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Authors: E.J. Copperman

Inspector Specter

BOOK: Inspector Specter
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Praise for the National Bestselling Haunted Guesthouse Mysteries

The Thrill of the Haunt

“Copperman, as per usual, blends comedy and drama and weaves a clever plot . . . [A] perfect cozy mystery read. I can't say enough about this series, except to say if you haven't picked one up by now, you are missing a sensational read.”

Night Owl Reviews
(top pick)

“Copperman brings . . . characters to life, even in a series featuring ghosts . . . Intriguing.”

Lesa's Book Critiques

“Charms readers . . . with fast and witty dialogue and characters who can be as exasperating as they are endearing . . . The toll Hurricane Sandy placed upon the Shore is always in the background as the plot takes so many clever twists and turns that the reader will never see the ending coming. When combined with the author's trademark humor and keen writing, readers will be wishing that the novel and the series never end.”

Kings River Life Magazine

“I was shocked as it all came together so perfectly in the end . . . Highly recommended.”

Jenn's Bookshelves

“An absorbing story of the normal, abnormal and paranormal, laced with humor and charm.”

Stuff and Nonsense

“I may or may not have actually gasped out loud. Several times. It was all dramatic.”

The Rekindled Reader

Chance of a Ghost

“Alison has a wry sense of humor and is written so well it is easy to imagine her as your sardonic sister or friend . . . With an outstanding cast of characters, a well-plotted mystery and some sentimental reunions, this is a standout series.”

The Mystery Reader

“An enjoyable escape for any reader wanting to laugh and sympathize with a woman who succeeds by working with unreliable ghosts.”

Lesa's Book Critiques

“I love the concept of this series. Ghosts helping the living solve crime . . . The characters, both of this world and the world beyond, are realistic, smart, and quirky. You won't want to miss this ghostly cozy mystery, full of enough wit, charm, and supernatural hijinks to keep you turning the pages well past midnight.”


Old Haunts

“Wisecracking though level-headed, Alison is the kind of person we'd all like to know, if not be . . . Great fun with a tinge of salt air.”

The Mystery Reader

“An entertaining and spellbinding tale in which the ghosts come across as real, as each brings melancholy and humor.”

The Mystery Gazette

“Copperman's Alison Kerby is my kind of protagonist. She's realistic and knows her weaknesses . . . Best of all, she has a dry sense of humor . . . Leave your disbelief behind. Pretend you believe in ghosts. You'll certainly believe in Alison Kerby as a perfect amateur sleuth.”

Lesa's Book Critiques

“I knew
Old Haunts
was gold before I finished reading the first page.”

Fresh Fiction

Old Haunts
is like an old friend (or your snuggy blanket)—dependable, solid and just what you need it to be.”

Night Owl Reviews

An Uninvited Ghost

“A triumph . . . The humor is delightful . . . If you like ghost stories mixed with your mystery, try this Jersey Shore mystery.”

Lesa's Book Critiques

“Funny and charming, with a mystery which has a satisfying resolution, and an engaging protagonist who is not easily daunted . . . Highly recommended.”

Spinetingler Magazine

“There are several series out now featuring protagonists who can interact with ghosts. Some are good, but this one is the best I've read. Alison's spectral companions are reminiscent of Topper's buddies: funny and stubborn and helpful when they want to be . . . I look forward to Alison's next spooky adventure.”

Over My Dead Body!

“E. J. Copperman is certainly wonderful at weaving a great mystery. From the very get-go, readers are in for a treat that will leave them guessing until the final chapter . . . Alison Kerby is a wonderful character . . . If you love a great mystery like I do, I highly recommend getting this book.”

Once Upon a Romance

Night of the Living Deed

“Witty, charming, and magical.”

The Mystery Gazette

“A fast-paced, enjoyable mystery with a wise-cracking, but no-nonsense, sensible heroine . . . Readers can expect good fun from start to finish.”

The Mystery Reader

Berkley Prime Crime titles by E. J. Copperman











Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) LLC

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014

USA • Canada • UK • Ireland • Australia • New Zealand • India • South Africa • China

A Penguin Random House Company


A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author

Copyright © 2014 by Jeffrey Cohen.

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group.

BERKLEY® PRIME CRIME and the PRIME CRIME logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) LLC,

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

eBook ISBN: 978-1-101-63465-3


Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / December 2014

Cover illustration by Dominick Finelle/The July Group.

Cover photos:
Flock of Birds
© AlexusssK/Shutterstock;
Painted Backyard
© iStockphoto/Thinkstock.

Cover design by Judith Lagerman.

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.


For Sid Caesar, Harpo Marx, Harold Ramis, Zero Mostel, Larry Gelbart, Chuck Jones, and Robin Williams. There aren't enough funny people in the world.


I fear I'll sound like a broken record pouring out thanks to some familiar names, except nobody listens to records anymore and sounding like a broken MP3 file just doesn't have the same pizzazz.

Still, it would be wrong for me to let you think that the book you're holding in your hand—on either paper or pixel—is my work alone. It's not. I get the original idea and try to make it come out perfectly, and thankfully there is a team of people to let me know just how far off the mark I have wandered. And to them many, many thanks are due. If they are thanks you've read before, well, thank
for reading acknowledgments.

For inspiration, I refer back to the Topper films and TV series, which apparently had more of an impact on me when I was six than I would have guessed. But if you're going to write about ghosts and you're not that interested in scaring the pants off people, there is no better place to look.

The Haunted Guesthouse Mysteries would not exist but for two people who liked and believed in it: Thanks to Christina Hogrebe of the Jane Rotrosen Agency for bringing me first to the incomparable Shannon Jamieson Vazquez. Shannon, this is our ninth (!) book together—who could have seen
coming when we met for coffee in 2005? Thanks for your good taste, your unerring sense of logic and your undying confidence in me. It means more than you can know.

A special belated thanks to Stacy Edwards, the production editor on almost all the Haunted Guesthouse books, whom I should have acknowledged five books ago. Sorry and thanks, Stacy!

Of course thank you to Josh Getzler, Danielle Burby and all at HSG Agency. It gives an author confidence—something we don't generally produce independently—to have such an accomplished and dedicated team backing up the work. Thanks for all your hours trying in vain to convince me I'm a good writer.

Don't ever think the author is responsible for the cover of the book in your hands. Authors by nature are word people—images, thankfully, are in the hands of those like Dominick Finelle, who did the illustration, and Judith Lagerman, who created the cover design. They are as responsible for the look of this series as I am for the words.

A huge debt of gratitude to every reader of the Haunted Guesthouse Mysteries. You have taken these characters to your hearts and welcomed them into your minds. There is nothing that makes an author more proud than the reader who wants more as soon as the current book is finished. Believe me, I'm working on it.

And as ever, thanks to Jessica, Josh and Eve, who give me three reasons to get out of bed in the morning.


Praise for the Haunted Guesthouse Mysteries

Berkley Prime Crime titles by E. J. Copperman

Title Page




Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one

Chapter Twenty-two

Chapter Twenty-three

Chapter Twenty-four

Chapter Twenty-five

Chapter Twenty-six

BOOK: Inspector Specter
12.95Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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