No Ghouls Allowed: A Ghost Hunter Mystery
by Victoria Laurie
Review by Sherry Lilley
Signet Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451470089
Date: 06 January 2015 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
M.J. is headed south, home. It's time to meet her future stepmother, and maybe make peace with her past. Her new stepmother, is a likeable woman and M.J. is happy for her father. But there is a cloud hanging over Christine. Christine bought a lovely house on a hill, and she and M.J.'s father plan on living in it, as soon as the remodeling is finished. But someone, or something, doesn't want the remodeling to be finished. The violence is escalating, but no one knows why.
M.J., her significant other Heath, and her best friend Gilly (who is absolutely, positively terrified of ghosts!) set out to find out who or what is haunting the house, violently haunting the house, and eliminate it. They've had a lot of practice at this, since it's what they do for a living. And they've seen some scary things over the years. But whatever is haunting this house is bigger, badder, and scarier than anything they've encountered before.
The characters are fun, although I do wonder why anyone as afraid of ghosts as Gilly is, would voluntarily work as a ghostbuster. But he does, and when pushed, he does it well. The new characters the author brings into this book, Gilly's mom, M.J.'s father and his fiancée, are interesting and add a nice accent to the series. Yes, they’ve been referred to in past books. But they make actual appearances in this one. I hope to see more of them in future books.
The setting, small town southern life, is, well, maybe not charming, but perhaps bittersweet. M.J. has fond memories, as well as sad memories, of growing up there. She didn't want to come home and deal with it all, and now she is. The biggest of her issues to deal with is her mother's death, and the change it wrought in her father, or at least in her relationship with her father.
If I had any criticism about this book, it would be that the series is getting darker. It started as a fairly light, enjoyable series. It is still enjoyable, but each book seems to be a little bit darker than the one before it; the ghosties and ghoulies a little bit scarier. Even so, it's a very good book. Maybe you don't want to read it on a dark and stormy night when you're alone in the house, is all.