Thanks to NetGalley and publisher for the ARC.
In DOWNRIGHT DEAD (September 25th 2018 by Kensington Publishing Corporation) by Pamela Kopfler, the ghost of Holly Davis’s not-so-dearly-departed husband has vacated her plantation house turned B&B, but that doesn’t stop Holly from keeping up the pretense that the place is haunted. And it doesn’t hurt that the B&B was featured on the TV show Inquiring Minds. The problems arise when the cast and crew of Inquiring Minds forces their way back into Holly Grove to do a follow-up show. This time the show brings along a skeptic who is determined to prove that Holly Grove is not – and never has been – haunted. Since her husband’s ghost is no longer lingering, Holly is forced to fake ghostly encounters. Tru, the skeptic, has just declared he has proof that she is a charlatan when someone pushes him off the widow’s walk to his death. The skeptic becomes a believer in the afterlife when he comes back as a ghost to ask Holly to help him find his killer. Unfortunately, for Holly, the local lawmen have decided that she is the killer. To help Tru and save herself, Holly needs to find the real killer.
DOWNRIGHT DEAD is a strong follow-up to BETTER DEAD, and I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with Holly and the other main characters. The two books should definitely be read together as DOWNRIGHT DEAD continues the main storyline of BETTER DEAD and reads as Part 2.
It does take a little while to get to the murder in DOWNRIGHT DEAD – but it works because Kopfler spends the first half of the novel setting up the murder and establishing motives for why Holly and the others at the B&B had motive to kill the victim. Once the victim was killed, there were a number of twists and turns in determining the killer. The killer wasn’t obvious as there were multiple characters with solid motives. The novel is exciting, a bit quirky, and it oozes southern charm.