Too Big to Die by Sue Ann Jaffarian

Too Big to Die by Sue Ann Jaffarian

Who would leave their dog locked in a car during 90 degree weather during the summer in California? Rich and famous ex reality star, Marla Kingston would. Does she even care about her poor canine? No, why should she when her husband, Kelton Kingston, is rich and famous and does whatever he wants. So of course she feels she can do whatever she likes too even if that means locking a dog in a car. But Odelia Grey and her husband Greg Stevens love dogs and when they saw the poor pooch in the steaming car barking and trying to get out Greg could do only one thing, break the car’s window and save the animal.

Marla was not happy when she saw what happened to her car and since there was a crowd of people videotaping the whole thing she was even angrier and humiliated. When she told her husband, Kelton, about the event he went out of his way to make things miserable for Odelia and Greg.

Kelton discovered that Odelia worked for the law firm, Templin & Tobin, that represents him and demanded that Odelia be fired from her job. Since Kingston is a huge client the law firm put Odelia on leave, with pay, until they decided what to do about the situation.

But things started to get crazy.  A man who was helping Greg break Kingston’s car window was murdered. A few days later when the man decided to talk to Greg about something he was shot and killed in front of Greg’s store. Then other people around the peripheral circle of the Kingstons had some odd things happening to them. Since Odelia believes that there’s no such thing as a coincidence she and Greg start to do some investigating on their own and discover that Odelia might have a bigger problem on her hands than just losing her job.

It’s a good thing so many people have their phones ready to videotape everything that happens during the day and with the help of a video blogger Odelia finds out what’s really going on with the Kingstons.

“Too Big to Die” is the latest in Sue Ann Jaffarian’s Odelia Grey mystery series. Yes, I’ve read all of the books. Odelia is a plus sized woman of a certain age who is not afraid to eat when she’s hungry. I like that in a woman. She’s also smart, well loved, and has a positive look on life.

All the mysteries in this series are fast paced and have intelligent plot lines. But I have to say this book is the best one in the series. Odelia goes through lots of different things, both good and bad, and fans will be rooting for her.

Author Sue Ann Jaffarian writes a few different series and yes, I’ve read them too. In fact, a true fan will notice characters from one series making guest appearances in another series. I kind of like that.

The author is a wonderful writer with a great imagination and her books will please all murder/mystery lovers. The murders aren’t dark and gruesome so no need to try to cover your eyes expecting to see the worst. Her books are funny, witty, and written with a good sense of humor.

Do yourself a favor and pick up any book in any of this author’s series and prepare to have a good time.

To read more reviews of books by this author please see Sue Anne’s page on my blog.
too big to die


Dummy of a Ghost (A Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery #4.5) by Sue Ann Jaffarian

Dummy of a Ghost (A Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery #4.5) by Sue Ann Jaffarian

Kelly Whitecastle has a different type of gift, she can see and speak to dead people and the spirits seek her out when they need help.

Chris May is one of Kelly’s old friends. While she went to college he became a fairly good ventriloquist. His two most popular dummies are Shirley and Doug. Chris had the dummies made to look like his dead grandparents, Shirley and Doug Pearson.

While at a mutual friend’s party where Chris was entertaining with Shirley Kelly noticed a glint in Shirley’s eyes. Since most dummy’s eyes are made of wood and don’t tend to glint Kelly realized that the dummy was haunted. When she was finally able to get some alone time with the dummy Shirley appeared and said that she and her dead husband, Doug, was afraid that someone was out to hurt Chris, their grandson.

Chris owns a company with his boyfriend, Edgar. Edgar made the dummies and was slowly becoming the person who ventriloquists sought out so they could order custom-made ones.

Where there’s one ghost there’s sure to be another in the form of Ish Reynolds, Kelly’s great, great, great, great grandmother. Ish is better known as Granny Apples, Granny for short. Granny and Kelly decide to get Kelly’s mom, Emma Whitecastle, involved. Emma has been seeing, hearing, and helping lost spirits for quite a while and is much better at discovering what the ghosts need.

When Kelly and Emma go to visit Chris at his home they discovered him in the back yard laying on the ground. He said he fell and hit his head but neither Kelly nor Emma believed that. When Edgar comes home he said that “Snoop Dog” who is really, Sylvia Doxson, their elderly nosy neighbor who lives across the street, told him that an ambulance was at his house. Edgar wanted Chris to go to the hospital but Chris refused. Kelly and Emma are suspicious when they see a look that the two men gave each other.

Mother and daughter then visit “Snoop Dog”, whoops, I mean Miss Doxson. The woman said that someone has been breaking into Edgar and Chris’ home and that she thinks there has been a murder there too but no one believes her, not even the police.

Everyone, ghosts and live people alike, think that Edgar and Chris are hiding something and in order to protect them everyone plans to help Emma and Kelly investigate.

“Dummy of a Ghost” by Sue Ann Jaffarian is a novella in the Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery Series. It’s a short fun read that includes all the usual characters from the longer novels. Even Phil, Emma’s boyfriend is involved.

The book is only about 100 pages and can easily be read in a few hours or less. This series is violence free and a harmless read.

I enjoy all of Ms. Jaffarian’s books and series and always waiting for the next novel she’ll release.

Read my other reviews of Sue Ann’s books on her page on my blog.

Ghost of a Gamble (A Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery #4) by Sue Ann Jaffarian

Ghost of a Gamble (A Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery #4) by Sue Ann Jaffarian

Medium and ghost whisperer, Emma Whitecastle, is in Las Vegas but not for fun, entertainment, or gambling. Her friend and mentor, Milo Ravenscroft, is there to give a speech about being a medium. His mother, Dolly Meskiel who lives in Las Vegas and, in her youth, was a showgirl, tells Milo that she thinks one of her light bulbs is haunted by a spirit. She calls it Lenny the Light Bulb. Since Dolly makes Milo very nervous and doesn’t believe he can communicate with the dead she asks him to bring in Emma to find out why the ghost is haunting her light bulb.

Emma discovers that Lenny Speidel, a Las Vegas gangster from the 60’s and Dolly’s old flame, is the ghost. Back in the early 60’s Lenny and his boss, Nemo Morehouse, stole a million dollars from one of the casinos. Lenny grabbed the money and hid it. Nemo’s “boy’s” were told to find out from Lenny where the money was hidden but they ended up killing him instead.

Dolly visited Nemo in the nursing home the same day Emma meets her. Nemo dies that same day and the police wonder if Dolly killed him since she was the last person to see him alive. Then Dolly goes missing. She was kidnapped by men who want to know where the money from the 50 year-old robbery was hidden. But the only person who knows the answer to that is Lenny and he’s not ready to tell.

Nemo, now a ghost, appears to Emma and tells her that if she doesn’t find out from Lenny where the money is he will make sure Dolly is killed by the men who kidnapped her. He wants Emma to be the medium between him and the kidnappers so when Lenny tells Emma she can relate where the hidden money is located. Of course Emma refuses so Nemo has to find another medium to do the job.

Now Emma, her ghostly great, great great, grandmother, Ish Reynolds, better known as Granny Apples, Granny for short, and a whole slew of others, living and dead, have to find out where the stolen money is, save Dolly from the kidnappers, and get Nemo is go to the other side and rest in peace. This is not going to be easy.

“Ghost of a Gamble” by Sue Ann Jaffarian is the fourth in A Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery Series. All the usual characters are here helping Emma solve murder cases, talking to spirits, and trying to persuade others to believe that Emma can really see and speak to the dead.

This installment is as much fun as the previous books including the shorter novella’s about Granny’s adventures without Emma. The plot line is interesting and intriguing and far from boring. Try any of the books and you’ll find yourself hooked.
Read my other reviews of Sue Ann’s books on her page on my blog.

The Ghost of Mistletoe Mary (A Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery #5.5) by Sue Ann Jaffarian

The Ghost of Mistletoe Mary (A Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery #5.5) by Sue Ann Jaffarian

Life isn’t perfect in sunny California just ask ex detective and now private investigator, Jeremiah Jones. Years earlier when he came back from the army he was homeless and lived on the streets of LA but was lucky enough to get a job with the police department. Now as a retired cop he does his best to help others who are in the same terrible living situation as he once was.

Dwayne Burkett, known on Skid Row as Bucket, is elderly and he’s totally out of it because of alcohol and his horrible life. The only thing that seems to keep him calm is his little dog who is very old and looks like he will die very soon.

Lately Bucket seems to be more out of it than usual. He says that the ghost of another street person, Mistletoe Mary, is dead and her ghost is haunting him saying that she was murdered. No one believes Bucket and just assumes that he’s has been drinking way too much. But Jeremiah Jones does believe that something odd is going on and a ghost just might be involved.

Jeremiah has a unique talent. He can see and speak to ghosts like his friend, Emma Whitecastle. The two met on a previous case where a ghost was haunting a restaurant and they soon became friends. Jeremiah has also had the pleasure of meeting Emma’s great, great, great, grandmother, Ish Reynolds, also known as Granny Apples, Granny for short. Granny has been haunting and helping Emma, who also dabbles in investigating murders, for years.

Jeremiah isn’t sure if Mistletoe Mary is really dead and starts asking other people who live on the street if they’ve seen Mary recently. No one has and now Jeremiah does believe that someone has killed her and that her ghost is indeed asking Bucket to help her. But why would Mary go to Bucket and not someone who isn’t a little out of his head? Jeremiah doesn’t know but he wants to find out what’s going on and to also help Mary rest in peace. With the help of Granny Apples, and a few other friends, Jeremiah starts investigating the murder.

“The Ghost of Mistletoe Mary” by Sue Ann Jaffarian is a novella based on her amusing Granny Apples Series. It’s wonderful to see Granny leave her great, great, great, granddaughter, Emma, every once in awhile to help other people who can see and hear her. Granny loves solving murders especially the stakeouts.  

There are a few Granny Apples novellas and they’re all as interesting and as much fun as the longer Emma Whitecastle series. They’re short and can easily be finished in one day if you need something good to read before your next 300 page novel. Give one of them a try when you have a free few hours in your busy life.

Read my other reviews of Sue Ann’s books on her page on my blog.

The Silent Ghost (A Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery #3.5) by Sue Ann Jaffarian

The Silent Ghost (A Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery #3.5) by Sue Ann Jaffarian

Kelly Whitecastle has a special talent, she can see and speak to the dead. Sounds like an old movie, right? But Kelly can really do it and it isn’t surprising. Her mom, Emma Whitecastle, can also see and speak to the dead and Emma’s mother has that talent too. It must be a family trait.

One day when Kelly was in her local coffee shop, Tanisha Costello, a reporter, approaches her and says that she needs Kelly’s help. Tanisha had seen Kelly before and saw a spirit, or something like it, hovering around Kelly. The spirit is Kelly’s great, great, great, great, (lots of greats) grandmother who everyone calls Granny Apples, Granny for short. Tanisha is somewhat able to see or sense ghosts but not the way Kelly can.

Kelly learns that Tanisha believes that a ghost is haunting her apartment and for some reason is making Tanisha feel sick. Granny explains that ghosts can’t physically harm the living but if the ghost is depressed the living person they’re haunting becomes depressed also. The ghost can get into the living person’s mind as a way of letting people know what is going on with the ghost.

At first Kelly didn’t want anything to do with Tanisha and the spirit haunting her but Granny persuaded, well, more like demanded, that Kelly help the young reporter out.

Tanisha and Kelly soon become friends and they discover that the ghost haunting Tanisha is a young woman who was murdered. Now all Kelly, Tanisha, and Granny have to do is to figure out who the ghost is, why she was murdered, and why is she haunting Tanisha. Not so hard, right?

I’m a huge fan of Sue Ann Jaffarian and especially love her Odelia Grey Mystery series but I enjoy her Granny Apples books too. Granny Apples is a feisty ghost who enjoys television and football. Of course she discovered all of this well after she died when she started hanging around with Kelly’s mom Emma and the rest of the family.

Granny also likes helping Emma and now Kelly, solve murders and, let’s face it, having a ghost who can check up on things on the “other side” is only a plus when solving a murder mystery.

The Silent Ghost” is a short novella, maybe 100 pages. I easily got through it in a little over an hour. It was funny and held my interest. Kelly has been a mainstay in the Granny Apples Series and it’s kind of nice to see how she’s doing living alone while going to college, 3,000 miles away from her mom and home state of California. And now that her mom is teaching her how to deal with the ghosts might make some good backstories and more novellas for the series. Granny mostly hangs out with mom Emma but she does take a side trip to Kelly to make sure the girl is doing okay.

I’d like to see more of Kelly’s adventures and hope that Ms. Jaffarian brings Tanisha in as semi regular.

Nothing to be afraid of here, guys, all the ghosts we meet are friendly enough, sort of, and you won’t be kept up at night wondering if Granny, or your great, great, great, great, (whatever) grandmother is haunting you.

Any of Ms. Jaffarian’s two series are cute cozy-like books, that will surely entertain you.

Read my other reviews of Sue Ann’s books on her page on my blog.