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Ghost In Trouble
Ghost In Trouble by Carolyn Hart
by Carolyn Hart

Ghost emissary Bailey Ruth Raeburn has a new mission.  Sent from Heaven's Department of Good Intentions, Bailey Ruth can help in situations others cannot.  Problem is Bailey Ruth has a knack for getting into trouble despite her good intentions, and this case promises to be nothing but trouble!  Sent to help Kay Clark, Kay does not want her help.  To make matters worse, the person she is sent to save turns out to be her enemy.  When a huge vase almost falls on top of Kay, the fatal fall of Jack Hume seems less and less an accident.  Posing as Kay's assistant Francie de Sales, Bailey Ruth must somehow solve the mystery behind Jack's death.  Can she solve the mystery, protect Kay and not get in trouble with Wiggins, her supervisor?

In GHOST IN TROUBLE, the third book in the Bailey Ruth series, Carolyn Hart combines a wonderfully unique sleuth with a great well-plotted mystery full of suspects and clues.  Bailey Ruth is impulsive, good-natured and downright effervescent.  As she struggles to follow the precepts of the Department of Good Intentions, inevitably, she breaks others.  Written in the first person, Bailey Ruth's commentary on the action of the story adds much humor. 

In GHOST IN TROUBLE, Wiggins plays more of a minor role than in the first Bailey Ruth mystery, GHOST AT WORK.  While this is perfectly understandable since the first mystery must introduce him and the dynamics of Bailey Ruth's new environment in Heaven, the mystery loses some of the wonderful humor that emerges from the relationship between Wiggins and Bailey Ruth.  A large part of the charm and fun of this series originates from the unique character of Bailey Ruth.  She is one of the key elements that distinguish this series from the countless other cozy mysteries.  For that reason, I would encourage the author not to lessen the focus on her character and character interactions as the series progresses.  GHOST IN TROUBLE seems to focus more on the mystery as comared to the series debut.  As mystery, GHOST IN TROUBLE creates an intriguing puzzle but Bailey Ruth herself is less prominent. 

Although GHOST IN TROUBLE can be read as a stand alone for the mystery, I would encourage newcomers to the series start with the first book, GHOST AT WORK, purely for the introduction to Bailey Ruth's character.  The author's ability to handle the difference in the environment and characters of GHOST IN TROUBLE, different than that in the previous books, demonstrates that this series has great potential for more cases.  Bailey Ruth is wonderful! Her unique way of solving crimes combines humor, goodness and a unique approach to crime-solving.

Publisher: William Morrow (October 12, 2010)
Previous Bailey Ruth books in the series: Ghost at Work and Merry, Merry Ghost

Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
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