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Don Of The Dead by Casey Daniels
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This book really reminded me of the Teagarden Mystery books by Charlaine Harris. Some sexual attraction, some humor, and some great characters. I got involved enought to read the rest of the series, there were enough unfinished things to keep me coming back. A fast read, I finished in one day... ( )
  TheYodamom | Jan 29, 2016 |
About: Pepper Martin, a down-on-her-luck-former-rich-girl, is stuck giving cemetery tours to pay her bills. After taking a spill and whacking her head on a tombstone, she's suddenly able to see Gus Scarpetti, a mob boss who got whacked decades earlier. Gus' spirit is not able to "move on" until he takes care of some unfinished earthly business, namely finding out who murdered him, and he wants Pepper to help. Pepper doesn't want to do it, however Mafia dons don't take no for an answer, even deceased ones.

Yays: The murder mystery was fantastic. Essentially it was a 30-year old cold case that Pepper had to crack, and Gus wasn't always forthcoming with helpful information. It wasn't easy putting all the pieces together, but Pepper managed to do it. I didn't figure out the culprit until the last few pages. I also loved the cemetery setting. For a taphophile like me, a cemetery tour guide would be a fascinating job.

Mehs: I'm sorry to say that I just didn't care for Pepper. She was great at solving the mystery, and her ghost-seeing ability was super cool, but other than that, she was kind of annoying. I lost count of the times she mentioned her large boobs and how men find them irresistible. *eye-roll* She came off as shallow and materialistic, which I'm sure ties in with the former-rich-girl thing. I'm hoping her personality goes through some changes in future books.

Conclusion: Though the main character could have been better, I loved the paranormal mystery in DON OF THE DEAD. Since I love ghost stories so much, I'd be willing to read the next book in the series and see if Pepper's character matures. 3½-stars! ( )
  bookofsecrets | Apr 7, 2013 |
Entertaining. I don't know that I would read more in the series, except that there are some unanswered questions. If I want to know what the answers are, I'll have to read on.... ( )
  booklovre6 | Mar 30, 2013 |
Entertaining. I don't know that I would read more in the series, except that there are some unanswered questions. If I want to know what the answers are, I'll have to read on.... ( )
  booklovre6 | Mar 30, 2013 |
Pepper Martin recently took up a job as cemetery tour guide when her previous jobs weren't cutting it. Things started out okay, there was no paperwork and it paid better than Starbucks, but quickly took a turn for the unusual when Pepper's heel gets stuck in uneven ground and sends her headfirst into the front steps of a famous mobster's mausoleum. Now she's seeing ghosts and one in particular wants her help with his unfinished business. Gus Scarpetti was murdered and the killer was never caught. It's now up to Pepper to uncover the murderer so that Scarpetti can move on and more importantly stop haunting her.

I really enjoyed the mystery aspect of Don of the Dead. I found it to be clever and full of twists and turns. Pepper turned out to be an intriguing 'detective' and I loved reading about all of her strategies to make progress in the mystery. I was surprised with how much of a page turner this book turned out to be. I was very involved with the case and trying to solve it as Pepper gave us new information. It was riddled with action and the problems Pepper had to overcome with a ghost no one else could see as her boss were fun to read about.

Before going any further into my review I want to say that the below ramblings are technically 'spoilers'. However, the examples used only come from the very beginning of the book, nothing you wouldn't find out within the first 30 minutes of reading.

Pepper was a little too materialistic and self centered for my tastes. She was all about clothes, purses and shoes and very descriptive and long winded whenever they came up in the book. She's also got a great chest and every guy ever has to stare at it, which annoys her but when Dan is more interested in her brain scans she gets bitchy and accuses him of being gay. Her boobs are just that great. What bothered me most about Pepper is her attitude towards Joel. Yeah, yeah, the ex-anything is always the scumbag but from what Pepper shares, I honestly felt worse for him. Pepper wants the country club wife lifestyle, doesn't want to work and wants a man who will buy her everything. She never says she loved Joel. Joel dumps her when her father goes to jail for medicare fraud. What does Pepper have to say about all of this? Well she found it unfair that he called off the fifty-thousand-dollar wedding she'd been planning that Joel was probably going to be paying for.

If you're able to withstand Pepper and turn her train wreck into humor, you'll find Don of the Dead to be a quick enjoyable read. If you aren't able to see Pepper's behavior and attitude as humor... well, you'll probably want to stop reading while you still can. There were times when I was able to chuckle and compare Pepper to Desperate Housewives or other shows in that vein, and actually enjoy her character. There were other times when all I wanted was for Pepper to take another nosedive into tombstone and die of hemorrhaging. I genuinely liked Pepper when she was solving the mystery. I liked how she went about things, her thoughts, etc. Pepper was a wonderful character when it counted and when interacting with Scarpetti. I was completely shocked when she actually got an emotional response from me when she was feeling humiliated and upset. Pepper is a very shallow appearing character and yet I feel that she has potential. I don't want to say Pepper grew up or matured throughout the book because I honestly don't think she did, but as she was distracted and got more involved with the mystery she was much less of the person I've described her being in the beginning.

See my blog for quotes and my thoughts as I read: http://www.bittenbooks.com/2011/08/review-don-of-dead-pepper-martin-1-by.html ( )
  asterravos | Aug 3, 2011 |
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For David, my cemetery stommpin' buddy. Here's to tomato soup and Cheez-Its!
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I have to admit, the first time Gus Scarpetti spoke to me, I didn't pay a whole lot of attention.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060821469, Mass Market Paperback)

She sees dead people

Beautiful, smart, and chic, Pepper Martin never had to work a day in her life -- until her surgeon daddy was convicted of fraud, her wealthy fiancé took a powder, and the family fortune ran bone dry.

Suddenly desperate, the inexperienced ex-rich girl was forced to take the only job she could get: as a tour guide in a cemetery. But a grave situation took a turn for the worse when a head-on collision with a headstone left her with an unwanted ability to communicate with the disgruntled deceased . . . and now Pepper has a whacked Mafia don demanding that she hunt down his killers -- and threatening to haunt her until she does.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:36 -0400)

A former rich girl whose life has fallen apart around her, Pepper Martin takes a job as a tour guide in a local cemetery, but a head-on collision with a gravestone has left her with the ability to communicate with the disgruntled deceased, including a nasty Mafia don who is threatening to haunt her forever unless she can track down his killers.… (more)

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