Mar 23, 2015

ARC Review--A Ghostly Grave by Tonya Kappes

There's a ghost on the loose--and a fox in the henhouse

Four years ago, the Eternal Slumber Funeral Home put Chicken Teater in the ground. Now undertaker Emma Lee Raines is digging him back up. The whole scene is bad for business, especially with her granny running for mayor and a big festival setting up in town. But ever since Emma Lee started seeing ghosts, Chicken's been pestering her to figure out who killed him.

With her handsome boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, busy getting new forensics on the old corpse, Emma Lee has time to look into her first suspect. Chicken's widow may be a former Miss Kentucky, but the love of his life was another beauty queen: Lady Cluckington, his prize-winning hen. Was Mrs. Teater the jealous type? Chicken seems to think so. Something's definitely rotten in Sleepy Hollow--and Emma Lee just prays it's not her luck.

I received this ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review, I was in no way compensated for this review.

Emma's adventures in helping murdered victims solve their mystery continue in the Tonya Kappes' A Ghostly Grave. This time she helps the ghost of a man named Chicken--yes, Chicken--and was the first ghost she actually say after her accident. Chicken claims he was murdered and he thinks his wife did it.

Chicken was quite the character too! Not only is his name a laugh riot, but he was a pretty funny guy. I don't know what his real name was, just that it Colonel C. Teater and everyone called him Chicken! His prized "possession" or pride and joy, was his prize winning chicken Lady Cluckington. There are actual chicken competitions and Lady C. won them quite a lot!

Emma dives into the case once again at the ghost's behest. And starts to get closer and closer to the murderer before she even realizes it! Her beau, Sheriff Jack is there too, but not necessarily side by side. In fact, the two only had a handful of moments together, more than one date was canceled. I can't really tell if they're supposed to be a couple or not anymore, despite it having been a few months since the events of the first book. Which is odd, since Chicken popped up at the end asking for help.

Chicken actually died four years ago, but somehow Emma convinces Jack to look into the matter by digging up the body and performing the autopsy. 

I don't know why exactly, but I couldn't really get into this one, just like with the first. There are redeeming qualities. Emma is a sassy little funeral home director and her playing crazy with "funeral trauma" when talking to ghosts in public is pretty comical, but yet, I always find myself a little detached from the story. It's still a decent read. I like the mystery elements and the added ghostly encounter. Perhaps, I was expecting more "ghostly business" from this series then from what I've seen so far.

And I feel like yet again, another issue gets left unresolved. There was a break-in at Emma and her sister's funeral home and after reflecting on it...I don't think there was ever a who-dun-it to it. I mean, I think I can say it was our murderer, but I don't think there was a why to it.

Overall, it was another so-so kind of read. There's nothing horrendous to the story, but again, there's nothing fantastic to it either. I always feel left with a few more questions at the end of these, this time I have a few more that have nothing to do with the murder itself, but other characters and what was going on with them. It's still a fun little mystery with the added touch of paranormal to it!

Overall Rating 3/5 stars

A Ghostly Grave releases March 31, 2015



  1. Loved the first one but found Emma a bit so so. The other characters were more likable, her character development is what I look forward to here. We'll see...

  2. I understand, my rating isn't that far from yours. I liked it, it was a nice story and a fun one in fact but it could have been more. It's the same wiht book 2. It's nice. I have book 3 so we'll see.


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