Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great characters and story
Cons: One sub-plot I didn't like
The Bottom Line:
Solid characters, story
Make it a winner
Gem of a Read
My one paranormal mystery series is Sue Ann Jaffarian’s Ghost of Granny Apples series. The books follow Emma Whitecastle, a modern day woman who discovers she can see and hear ghosts when her great-great-great grandmother starts appearing to her. Together, the two women try to help bring peace to those spirits who need it to help those still alive who are being affected by the ghosts. Gem of a Ghost is the third in the series, and it’s the best yet.
Emma is surprised to get a lunch invitation from Joanna Reid. The two had never been close and hadn’t spoken since her husband died a few years before. Joanna is convinced that her late husband, Max, is haunting her and wants Emma to make him go away.
A few hours later, Emma learns that Joanna’s daughter Lainey is in a mental health facility after three attempts to commit suicide. Lainey and Emma’s own daughter are good friends, so Emma pays the young woman a visit. After the talk, Emma thinks that a ghost might be involved in Lainey’s attempts on her own life. But is it Max or someone else? Can Emma figure out the cause in time to keep Lainey safe?
Let’s get the negative out of the way first. Emma makes a decision in her personal life I didn’t like. Or should I say lack of a decision. I’m definitely interested in seeing just how this plays out in future books.
With that said, I loved this book. The characters, both living and dead, are real and interesting. Emma and Granny make a fun pair, and I can’t help but laugh at some of their interactions. The book is filled with new characters who are just as real and compelling as those we’ve met in the previous books. And I couldn’t help but root for them, even when a couple of them did some pretty stupid things.
The plot works on two side by side tracks. There’s the modern story as well as the historical foundation for it that Emma uncovers. Both of those are compelling, although I found myself more drawn to the modern story for most of the book. Yet it was the historic mystery that packed the bigger punch in the end. Either way, there was so much going on I always had a hard time putting the book down.
Whether or not paranormal mysteries are your normal book of choice, give this series a chance. I’m glad I did. I can’t wait to see what comes next for the characters now that I’ve finished Gem of a Ghost.
You'll definitely want to read the Ghost of the Ghost of Granny Apples Mysteries in order.