Aging, self-absorbed rock star Judas Coyne has a thing for the macabre — his collection includes sketches from infamous serial killer John Wayne Gacy, a trepanned skull from the 16th century, a used hangman’s noose, Aleister Crowley’s childhood chessboard, etc. — so when his assistant tells him about a ghost for sale on an online auction site, he immediately puts in a bid and purchases it.
The black, heart-shaped box that Coyne receives in the mail not only contains the suit of a dead man but also his vengeance-obsessed spirit. The ghost, it turns out, is the stepfather of a young groupie who committed suicide after the 54-year-old Coyne callously used her up and threw her away. Now, determined to kill Coyne and anyone who aids him, the merciless ghost of Craddock McDermott begins his assault on the rocker’s sanity.
This is the newest of the Aunt Dimity cozy mystery series. Lori Shepherd takes her twin sons and a friend, Bree Prym, to Skeaping Manor. It’s a museum full of curiosities. Lori meets a young girl named Daisy who tells some interesting stories. When Daisy and her mother disappear suddenly Lori is determined to find out why. As usual Aunt Dimity, who is a ghost, helps Lori solve the mystery. I never get tired of reading these books, they are a nice break from the usual murder mysteries.
Mark Spencer and his family live in the Allen House in Monticello, Arkansas. The Allen House is one of the most haunted houses in the United States. When the Spencers moved to Monticello they were fascinated by the Allen House, not because of the stories, but because of the house itself. It took years but they finally convinced the owner to sell it to them. Once they moved in they discovered that the ghost stories were real. The Allen House was inhabited by at least four Allen family members and several others who they are unable to identify. The Spencers allowed paranormal investigators into the house and were able to verify the existence of the ghosts. However, Mark Spencer also discovered a cache of letters belonging to Ladell Allen Bonner who killed herself in the master bedroom. These letters revealed the reasons behind her suicide.
I really enjoyed this book. Spencer does a great job in describing what happened to them in the house and what the paranormal investigators discovered. However, the real jewel is the cache of letters from Ladell. These were a true treasure and allowed Spencer to tell the tragic story of Ladell. It is a story of love and heartbreak and depression and suicide. I am glad the story didn’t rely on the few words the ghost hunters heard but on real background information about the family. Spencer did a fabulous job researching the Allen’s and the history of Allen House.