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A Hard Day's Fright (A Pepper Martin Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – April 5, 2011
A medical examiner with a nightmare past must stop a killer who strikes too close to home. Learn More
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Pepper, you see, has an unusual side job. She works as a private investigator for the dead helping them find out who killed them so they can rest in peace. Her paying job is just as unusual, she's a cemetery tour guide.
It seems Pepper has garnered quite a reputation on the ghostly grapevine so Lucy Pasternak knows just who to see to help her. One night in 1966 Lucy and a group of her friends went to a Beatles concert. Lucy ran on stage, kissed Paul, and then she and her friends headed home. Lucy was the last one off the train that night and she was never seen again. That is until Pepper sees her ghost 45 years later. She wants Pepper to find her killer and her body.
As Pepper begins checking into Lucy's disappearance, she learns her boss, Ella, was one of Lucy's friends and the last one off the train before Lucy. Pepper can't tell her she's seen Lucy but Ella has always felt guilty about Lucy's disappearance and is glad Lucy's checking into it.
Throw into the mix Ella's 15-year-old daughter, Ariel, who's rebellious to say the least. Pepper has her own personal problems to deal with too - longing for her ex-boyfriend, Quinn, who took off when she told him she talked to dead people. You'd think a cop could handle such revelations.
When Pepper starts questioning Lucy's other friends, one turns up missing and another is found hanging from a ceiling fan.
The closer Pepper gets to the killer, the more dangerous it becomes for them all. Can Pepper solve the mystery of Lucy's death, find her body and keep all the people she loves safe at the same time?
Pepper Martin is a refreshing protagonist that you will be drawn to immediately. She's got wit, charm and a knack for solving murders. A HARD DAY'S FRIGHT is the 7th installment in the Pepper Martin Mystery series, but is a stand alone book. It will entertain you from beginning to end. Author Casey Daniels weaves in a few surprises along the way and an ending that I didn't see coming.
This book opens a little differently. The prologue is told from the point of view of a girl in the group of Lucy's friends the night of the concert. As with all Pepper Martin mysteries we know exactly how it all ended for the unfortunate soul seeking out Pepper's assistance. It's the who, how and why that Pepper must always deduce. Lucy's case is a little from Pepper's previous clients. She doesn't care to find out who murdered her. She just wants Pepper to find her body so she can finally rest in peace. It's been 45 years and she's ready to move on. There aren't a lot of clues to go off of. Lucy's case was never closed and she just "disappeared." Pepper has to track down the original group of friends. She has to figure out who would have wanted to get rid of Lucy. Lucy was such a sweet girl who had a lot of friends and according to everyone Pepper talks to no enemies. This case means more than most to Pepper. Lucy was very important to someone very close to Pepper.
There is a lot of history to go through. How can Pepper be expected to find a body that no one found 45 years ago? How can she find it if she doesn't even know who committed the crime?
*sigh* Yet another Pepper Martin mystery come and gone. They go so fast. Next time I should savor it but I know I won't be able to control myself! Casey Daniels pens such a wonderful mystery. This is the seventh book in the series and I wondered if it was going to be possible to keep the series fresh. Daniels does a wonderful job of it! I had a good idea of who had done it but I didn't know why or where said suspect had hidden Lucy's body all these years.
Aside from the mystery, Ella and her daughters get a lot of page space in A Hard Day's Fright. Pepper interacts a lot with Ella's youngest daughter, Ariel. Ariel is certainly a handful. She's a fifteen year old girl who is extremely willful. I forgot just how angsty teenage girls are. Pepper and Ariel bounced off each other well. Reggie and Delmar join us again although briefly. Pepper's love life is non-existent in this volume which was just a little disappointing. Daniels more than makes up for it with the mystery and some pretty awesome plot twists. At one point I was muttering "no, no, no!" from the couch. At that point I just had to walk away for a few minutes. If you like a good mystery sprinkled with humor, a dash of fashion, and a pinch of paranormal Casey Daniels is an author you must look into. I've enjoyed her series immensely since book one.
This was not my favorite Pepper mystery. I had trouble keeping interested in the book for the first 3/4 of the story. it just did not have the wow factor of her previous mysteries. Perhaps it was the total lack of romance ? I hope that not what I lowered myself to, but even so I found it dull. I did not care about any of the characters, not even Pepper. I found no emotion value, none of the humor in her past books. It was just a filler. I will try with one more book in the series.