Remains of the Dead by Wendy Roberts

(A Ghost Dusters Mystery, #1)

Sadie Novak's got the kind of job that kills cocktail chatter dead: she owns Scene-2-Clean a crime scene cleanup company. And if wiping up after murders weren't spooky enough, she can also see and talk to the ghosts of the victims...

When grieving relatives hire Sadie and her employee, ex-cop Zack Bowman, to clean up after the murder-suicide of Trudy and Grant Toth, Sadie figures she's bound to meet at least one chatty ghost. But Kent, the man Sadie first encounters at the scene, is very much alive--so much so, that Sadie soon finds herself agreeing to a date with him.

Then a real ghost shows up--the oddly silent spirit of Trudy, who seems determined to prove that her husband's innocence, and inspires Sadie to track down the real killer. But as she scours the crime scene, Sadie quickly realizes she's in way over her head, that Kent has a strange connection to the dead couple, and that someone wants her to give up the ghost...for good.

My God, the ending of this book was depressing.

Good book, and if I run into the second somewhere I'll nab it. I won't actively hunt for it or order it online, though.

Mystery wise it was average. There weren't many players in the field so it was easy to guess who it could have been. Not enough leads to other sources. I was able to guess the motive pretty early too if I was right on the killer (turned out being so.) Pacing didn't lag so the book was never dull and there were enough little shockers to fill the void of suspense. The majority of the novel wasn't on the mystery exactly, but character interaction and lots of time on various jobs. It sounds distracting but these were the most interesting scenes of the story.

The major issue with me is the main character, Sadie. I just don't really like her. Sure, I understand her reasoning behind the job she chose and it's a noble one. Despite her speeches about being caring and loving letting a spirit go free, when she does stumble upon an ocassional ghost she's basically rude most of the time and it's clear they mainly annoy her. 

I also took offense with the way she phrased her objections to her sister about the wedding engagement, and especially how ridiculous she was with the psychic. Thankfully the woman pointed out how annoying her skepticism became, but even after it's proven the woman was genuine, trying to help, and similar to Sadie's abilities, Sadie was generally still too short and rude half the time. The woman just was too moody and bitchy for me to latch on to as a heroine. I didn't hate her but she's not someone I can understand.

Zach was awesome though, as was the fun friend Pam and the other characters. The author writes well and it's easy to fall into her story as she keeps the dialogue realistic, doesn't muddle the page with pointless ramblings of decor and description, and keeps the pacing smooth and moving forward.

I do recommend to fans of paranormal mysteries.

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