MRS. MORRIS AND THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST by Traci Wilton
The Third Salem B&B Mystery
It's Christmastime in Salem and B&B owner Charlene Morris is trying to keep spirits bright, a difficult task when her mother is in town. Attending a charity auction at a local restaurant should be a festive occasion, but when the lucky lottery winning owner hands out checks to certain guests, not everyone is happy. Charlene hears him call out two names before he rushes out into the street and is promptly struck down in a hit and run. The driver must have known he hit someone, yet didn't stop. Could the accident actually be murder? As Charlene provides her guests with a wonderful holiday visit she'll also deal with her critical mother, a dashing ghost, and a handsome detective who'd rather she not get involved in another suspicious death. She'll also find time to see which of the many people who had a beef with the not so lucky restaurateur could have actually killed him.
While nobody was visited by three spirits in order to change their ways, ghosts of the past played an integral part of the third Salem B&B Mystery, ghosts both literal and figurative. A man haunted by past actions, Charlene haunted by the love of her dead husband and the ghost of the charming doctor who lives in her home, and other characters haunted by their own pasts. Perfect fare for Christmas and the ending of a year.
I love Charlene's dad! Charlene and her mom have a difficult relationship, but I love how it's dealt with when she comes to visit. The highs and the lows are all shown, as well as the love deep down, despite their comments and behavior. Charlene's dad is the soothing balm they both need! Charlene's love life is an interesting muddle. Her continuing love for her dead husband, her friendship and attraction to a ghost, and her growing interest in a very live male make for some complex emotions. This book, however, has Charlene growing as well as investigating!
Current societal issues are smoothly integrated into the mystery, which was intriguing with lots of good suspects, many with bad behavior! The scene at the memorial was priceless.
MRS. MORRIS AND THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST is a delightful holiday mystery that shows how the past influences the present.