Hi there! Today I’m sharing another Halloween-themed read. It’s release day for HALLOW BE THE HAUNT, a ghost-hunting murder mystery novella from Heather Granham’s Krewe of Hunters series. I haven’t really followed the whole series, but it didn’t affect how I enjoyed this spooky little book.
About the book:Years ago, Jake Mallory fell in love all over again with Ashley Donegal–while he and the Krewe were investigating a murder that replicated a horrible Civil War death at her family’s Donegal Plantation.
Now, Ashley and Jake are back–planning for their wedding, which will take place the following month at Donegal Plantation, her beautiful old antebellum home.
But Halloween is approaching. And Ashley is haunted by a ghost warning her of deaths about to
come in the city of New Orleans, deaths caused by the same murderer who stole the life of the beautiful ghost haunting her dreams, night after night.
At first, Jake is afraid that returning home has simply awakened some of the fear of the past. But as Ashley’s nightmares continue, a body count begins to accrue in the city . . . .
And it’s suddenly a race to stop a killer before Hallow’s Eve comes to a crashing end, with dozens more life at stake, not to mention heart, soul, and life for Jake and Ashley themselves.
How about a little taste?
Donegal Plantation was beautiful. It echoed the glory and the agony of history. Now a museum, it was often used as a guesthouse as well. But for the month of October, no rooms were rented out. It was simply too crazy a time.
And, at the moment, Donegal Plantation was “haunted.”
Not just in reality. But also commercially, for the Halloween season.
An early 1800s hearse sat in the sweeping drive. The striking white pillars at the entrance were draped in black. Menacing witches on broomsticks were hung here and there along the antebellum porch—along with ghosts, goblins, and evilly grinning jack-o’-lanterns.
Driving up to the house, Ashley Donegal smiled—and let out a sigh at the same time. Donegal Plantation was her home. She loved it—fiercely. She was proud of the property. They had a re-enactment each year of the Civil War skirmish that had been fought here. And they laid it all out for the truth of what had been.
The good that had occurred.
And the bad.
Her grandfather, Frazier, was still alive. And, with the help of his employees Beth and Cliff, he kept Donegal plantation going with tours and events—such as Halloween.
So it was right and good that she was now on this trip to plan her wedding to Jake Mallory. It was here—years ago—her ancestor’s death had been proven to be a murder, not just an act of war. And it was here where they had solved the murders that had taken place then.
The murders that had brought her and Jake back together again.
She had been in love with Jake as long as she could remember. But it hadn’t been until her father’s death that Jake, a member of an elite unit of the FBI, had come back.
And they had been together ever since.
What had caused them to take so long to marry, she wasn’t sure. Probably because it hadn’t really mattered. They were together. But recently, they’d talked family. And in talking family…a wedding seemed the thing to do.
And if they were going to have a wedding, it was going to be at Donegal Plantation.
Jake Mallory and Ashley Donegal fell in love in high school, but grew in different directions. They reconnected in a different book, and this novella is the adventure that became of their wedding planning sessions.
Ashley grew up at Donegal Plantation, a preserved estate outside of New Orleans. She’d known there was ghosts there from her earliest memories, and Jake came out to help with a mystery a few years back–which is how they reconnected. Jake’s part of a paranormal-investigators corps within the FBI called Krewe of Hunters. On their first night back Ashley has a dream of a freshly-murdered woman, and Jake’s quickly put on the case, as an eye-witness says a trio of witches killed his friend.
Ashley’s antebellum home also runs a famous haunted house experience, and it seems like the killers might be tied to the crew of “scare actors” who are boiling and toiling in the haunted house.
I liked the misdirection here, and how Jake, Ashley and another Krewe member, Jackson, unravel the scope of the murders. It’s not simply coincidence that bad dudes all over the region are meeting untimely ends, and Ashley’s ability to chat with ghosts comes in handy, even though it upsets Jake to see her in harm’s way. There’s no loving in this book, so I assumed all the sexytimes happened in their reconnection novel. Also, there’s some fun character cameos from other Krewe novels, and a snippet of the highly anticipated wedding to draw an end of the love story for Jake and Ashley.
If you’re looking for a short spooky read with the flavor of Nawlins’ you’ll likely enjoy this one.
New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Heather Graham has always been an avid reader, from classics to sci-fi, mystery, horror, thriller, romance, and all kinds of non-fiction. She’s fairly certain that her mom’s deliciously crazy family–arriving in the US a bit before her birth from Ireland–gave her the love of storytelling. She started out in theater and commercials, but once her children began to arrive, she stayed home and gave writing a try. She’s incredibly grateful to be doing what she’s doing for a living. Heather belongs to MWA, RWA, Sisters in Crime, HWA, and ITW, and has the recipient of the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, a Silver Bullet for charitable works, and this year, she will receive the Thriller Master title from ITW. She has over 200 novels in print, and has been published in 22 languages.