Read An Uninvited Ghost Online

Authors: E.J. Copperman

An Uninvited Ghost

BOOK: An Uninvited Ghost
10.53Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
Table of Contents
 
 
More praise for
Night of the Living Deed
“If you love classic caper comedies, as I do, you’ll have a real affinity for the tart-tongued Alison Kirby and her lively entourage. From nine-year-old daughter, Melissa, to the delightfully stubborn pair of ghosts, Maxie and Paul, this well-written cozy offers a terrific read.”
—Claudia Bishop, author of the Hemlock Falls Mysteries
 
“Two restless ghosts, one creaky old guesthouse, a single mother and her nine-year-old daughter, a whole mess of cracked plaster, murder and mayhem . . . all add up to one fun, spirited mystery. In
Night of the Living Deed
, E. J. Copperman brings together all the elements of a great, ghostly tale within a well-plotted mystery.”
—Juliet Blackwell, author of the Witchcraft Mysteries
 

Night of the Living Deed
could be the world’s first screwball mystery. You’ll die laughing and then come back a very happy ghost.”
—Chris Grabenstein, Anthony and Agatha
award–winning author
 
“A bright and lively romp through haunted-house repair! Engaging plot and fun characters, even the dead ones—I look forward to more from house-fixer-upper Alison and her ghostly private detective pal.”
—Sarah Graves,
author of the Home Repair is Homicide Mysteries
 
“A couple of demanding ghosts, a quick-witted heroine, a creaky old house and a delightful cast of characters make
Night of the Living Deed
a must-read for cozy fans. What a fun and enjoyable story!”
—Leann Sweeney, author of the Cats in Trouble Mysteries
“Who knew joint compound and drywall could be so appealing? . . . E. J. Copperman begins a wonderful new series by crafting a laugh-out-loud fast-paced and charming tale that will keep you turning pages and guessing until the very end.”
—Kate Carlisle,
New York Times
bestselling
author of the Bibliophile Mysteries
 
“Fans of Charlaine Harris and Sarah Graves will relish this original, laugh-laden paranormal mystery featuring reluctant ghost whisperer Alison Kerby, a Topper for the twenty-first century. Meticulously crafted,
Night of the Living Deed
is a sparkling first entry in a promising new series.”
—Julia Spencer-Fleming, Anthony and Agatha award–winning
author of
One Was a Soldier
 
“Witty, charming and magical describe the entertaining first Haunted Guesthouse Mystery . . . An enjoyable paranormal amateur-sleuth tale.”

Genre Go Round Reviews
“A fast-paced, enjoyable mystery with a wisecracking, but no-nonsense, sensible heroine . . . Readers can expect good fun from start to finish, a great cast of characters and new friends to help Alison adjust to her new life. Its good to have friends—even if they’re ghosts.”

The Mystery Reader
 
“Will keep you flipping the pages faster and faster. A wonderful, detailed first in a new series ghostly story that will keep you surprised, and smiling.”

The Romance Readers Connection
Berkley Prime Crime titles by E. J. Copperman
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED
AN UNINVITED GHOST
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
 
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
 
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
 
AN UNINVITED GHOST
 
A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author
 
PRINTING HISTORY
Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / April 2011
 
Copyright © 2011 by Jeffrey Cohen.
 
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
 
eISBN : 978-1-101-47761-8
 
BERKLEY
®
PRIME CRIME
Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
BERKLEY
®
PRIME CRIME and the PRIME CRIME logo are trademarks of Penguin Group
(USA) Inc.
 
 
 

http:­/­/­us.­penguingroup.­com

To Eve, Josh and Copper. You figure it out.
AUTHOR’S NOTE
Writing books about ghosts, I have found, is a liberating experience. You can make up pretty much any rules you want that best serve the story. Some of those rules you may later regret, but they’re yours, and you have to live with them or figure out a plausible way to break them. I have no complaints.
I do, however, have a great deal of gratitude, because there’s no such thing as a one-person show in publishing. Yeah, the author starts from scratch and creates something, but it would be a pretty sorry something if it were left alone from that point.
So thank you, as ever, to Shannon Jamieson Vazquez, the invaluable, compassionate, constantly right editor of the Haunted Guesthouse and other series. And a special shout-out to Faith Black, who took on this book and about six trillion others in addition to her own work when Shannon had the temerity to give birth to an adorable son. I shudder to think what this book would have been like without both of you.
Also, thanks to Christina Hogrebe of the Jane Rotrosen Agency and Josh Getzler of Russell and Volkening, both of whom tirelessly championed my work throughout this process.
For helping me realize how to shout above the noise of the crowd, thanks to Lorraine Bartlett, Lorna Barrett, L.I. Bartlett (all of whom are a wonderful person), Leann Sweeney, Wendy Watson, MJ Maffini, anyone I’m forgetting at CozyPromo, the incandescent Rosemary Harris, Chris Grabenstein, Julia Spencer-Fleming, Kate Carlisle, Claudia Bishop, Juliet Blackwell and all the terrific authors I’m leaving out because I have an awful memory.
Special thanks to Linda Ellerbee for letting me use her real name. At ’em, Linda Jane!
But mostly, thanks to Jessica, Josh, Evie and the rest of my family, for not blinking once when I mention having to get back to the thousand words a day.
No cats were harmed in the writing or publication of this book.
Prologue
Five minutes into this ridiculous escapade, and already Scott McFarlane thought it was a bad idea. Waiting around in an almost completely empty room for someone he’d never met seemed a waste of time, but the second part, the thing for which he’d been “hired,” was considerably more idiotic.
He hadn’t been in this house before today and didn’t have his bearings, so it was probably a stroke of good luck that he wasn’t required to move around a lot. Still, he wasn’t comfortable without a strong sense of the geography of the place, and there was little he could do unaccompanied to improve that situation.
Not to mention that just standing around here was a bore.
Scott had limited his contact with people for a very long time; he was distrustful of most and had very few friends on whom he could still rely. His acceptance of this “job” today was a way to try to reconnect with humanity, in a typically backhanded and halfhearted fashion.
The idea that he was planning to do so by scaring the hell out of an old lady brought him only minimal amusement.
He had no way of telling what time it was; the sunlight coming through the windows to his right was insufficient to gauge. He didn’t even know in which direction the window was facing.
Scott had touched virtually every object left in the room, but there wasn’t much. The chair on which he was supposed to be discovered when the door opened was an ancient rocker, splintered in some places and unvarnished in others. There was a wooden mantel over a fireplace, but it was bare and cared for equally badly.
Maybe it would be better to simply forget the whole thing. The bargain he’d struck was at best questionable and at worst ridiculous. He’d be amazed if his contact could actually deliver on the payment they’d agreed upon, and the odd manner of communication was enough to scream “charlatan” about its user.
But if there really was a chance . . .
Too late to back out now, anyway. Scott heard the scrape of the front door—a huge one—in the entrance hall, the next room over. The sound lasted a long time, indicating the door was being opened slowly, like the creaky door that had opened during each episode of
Lights Out
on the radio in the nineteen forties. He remembered hearing that program back when he was in his own house. At first, it had sounded so real he’d been terrified, but after he’d gotten used to it, he’d realized how completely phony the acting and the dialogue had been. It had become laughable.
“Hello?” A woman’s voice, probably the old woman he’d been told about, called from the front hallway. “Is anyone here?”
“There’s no one here, Arlice,” another voice, lower (possibly male) and barely audible, answered. “Let’s go.”
Time to go to work
, Scott figured. He wasn’t interested in sitting on the rocker, so he walked to it and moved it, very slowly, back and forth. The resulting sound was ominous enough, and loud enough, to be heard in the next room.
BOOK: An Uninvited Ghost
10.53Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

To Kill a Sorcerer by Greg Mongrain
What a Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe
Enforcer by Hill, Travis
Rescue Me by Kathy Coopmans
Complicity in Heels by Matt Leatherwood Jr.
Ghost Light by Stevens, E. J.
If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan