The House of Memory (Pluto’s Snitch #2) by Carolyn Haines

The House of Memory (Pluto’s Snitch #2) by Carolyn Haines

Raissa James is a very progressive woman living in the deep south during the early 1900’s. She can’t wait for women to finally get the vote, she smokes a little, drinks a little, knows how to drive a car, is a writer whose first story will shortly be published in the Saturday Evening Post, and she sees dead people. In fact, she owns a private investigation firm, Pluto’s Snitch, where she and her partner in investigations, Reginald Proctor, help people figure out why they’re being haunted.

Raissa’s reputation is so well known that Zelda Fitzgerald, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s new wife, has asked Raissa to look into a problem that her friend, Camilla, is having.

Camilla is due to marry, David, the love her life. But twice when David and Camilla were alone Camilla turned violent and tried to kill David.

Camilla’s mother has sent her to Bryce Hospital asylum  and wants Camilla to have a lobotomy so she will be a docile wife for David. Zelda knows that her friend would never hurt anyone, especially David, and believes there’s a lot more that’s going on than meets the eye.

Raissa and Reginald travel to Montgomery, Alabama and discovers that for some reason Camilla turns violent because of the new house she will be living in once she and David marry. Now all Raissa and Reginald have to do is figure out what evil lurks in the house and why Camilla is being haunted by it. They also have to somehow keep themselves alive since someone is trying to murder them.

“The House of Memory” by Carolyn Haines is the second in the Pluto’s Snitch mystery series and it’s terrific. I thoroughly enjoyed the first Pluto’s Snitch novel, “The Book of Beloved” and if possible “The House of Memory” is better.

There’s a lot of evil beings, both dead and alive, lurking throughout the pages, not to mention a plot line that involves the people living in Montgomery and the surrounding area. The ghostly portions are intertwined beautifully with the reasons why Camilla, and other young women in the asylum, have to be silenced.

Ms. Haines definitely knows her history and all of the books in her different series are filled with historic events that make the stories very believable.

I’m a huge fan of Carolyn Haines and have read so many of her novels that I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count them all. She’s a talented writer that knows how to get her readers so fully immersed in her tales that you don’t want to put the book down.

Plan on meeting Raissa, Reginald, Camilla, Zelda, and actress Tallulah Bankhead who is also featured in “The House of Memory.” It is a little chilling at times because of the evil house and the evil people at the mental institution so keep the lights on as you read but do not miss this new installment of this ghostly series.

To see other reviews of Carolyn’s books go to Carolyn’s section in my blog.

house of memory

Guru Bones (A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery) by Carolyn Haines

Guru Bones (A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery) by Carolyn Haines

Zinnia, Mississippi private investigator, Sarah Booth Delaney, is not thrilled when her friends coerce her into going to a spa and a lecture by health guru, Priya Karsan. Sarah Booth likes her sugar, salt, and all things not healthy so this was the last place she wanted to be. But off she unhappily goes to The Club where the event will take place.

When she and her friend, Cece Dee Falcon who is the society editor for the Zinnia Dispatch, get there they see The Club manager, Jasper Pew, running outside asking anyone to call the police because someone was killed in the kitchen. Sarah Booth runs in and sees a woman hanging upside down with some kind of chemical on her and she’s told that the dead woman is the food guru herself, Priya Karsan.

Priya has been lecturing about the dangers of some foods and campaigning against the herbicide NoRoots that has put Gyndrex Chemical Corporation in the red. Could this chemical corporation be so angry that they would have her killed? It’s possible because Cyrus Angler, a farmer and opposer of Gyndrex, had a crop duster crash into his pumpkin field that very same day. The plane was spraying a herbicide made by Gyndrex. Since food crops weren’t treated aerially Sarah Booth find the crash to be very suspicious.  

Cyrus asks Sarah Booth and her partner in the Delaney Detective Agency, Tinkie Bellcase Richmond, to investigate what happened in his field. There’s nothing that Sarah Booth and Tinkie like more is to investigate, get into trouble, and with the help of their pets solve every murder. So off they all go ready to get to the bottom of these events.

There’s also a nice little twist towards the end that was very interesting and great for for the story.

“Guru Bones” by Carolyn Haines is a 72 page novella and is just as wonderful as the previous 15 plus books she’s written in this series. Yes, I’m proud to say that I’ve read every one of them. Sarah Booth and Tinkie are just as wild and crazy as they’ve always been and their pet dogs and cat are right there by their side making sure the humans don’t do something silly like having the bad guys murder them.

I do want to mention something about author Carolyn Haines. She’s very interested in history and all her books all have some historical background in them. Usually the readers learn the history by the ghost, Jitty, who haunts Sarah Booth. Jitty appears as as historical figures to Sarah Booth thus helping her to figure things out.

Ms. Haines is also a true animal lover which is why, I suspect, all the pets in the Sarah Booth books are almost like super heroes. The animals don’t have any special powers and the things they do to help is just what other pets would do out of love but with a touch more. I like these little guys.

You’ll enjoy “Guru Bones” if you’re a fan of the Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery Series already and if you haven’t started the series yet  I strongly suggest you do so as soon as possible.

To see other reviews of Carolyn’s books go to Carolyn’s section in my blog.

 

Bones and Arrows (Sarah Booth Delaney #16.5) by Carolyn Haines

Bones and Arrows (Sarah Booth Delaney #16.5) by Carolyn Haines

Another Valentine’s Day has arrived and Sarah Booth Delaney still isn’t married. Heck, she doesn’t even have a boyfriend but she does have a few men interested in her and she’s okay with that. Who isn’t okay with her lack of a man is her best friend Tinkie Bellcase Richmond and Sarah Booth’s live in haint, Jitty.

Tinkie is hosting a big Valentine’s Day Party and the featured attraction is going to be a stud-like Cupid who’ll be shooting arrows of love into everyone, especially into Sarah Booth. Sarah Booth doesn’t want to hang around but she can never say no to Tinkie so she agrees to at least see Cupid. But when Cupid appears he’s not the stud Tinkie had advertised. This Cupid is short and hairy, think Louis Mustillo who played Vince on the television show “Mike and Molly” wearing a diaper.

But this hairy Cupid is filled with magic. Not only are his arrows of love working but he has somehow magically stolen jewelry from the guests and expensive items from Tinkie’s home. Hey, this is no Cupid but a crook! And where is the hunky Cupid? Tinkie paid $900 for him to show up in a diaper and he’s nowhere in sight. It’s a good thing Sarah Booth did stay for the party after all.

Sarah and Tinkie are partners in the Sarah Booth Delaney Detective Agency and they are good at their job and always finds the bad guy even if they and their friends might get injured while they investigate.

It didn’t take long for Sarah Booth to find hunky Cupid. He was bopped over the head and left unconscious outside in the cold Mississippi winter with nothing on but his diaper. But who hurt hunky Cupid? Since little hairy Cupid is no where to be found Sarah figures that hairy Cupid knows a lot about the injured Cupid and where all the stolen items are. I told you Sarah Booth was smart.

So off she goes to find hairy Cupid, the stolen jewelry, and find why Tinkie’s party was ruined.

“Bones and Arrows” is book number 16.5 in author Carolyn Haines’ terrific Sarah Booth Delaney Series. This is a novella and takes maybe an hour to read. It starts off where book 16 ends and it’s a good thing Ms. Haines wrote it because book 17, “Guru Bones” won’t be coming out for a couple of months and I needed my Sarah Booth fix. (“Guru Bones” can be pre-ordered which is exactly what I did a few weeks ago.)

Sarah Booth and Tinkie are great characters. I always compare them to Lucy and Ethel. They’re funny, witty, brave, capable of doing anything, and have their many flaws. They’re far from perfect which makes them very relatable to all women.

I’ve read all 16 books in this series including the few novellas. The stories are well thought out, filled with loads of Southern history, and has some pretty mean reoccurring bad guys. These books are not “fluff” novels, you can’t skim through them, not that you’d even want to.

There isn’t enough good things I can say about Carolyn and the Sarah Booth Book series. But don’t believe me. As of this posting “Bones and Arrows” is free to everyone. Just click on this link to find out how you can download it onto your phone, Kindle, tablet, or even read it on your computer. It would be best to start the series with book one but this novella is a good introduction to Sarah Booth and her friends without spoiling the earlier installments.

If you never read any of Carolyn’s books I urge you to download this one and then check out her newest series, “The Book of Beloved.” Ms. Haines is running a contest this month, February, 2017, where the winner will get a copy of it.

I’m a real fan of Carolyn Haines and all her novels and hope all book lovers will read the Sarah Booth Delaney Series.

To see other reviews of Carolyn’s books go to Carolyn’s section in my blog.

 

 

 

The Book of Beloved (A Pluto’s Snitch Mystery) By Carolyn Haines

The Book of Beloved (A Pluto’s Snitch Mystery) By Carolyn Haines

It’s June 1920 and America has gone through some major changes and is on the brink of many more. The Civil War ended 60 years ago and on December 6, 1865, with the ratification of the 13th Amendment, slavery officially ended in this country. Women were now on the brink of being allowed to vote.

Two years earlier in 1918, World War I ended leaving many women without husbands. One of these women was 24 year old Raissa James, a school teacher living in Savannah, Georgia. Her husband, Alex, was killed in the Great War in 1918 and she’s been trying to get over the grief his death caused her. Her only living relative, her Uncle Brett Airlie living in Mobile, Alabama worries about Raissa and has invited her to spend some time with him during the summer.

Raissa hops on a train and soon meets Robert Aultman who is on his way to Mobile for a meeting about his shipping business. Coincidentally, his meeting is with Raissa’s uncle Brett who designs steam engines for paddle-wheelers. The two are thrilled to learn that Brett has also invited Robert to the big party he’s throwing for Raissa.

Uncle Brett’s huge home is named Caoin House which in Gaelic means lament or grieve. When Raissa once again sees the 64-room Antebellum house on its 7,000 surrounding acres she has no idea how apropos the house’s name is.

Raissa tells her uncle and some friends that she’s very interested in ghosts and the occult and would like to eventually become an author of ghost stories. To her amazement her uncle and friends are very supportive of her plans. Mobile, Alabama still feels that women are not strong enough to deal with the little details of life let alone become a writer of ghost stories. And even though slavery has be abolished, Mobile still treats black men and women as if they are second class citizens. It’s not a very progressive city.

Raissa learns a little about all the tragedies that have surrounded Caoin House. Many people have suspiciously died throughout the years and these souls are haunting Brett’s home. Brett has seen a female ghost and Raissa has seen a male ghost and there are other spirits as well, some who are very angry and dangerous. But neither Brett nor his niece are completely sure who is haunting the home or why but Raissa is determined to find out the truth about the history of the house and why the dead souls can’t rest in peace even if the process harms her, her uncle, and the friends she loves.

“The Book of Beloved” by Carolyn Haines is one of the best books I’ve read in quite a while. From the very first page I was pulled into Raissa’s life, her beliefs, and her dreams. Ms. Haines beautifully explains what life was like in the south during 1920. Women had little if any rights and were ignored by men except to be their wives. If they asked any question they were threatened that their husbands would be told. That is if the women were acknowledged at all.

Blacks, unlike women, had the right to vote but were still treated as if they were slaves. Life was not easy back then and the author makes sure that readers understand that. It’s obvious that Ms. Haines does a ton of research for her stories which adds a wonderful tone of authenticity.

Ms. Haines weaves a complex tale of Raissa’s life in 1920 and the lives of those who lived in Caoin House when it was first built by Eli Whitehead for his wife Eva before the Civil War. All these lives, past and present, intertwine with each other.

And then there is the ghost story part to the tale. We aren’t talking Dean Koontz gruesome or even Stephen King’s horror. I think it more like Henry James’ “The Turn of the Screw.” “The Book of Beloved” is frightening at times but not the kind of fright that will keep you up at night. It’s that kind of fear that compels you read as fast as you can to discover what is going to happen next.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Carolyn Haines will turn this into a new series. Raissa is definitely a character I need to read more about and join her in other ghostly adventures.

Not enough can be said about this prolific author. She’s won many awards that proves her talent. Give any of her books a try especially the Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery Series. But make sure to pick up a copy of “The Book of the Beloved” for a wonderful story about history, ghosts, the south, and love. It’s the perfect book to read any time of the year.

To see other reviews of Carolyn’s books go to Carolyn’s section in my blog.