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Night of the Living Deed (A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2010

128 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

E. J. Copperman is the Barry Award-winning, national bestselling author of the Haunted Guesthouse Mysteries, most recently Inspector Specter and The Thrill of the Haunt, as well as the novellas A Wild Ghost Chase and An Open Spook.

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Product Details

  • Series: A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425235238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425235232
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

160 of 163 people found the following review helpful By MysteryPoodle VINE VOICE on June 2, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First cozy mysteries by unknown authors are usually bad. I had just finished a moderately bad first cozy (by a totally different author, obviously) and was debating whether it was worth a trip to the library to avoid a second. Boy, am I glad I gave this book a chance, instead.

The premise isn't reassuring... divorcee with young child moves back home to Start Over, acquiring an old fixer-upper mansion that turns out to have two resident ghosts. It's kinda been done.

However, this author is just a treat. The prose is solid and laugh-out-loud funny. The story advances nicely and you don't even hardly mind the nosiness that is required of every amateur sleuth because it's well-written and downright entertaining. The author also manages to do something with which many uber-successful authors struggle, and that is to create some tension, some dissent among characters (the stuff that gives characters character) without making them seem like absolutely unlikeable people. Or ghosts, for that matter. The reader is able to develop empathy for everyone in the story, which I think is just magic.

This is a beautiful first mystery and I look forward to many more!

Ooooh.... checking the author's website, I see that "E.J. Copperman is the pseudonym of a well-known mystery novelist, now embarking on a new type of story that includes some elements of the supernatural as well as a fair number of laughs. And the Copperman novels will have a different attitude, a different setting and completely different characters than anything that has come before, so E.J. really is a new author." Well, that explains a lot as this doesn't read like a first novel! Turns out our author is Jeff Cohen, whose books I haven't read but maybe will give a try on the strength of this one. And I have to say that Mr. Cohen totally convinced me he was a woman author, writing so convincingly about this female protagonist!
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on June 1, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After her divorce from Steven AKA as the Swine, Alison Kirby wants to start over with her nine years old daughter Melissa. She buys a seven bedroom four bath fixer upper beach house and does her own repairs. Her plan is to open up a guest house; sans breakfast. Her project is coming along nicely until a bucket of compound falls on her head; knocking Alison out cold. When she awakens she sees the ghost of Maxie Moline and her bodyguard private detective Paul Harrison.

They both died in the house with the official verdict being a double suicide. Paul insists they never took the sleeping pills that caused their deaths; instead he claims to Alison someone poisoned them. They plead with Alison to look into their contention, but she says no until Maxie's antics drive her crazy so feeling like a victim of emotional erosion she agrees. Alison soon receives threatening emails and phone calls in which she is told they want "it" as she investigates what happened to the ghosts and links that to the threats to her. She finds a suspect, but to prove her belief requires her to employ extraordinary measures as deadlines leave her in a cemetery on Halloween night.

Witty, charming and magical describe the entertaining first Haunted Guest House mystery. The spirits interact with Alison, her daughter and mother as if they are alive; especially moxie Maxie with her antics to blackmail the heroine into investigating her demise. In between home repairs, a very frightened Alison tries to determine who is terrifying her and if the threat is tied to the deaths of her ghostly houseguests. Her trepidation and her relationship with her daughter make for an enjoyable paranormal amateur sleuth tale.

Harriet Klausner
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Kinsey Millhone on June 1, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Just in time for vacation reading, "Night of the Living Deed" provides a fun escape to the Jersey Shore, where recently divorced mom Alison Kerby is rehabbing an old house she plans to open as an inn -- if the resident ghosts, Maxie & Paul, will let her. Mischievous Maxie has a way of interfering with Alison's renovations, while Paul, who was a private eye, wants the home's new owner to help him solve a mystery: who killed him & Maxie? Not surprisingly, Alison is pretty freaked out by the prospect of owning a haunted house, especially one where the ghosts won't leave her alone to get on with her repairs. "Night" will, of course, appeal to fans of paranormal tales, but thanks to its likable, down-to-earth heroine, E.J. Copperman's new series is well worth a try for anyone in the mood for a witty, well-crafted mystery.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Allison Kerby and her nine-year-old daughter Melissa have just moved to the historical coastal village of Harbor Haven, New Jersey. Allison plans to renovate the Victorian mansion at 123 Seafront Avenue, turning it into a guest house. However, her plans begin unraveling upon discovering her new home is haunted by the ghosts of two people (the former owner, Maxie Malone, and a detective, Paul Harrison) who were murdered there. Hilarious shenanigans soon follow as Allison learns to cope with a host of pesky ghosts, quirky friends and relatives and devious townspeople. However, the one responsible for Maxie and Paul's deaths begins threatening Allison. Unless she can find a deed hidden somewhere inside 123 Seafront Avenue, she and her daughter will be the next ones to die.

E. J. Copperman's "Night of the Living Deed" is a fine example of a cozy mystery. Humorous and heart-warming, it is a wonderful respite from the gritty, hard-boiled crime drama that I normally read. "Night of the Living Deed" is devoid of gratuitous sex and violence and, most importantly, the foul language that often grates on my nerves such as blasphemies. Allison, who is the narrator, made me laugh out loud on numerous occasions. Most importantly, the mystery itself is very intricate, complex and intriguing; it reminded me of an Agatha Christie novel, especially the ones where characters are poisoned such as "Sparkling Cyanide." Determined to learn who murdered Maxie and Paul, I had a difficult time laying aside this novel. The more I read, the fonder I became of Allison and her circle of family and friends, which included the beloved ghosts.

The setting for "Night of the Living Deed" is superb. For both young and young at heart, it is a fantasy come to life.
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