This post is topical but just a bit late for the season of Hallowe’en, Day of the Dead, All Souls Day, or whichever tradition you celebrate at the end of October/start of November: three novels featuring murder mysteries including, respectively, a ghost, a skeleton, and an entity killing Seers in an alternate-Asian realm.
The ghost appeared in “Seeing the Light” a debut novel by Edmonton author Eileen Bell, Marie Jenner is a young woman trying for a normal life despite her stalker ex, her sick mother, and an inherited, apparently incurable tendency to see, and hear, ghosts. On landing a job at a skeevy import-export business, she promptly meets the ghost of the building maintenance man. Farley is convinced he was murdered despite evidence to the contrary, and wants her to prove it. As well, he’s lonely, and just likes to talk to someone who can hear him. Juggling his demands and her human boss’s gets her into embarrassing moments with the hot new maintenance man, whose reciprocal interest in her may not be quite on the level. Then things get really hot. Literally. “Seeing the Light” is published by Tyche Books. Come to the Calgary launch on November 7th at Owls Nest Books in Britannia Plaza, 50th Ave and Elbow Drive SW.
The skeleton clattered into my Kindle via Leigh Perry’s “A Skeleton in the Family.” Sid, the skeleton, followed young Georgia Thackery home decades ago, and has lived in her parents’ attic ever since, with no memory of his life before meeting Georgia. He spends his days watching movies, surfing the web, and dodging the dog who lusts after his femur. When Georgia and her teen daughter smuggle Sid to the local comic convention in disguise, he sees someone he recognizes, but isn’t sure why. Investigating the connection to his former life pushes Georgia into the worlds of academic politicking and cutthroat reporting. Or is that cutthroat academia? Whichever it is, somebody’s disturbed enough to start poking back, dangerously for Georgia, her daughter, and her friends. “A Skeleton in the Family” is published by Berkley Prime Crime.
“To Journey in the Year of the Tiger” is an alternate-Asian fantasy novel by H. L. Dickson. Someone, or some thing, is systematically killing off the Empress’s Council, seven Seers who live high in the mountains. The Empress sends the captain of her personal guard, a lion named Kirrin, to investigate, along with his scapegrace young brother and two tigresses, one an alchemist and the other a scholar. Their journey into the mountains is beset by unseasonal weather, bandits, and other obstacles, and they arrive too late to prevent yet another death. Was it poison? Was it magic? Unravelling the mysterious manner of the killings, and making connections with the remaining Seer’s dark visions, puts the whole party at peril from within and without.