Emma Whitecastle has moved back home with her daughter now that she’s divorced from her Hollywood talk show host husband. She’s not unhappy about the divorce. In fact, she seems relieved to put that life behind her. She’s reconnecting with her childhood friend, Tracey, and trying to figure out what to do with her life.
Tracey, who is now a professor at UCLA, takes Emma with her to a seance as part of some research for a class she’s teaching. And Emma gets more than she bargained for! Attending the seance opens the door, so to speak, to Emma’s gift for seeing and hearing ghosts. One ghost in particular, her great-great-great grandmother, Ish Reynolds, comes through loud and clear.
Seems that Granny Apples, as she was known back in the Gold Rush days, was hung for murdering her husband. But she’s innocent and needs Emma to help her prove it.
Emma goes through a period of disbelief until her mother tells her that she, too, had a visit from Granny Apples several years ago and encourages her to see what Emma can find out about the past. So Emma heads to Julian, California, to see what she can dig up.
The story at this point reminded me of a young Jessica Fletcher (Murder She Wrote) investigating for clues and running into some mild trouble with the bad guys. The main difference being that unlike Jessica, Emma has ghosts helping her with the mystery.
Ghost à la Mode is a fun, light read. The mystery won’t keep you up at night scared to turn off the lights, but it’s engaging enough to keep you turning pages to see what happens next. I thought the addition of the ghosts and their stories brought a nice depth to the mystery. This is the first of the series pairing Granny Apples and Emma as mystery-solving partners.
Check the WRL catalog for Ghost à la Mode.