would be safe after someone tries to kill her.

The concept of the story's heroine is interesting. She's decided in her afterlife to take on the appearance of when she'd been twenty-seven. Bailey Ruth has the ability to be incorporeal and invisible, or corporeal and can change her clothing in the blink of an eye. She requires food, drink and sleep while on assignment and is supposed to be following 8 precepts; most involve keeping her presence a secret. Apparently this has been a problem in the past and as determined as she is to not let her supervisor down this time, most are broken within minutes of returning to Earth. All of this brings about elements of humor to the story.

The third book in the series, the mystery is well done and there are plenty of suspects with motive and opportunity to keep you guessing. The unveiling of clues is done at a good pace and Bailey Ruth proves to be good at knowing how to pinpoint important details and the right questions to ask.

But I have a difficult time liking the character Bailey Ruth. I hadn't read the prior books, so perhaps I'm missing something. She comes across as determined but somewhat klutzy at the beginning of the story when she immediately breaks the rules she's just vowed to uphold.
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