What a terrific start to a new series by Carolyn Hart! I really could not put this book down. Bailey Ruth is a gem, and it is fun to watch her antics as she tries to fulfill her first mission from the "Department of Good Intentions." Can't wait to read the next one.
First Line: Incandescent dashes of pink and gold spangled the fluffy white clouds that arched over the entrance to the Department of Good Intentions.
Bailey Ruth Raeburn and her husband, Bobby Mac, were killed in a boating accident many years ago. Bailey Ruth wants to lend a helping hand and makes an appointment with Wiggins, the man in charge of the Department of Good Intentions, which is renowned for helping those on earth who are in dire need of aid. Before Wiggins can explain all the rules and regs of her position as emissary (what you and I would call a ghost), Bailey Ruth finds herself whisked off to a house in Adelaide, Oklahoma, where the pastor's wife has just found a dead body on her porch a few days before Halloween. Bailey Ruth has to discover the identity of the killer before the pastor's wife is hauled off to jail.
This is the first book by Carolyn Hart that I've read, and I thought she added an interesting twist to the cozy mystery genre by having a ghost as the sleuth. As befits someone who's written as many books as she, Hart is quite workmanlike at delineating her characters, setting the scene, moving the plot along, and planting red herrings.
But somewhere along the line, the entire book began to lose air like a wrecked souffle. It was fun to see Bailey Ruth become acquainted with SUVs, cell phones, and computers, and for a woman known to speak and act without thinking, she naturally broke almost all of Wiggins' rules by the end of her first evening in Adelaide. But some things just didn't add up. Her lack of a corporeal body is emphasized, but why does she need to eat and sleep? Bailey Ruth keeps mentioning Bobby Mac, but we never hear a peep out of him, or see him for that matter. Are there divorces in Heaven? And why did I keep picturing Tom Bosley as Wiggins?
All in all, I'd have to say that Ghost at Work is average. Your mileage may definitely vary!
I have to confess, I've never read any of Carolyn Hart's other cozies. However, I really liked this "cozy" with a twist. Definitely something different and an easy read.
First of all, teenaged girls in 2008 dont use the word swell or even swellest, which isnt even a word, even if they are a PK (Pastors Kid).
The dearly departed Bailey Ruth Raeburn has been asked to join the Department of Good Intentions, her role, to return to earth in spirit form, being called a ghost is against regulations, and help out those in need. Sounds easy, that is if there werent all those silly little precepts about when you can appear in human form and who you can scare the be-gee-bees out of.
Bailey pops in just in time to see the body of the towns bad guy Daryl Murdock sprawled dead on the back porch of the rectory and the PW (Pastors Wife) trying to figure out what to do it.
What ensues is a very good who done it with a cast of characters that all look guilty from afar, that is until Baily goes around Wiggins (her heavenly supervisor) wishes and starts to investigate the facts.
Great start to a new series.
A disappointment. A fan of Carolyn Hart (particularly the Henry O series), I looked forward to it, but it just never caught me. I missed the sharpness of her other series - this book was more like marshmallows. One thing that particularly annoyed - and distracted me - was trying to fix this book in time. I kept trying to figure out how long Bailey Ruth had been dead and how old she and her children were at that time. Maybe this will be brought out in future books, but I won't be there to read them.