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Tomb with a View by Casey Daniels

Tomb with a View

by Casey Daniels

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This is the 6th in Pepper Martin Mysteries. The main character is red-head Pepper Martin, cemetery tour guide and ghost whisperer who is a daughter of a prominent surgeon father, and a society mother. It is set is modern day Cleveland Ohio's Garden View Cemetery.

Pepper is teamed up with the most obnoxious volunteer at the cemetery to put a President Garfield Commemoration together. Pepper whines a lot about having to work with spiteful and mean Marjorie Klinker. Marjorie constantly drones on about how she is related to James A. Garfield, twentieth President, via an affair and resulting illegitimate offspring. Marjorie makes it clear to Pepper that she will be her "go-fer" in the commemoration efforts and starts piling it on Pepper. So when Pepper gets a voice-mail first thing in the morning from Marjorie, she takes her time getting over to the memorial. When she does arrive she finds Marjorie having taken a dive off the upper balcony onto the floor below at the foot of the Garfield statue. The police determine there was a struggle and Marjorie was sent flying over the balcony.

Usually Pepper is approached by the dead to help them with something unfinished. But Pepper is surprised that Marjorie isn't the ghost coming to her, but rather the ghost of President Garfield who stays in the memorial carrying on the presidential work that was cut short by a stalker turned shooter. Garfield wants the ruckus to stop so he can work! So why does Pepper dig into who killed Marjorie? Because she just broke up with her police boyfriend, Quinn who couldn't accept that she sees and talks to dead people. Quinn makes it very clear that she is meddlesome, so she is determined to solve Marjorie's murder before him. Pepper also has a stalker since the previous book where she was in a reality show, Cemetery Survivor, about restoring a near-by cemetery. The stalker is getting closer and she now has a face associated with her fears.

I had not read any of the Pepper Martin series before and it is easy to pick up the background information. Pepper is used to living the high life until her dad went to jail for insurance fraud, so she is struggling to make a living as the only paid guide at the cemetery. Imagine Paris Hilton having to get a real job and actually work and you have Pepper's situation down. Pepper will appeal to some but not all readers. She is young, brash, and a bit superficial - although she is working on that. The stand-out character in this book is President Garfield himself. I felt as though the 1880's social moors were brought to life not to mention Garfield's commanding personality in this one character. Well done! The "ex" is sufficiently portrayed as negative in attitude towards Pepper, which spurs her on. There is an FBI agent that might have potential in future books that surfaces.

This is a fast and easy read with a sufficient plot to carry the reader through. The plot actually has several threads going but they all wrap up well. The Garfield memorial provides a good setting within the cemetery itself and Pepper's investigating is on par for a cozy. The big reveal of the murderer had just enough suspense and the wrap-up of the stalker sub plot was perhaps the best scene in the book.

If you are looking for a light and easy spooky read (similar to Kate Collins' Flower Shop Mysteries) this may be just what you are looking for.

To read the complete review please go here:
http://mysterysuspence.blogspot.com/2010/10/review-tomb-with-view.html ( )
  AFHeart | Oct 21, 2010 |
Pepper is not happy. For one thing, she is manless since she broke up with Quinn, her policeman beau. And now she has been assigned to work on the Garfield, as in President Garfield, commemoration with the most annoying volunteer the cemetery has, Marjorie Klinker. But when Marjorie turns up murdered in the Garfield memorial, Pepper knows she must solve the mystery. And this time she is getting presidental help.

I love this series. Pepper is lots of fun and the mysteries are pretty good. I do recommend reading them in series. ( )
  TheLibraryhag | Aug 14, 2010 |
I have long been a fan of Casey Daniel's Pepper Martin series. The books are always worth reading and I am happy to say this newest installment "Tomb With A View" is my favorite so far. Honestly, I haven't enjoyed one as much since the first book "Don of the Dead" or "Tombs of Endearment", book #3. Pepper is one of the most likeable female characters in any series I read. She is fashionable, but not so over the top that all we hear about is Gucci or Prada. She is tenderhearted and sassy at the same time. And the girl sure can snark with the best of them. She wants to do the right thing even when she really doesn't like what that means in certain situations. Here, one of the most annoying volunteers at the cemetary is found murdered in President Garfield's tomb. Marjorie Klinker wasn't justa a know it all volunteer but also a huge collector of all things Garfield (the President, not the cat, points out Pepper in the book) but she also claims to be a decendent of Garfield from an affair he once had. Of course, Pepper can't resist investigating especially when she has help from the President himself. The stronger and more fun the ghosts in each book are, then stronger the particular installment. James A Garfield is one of the best ghostly characters to date. He is a stuffy old president who has a great backstory to tell, both historically accurate one and 'fictionalized for fabulousness' version created by Ms. Daniels. I wanted to immediately wiki him and learn more about the short-lived president after I finished reading the book. I like that Pepper has relationships and I really ejoy the fact that they are never bigger than the plot and the sex, when there is sex, is understated. This particular mystery had several reveals and a couple I guessed correctly at but it never lessened the fun. I can't wait to read the next book "A Hard Day's Fright" coming in April. I always forget how much pure fun this series is until a new one is released. ( )
  pacey1927 | Jul 16, 2010 |
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"With the help of the ghost of James A. Garfield, cemetery tour guide and reluctant medium Pepper Martin decides to show up her detective ex-boyfriend by solving the murder of Marjorie Klinker, an obnoxious volunteer who took an assisted header over the balcony in the Garfield memorial." -- NoveList.… (more)

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