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The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer by Krista Davis
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The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer

by Krista Davis, Cristina Ryplansky (Author's real name)

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809229,996 (3.7)2
Holly Miller doesn't believe in spirits, but the Sugar Maple Inn is filled with guests who do. The TV series in development, Apparition Apprehenders, has descended on Wagtail's annual Halloween festivities to investigate supernatural local legends, and Holly has her hands full showing the ghost hunters a scary-fun time. But the frights turn real when Holly's Jack Russell, Trixie, and kitten, Twinkletoes, find a young woman drowned in the Wagtail Springs Hotel's bathhouse-the spot of the town's most infamous haunting. The crime scene is eerily similar to the creepy legend, convincing Holly that the death wasn't just accidental. Now she'll have to race to catch a flesh-and-blood killer before someone else in town gives up the ghost.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
A super-fun and really cute cozy mystery. There's so much I enjoyed in this one--the ghost hunters that are filming a TV show; the lovely inn they're staying at that not only caters to humans but to pets, as well; lots of adorable cats and dogs; ghostly legends; lots of Halloween activities. And it's all set in the pet-friendly town of Wagtail, Virginia. A wonderful read for Halloween. ( )
  PaulaLT | Oct 27, 2017 |
Holly has settled in as part owner of her grandmother’s inn. Living in a town that is geared towards vacationers with cats and dogs is wonderful, but when a TV series doing a special about ghosts comes to town, a series of unfortunate events is set in motion. Holly has to separate the fake from the real to catch the murderer. This is the second installment in this series, and the second is even better than the first. The characters are likable, especially the four-footed variety, and the story is engrossing. Delightful entertainment. ( )
  Maydacat | Jun 4, 2017 |
The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer is book two of the Paws and Claws mystery series. I checked it out after reading book three, Murder Most Howl, and read it without waiting for Murder, She Barked to arrive through interlibrary loan. Book two begins the day after book one ends.

It's time for the annual Halloween fun in pet-doting Wagtail, Virginia. This year some ghost hunters will be investigating the old Wagtail Springs Hotel, long reputed to be haunted. The ghost hunters, called the Apparition Apprehenders, are hoping to get a television show if all goes well. Mr. Luciano, whom we met in book one, is their backer. He's included a diehard skeptic in the mix, Eva Chevalier. (Eva's Siamese cat is the 'Mrs. Mewer' in the title. As we learn in chapter one, she was named for 'The Ghost and Mrs. Muir' TV show, not the classic movie. Both are available on DVD if you've never seen them. I happily watched the show when it first aired and I've seen the movie several times.) Heroine Holly Miller is in Eva's camp, but there are plenty in town who are on the Apparition Apprehenders' side.

I've watched some ghost hunting shows on TV, so I enjoyed learning about some tricks that can be played. The history portion of episodes is by far my favorite part. I don't disbelieve in ghosts but I'm pretty skeptical about the shows. Is this book going to go classic 'Scooby-Doo' on us and have all hauntings turn out to be faked? Give us a scary adventure where the ghosts are real? Be like many non-series Elizabeth Peters mysteries where there will be plenty of faking, but also an indication there really is something supernatural around? I'm not telling.

This being Wagtail, Halloween is called 'Howloween' and Happy Hour is Yappy Hour. I enjoyed the description of the decorations, costumes, and the festivities.

If you remember meeting Mr. Wiggins, father of one of Holly's childhood friends, Clementine, in book one, this time we meet Clementine and her children, who are an important subplot. This old Judy Bolton fan had no trouble figuring out their mystery, but the killer and motive in the main mystery weren't so easy to guess. Interesting that Clementine's old toy dog is named 'Lassie,' because that's the name of Oma's stuffed Steiff dog, as we learned in chapter 25 of Murder, She Barked. (No Rin Tin Tin fans, I guess. That was another show I watched as a kid.)

Notes:

Chapter 1:

a. A character is compared to Harry Potter.

b. There's a Mark Twain quotation about cats in the Inn room called 'Pounce'. (Hey, there really are pet-resistant window screens. Good to know!)

Chapter 2:

a. Mark Belinski wrote Haunting Horrors of Wagtail.

b. A character is compared to a actor James Garner when he was young. (So I'm guessing we should think of the classic comedy Western "Maverick" instead of his later TV show, "The Rockford Files". They're both worth checking out.)

Chapter 3: Costumes include Miss Marple and Jessica Fletcher. There's also a 'The Godfather' mention.

Chapter 4 has a description of Aunt Birdie's decorations and the lady herself.

Chapter 7:

a. There's a one-story shingled house in Wagtail that is the home of Pampered Pet Portraits (paintings).

b. Some of the Howloween activities are mentioned.

Chapter 8: Look here for some background information about the Apparition Apprehenders.

Chapter 10:

a. There's a Christopher Lee mention. (He did appear in a lot of horror films before he was in the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, although his spectacular death scene in 'The Return of the King' was cut from the theatrical release. It is in the extended DVD version.)

b. We get part of the story about why the Wagtail Springs Hotel is haunted.

Chapter 11: contains the rest of the ghost story.

Chapter 12: We learn about Ron Koontz (named in honor of supernatural thriller author Dean Koontz?), and the mysterious ghost diamonds.

Chapter 19: Aunt Birdie's house has been in the family for four generations.

Chapter 20: Aunt Birdie is an appraiser of objets d'art, crystal, historical documents, jewelry, old books, and old gadgets. She writes magazine articles about them.

Chapter 21: The cemetery and its old chapel are described. Holly passes the graves of the Richardsons, Clodfelters, Pierces, and the Quinlans on her way to the Dupuy graves, which aren't that far from one of the back corners. (Don't be surprised by the location of Dr. Hiram Montacue and Obadiah Bagley's graves. Two murderers were buried way in the back by themselves in the Fort Huachuca [Wah-choo-kah] , Arizona cemetery, where my parents are buried.)

Chapter 26: Zelda's house is two blocks from the pedestrian zone, which is six blocks from Hair of the Dog Pub. Elm Street is two blocks from down from Zelda's house.

Chapter 29: There's an 'I Dream of Jeannie' costume. That's another show I watched when I was a kid.

Chapter 32: There's a Dorothy from 'The Wizard of Oz' costume (we know it's from the MGM movie and not the book because the shoes are red instead of silver). There's also a Jackie Kennedy costume.

Chapter 33: There's a Han Solo costume, as well as the Incredible Hulk, Batman and Robin, Star Trek (from which show is not specified), and Indiana Jones.

Recipes in this book: Apple Chunk Muffins, Chunky Cheesy Chicken (for dogs), Hair of the Dog's Zombie Brains, Mini Meatloaf Mummies, Pumpkin Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting, Pumpkin Pancakes with Chocolate Chips (omit chips if making for dogs), Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (Marshmallow Créme Filling for humans, plain cream cheese if making whoopie pies for dogs), Spider Eggs, and Voodoo Witch Doctor.

Cat lovers: We get regular Twinkletoes the calico kitten and guest Mrs. Mewer the Siamese.

Dog lovers: Besides the regulars Trixie the Jack Russell terrier and Gingersnap the golden retriever, guests include Caspar the Weimaraner, Gina the bulldog, GloryB the Yorkshire terrier, and Siggie the black Labrador.

Have another wonderful visit in charming Wagtail! Too bad the place isn't real. ( )
  JalenV | May 30, 2017 |
A pleasant, well-written cozy with likeable characters and a very solidly plotted murder mystery. The story takes place during Halloween, and a team of ghost-hunters is staying at the Sugar Maple Inn investigating the reports of hauntings in an old long-abandoned inn. When someone linked to the team is found dead outside the haunted inn, it's initially ruled accidental, but the police investigator believes otherwise and starts digging around.

If I had any qualms about whether this book was a 4-star read or not, I would still have rated it 4-stars for having an MC that passively investigates the mystery, rather than actively running around town acting like the gestapo, or accusing everyone of murder. Even when Holly goes out of her way to find answers, she does it with subtlety.

The whole fictional town of Wagtail sounds like a dream: the whole town is designed for the complete integration of cats and dogs. They are welcome everywhere and events are planned that will not only bring in tourists, but their furry family members as well. I don't think I've ever owned a cat that would welcome the opportunity to stay at an inn with me, or go to a restaurant with me, even if they'd have their own gourmet menu, but it's cool to imagine such a place and such a cat.

The mystery plotting was really well done - was it a murder? Everyone involved had an opportunity to do it and nobody had an alibi. There's a lot of misdirection, and a lot going on - whether or not it's all related or just muddying the waters adds to the complexity of the plot.

It's a cute series, but it isn't just relying on cute for appeal; the author gives the readers a bit of cozy depth too, and I'll definitely be looking for the next one.

TRIGGER WARNING: A couple of my book friends have mentioned they don't like stories that involve the use of Ouija boards. If you are one of those friends, skip this book. There are several scenes that are centered around their use. ( )
  murderbydeath | Nov 27, 2016 |
I knew I wanted to read this cozy mystery as soon as I read the back cover. It takes place in a town that is dedicated to people and their pets, where every restaurant has a pet-friendly version of their meals, and the hotel has rooms specially designed to make pets and their owners happy.

Then add in a ghost hunting team, a mysterious legend of a female spirit and a decades old murder mystery, and you've got a recipe for a fun read.

And this was a fun read. The protagonist, Holly, has just recently moved back to town after leaving her job in the city. She's come back to help her grandmother run the local inn, just in time for Halloween, a big deal in Wagtail. She stumbles onto a dead body, attends seances, and takes her dog and cat trick or treating, and it's all just lighthearted enough to be a great cozy winter read. ( )
  seasonsoflove | Jan 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Krista Davisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ryplansky, CristinaAuthor's real namemain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate.

-- Sigmund Freud
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To Buttercup, Queenie, and Little Miss Sunshine.
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'There is no such thing as a ghost.'
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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