The Chick and the Dead by Casey Daniels

Pepper Martin, #2

Ever since the former rich girl-turned-Cleveland cemetery tour guide banged her head on a headstone, she sees dead people. Worse still, she hears them—and they won't shut up! Now it's Didi Bowman, a poodle-skirted relic from the Great Beyond, who's bending Pepper's ear, complaining that her famous author sister, Merilee, has done her wrong. Trouble is, if Pepper proves it, she'll break the hearts of millions of Merilee's fans. And if she doesn't, Didi's ghost may never go away.

Pepper needs peace and quiet (and rent money), so the cash-strapped ex-heiress agrees to take a job as Merilee's secretary and dig around the family tree. But when she unearths more than she bargained for—like an illegitimate daughter, a bunch of illicit love affairs, and a possible murder—suddenly a very poisoned pen is all set to write Pepper out of the story permanently.

The Chick and the Dead is the second installment in a cute, light paranormal mystery series. Sure it’s not fully realistic, but it’s fun. Piper inherited the ability to see the dead in the first book, and the second continues off with that talent when Gus is sending her work from beyond. While Didi Bowman isn’t as likable at first as Gus (she’s almost annoying), she grew on my eventually. At first she doesn’t want her murder solved, but instead also needs Piper to prove that her big-time author sister stole her novel and fame.

As before, humor is in force while Piper has to deal with bitchy authors, demanding ghosts, oddball management at the cemetery where she gives tours. The story didn’t draw me in immediately, but it kept improving the further it progressed. The ending? Pretty epic.

Character-wise Piper is still bit of a snob but her escapades are still hard to put down. Dan is even weirder than before and I had trouble figuring out his angle. Still #TeamQuinn all the way.

Yes, sometimes Piper is annoying but there’s something about this series that draws me in. It’s probably that she sees ghosts – yeah, that’s in. And the writing is clever as the mystery keeps getting more complicated the further it continues. Humor is real as well, which makes the books stand out amongst a nest of other fluffy, light cozies that overdose on humor without getting the full effect they should. 

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