Charlene Morris knew Salem, Massachusetts had a spooky reputation. But when she decided to open her B&B there, she expected guests—not ghosts…
A grieving young widow, Charlene needed a new start—so she bought a historic mansion, sight unseen, and drove from Chicago to New England to start turning it into a bed-and-breakfast. On her first night in the house, she awakens to find a handsome man with startling blue eyes in her bedroom. Terror turns to utter disbelief when he politely introduces himself as Jack Strathmore—and explains that he used to live here—when he was alive. He firmly believes that someone pushed him down the stairs three years ago, and he won’t be able to leave until someone figures out who. If Charlene wants to get her business up and running in time for the Halloween tourist rush, and get this haunting houseguest out of the way, she’ll have to investigate. Though truth be told, this ghost is starting to grow on her . . .
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A spirited cozy mystery
Mrs. Morris and the Ghost is an enjoyable new cozy mystery. Charlene Morris lost the love of her life eighteen months ago and every where she goes in Chicago there are reminders. She has purchased a massive mansion in Salem, based on pictures sent to her by the realtor, where she plans on opening a bed and breakfast. She wants it to be an elegant establishment. Having a resident ghost was not the plans even if he is handsome and charming. Dr. Jack Strathmore IV is convinced he was murdered three years ago and believes it is the reason for why he is unable to move on to the great beyond. Charlene is the first person who can see Jack and he needs her help. I like Traci Wilton’s conversational writing style. It is engaging and made this new cozy mystery easy to read. Charlene is a strong protagonist who is ready to move forward with her life away from her meddlesome mother. I found Charlene’s first reaction to Jack to be realistic and humorous. Jack is a great character. He has charm, wit, twinkling blue eyes and is a snappy dresser. Charlene sets out to discover who harmed Jack by talking with his wife, old friends, Detective Sam Holden, and the coroner. Charlene has all the subtly of a bulldozer. She is direct and pushy which leads to some ticked off individuals (but it is just her first time investigating). This whodunit can be solved before the reveal courtesy of the less than subtle clues. Charlene has a couple of men interested in her including Sam Holden. I would like less romance in future books (lots of flirting) and a more action packed mystery. I thought the story lagged during the middle and could have benefited from a peppier pace. The ending was a delight and left me smiling. A Persian named Silva joins Charlene in her new home. The cat’s antics had me giggling and I thought Traci Wilton captured a cat’s demeanor perfectly. I enjoyed the descriptions of Charlene’s beautiful new home, the furniture and the sights of Salem. The author took the time to establish the main characters and setting the stage for the series (wonderful world building). The first chapter of Mrs. Morris and the Witch is at the end of the book. Mrs. Morris and the Ghost has a magnificent mansion, a pretty Persian, flirtatious fellows, a gallant ghost, and a reluctant gumshoe.