Title: What a Ghoul Wants – A Ghost Hunter Mystery Author: Victoria Laurie Publisher: Signet (December 24, 2012) Format: Paperback; Pgs 352 Genre: Paranormal Cozy Series: Ghost Hunter Mystery #7 Source: Amazon purchase
You have to appreciate the evolution that this series has undertaken. From the farcical first books that were more Scooby-do than mystery to book number six (Ghoul Interrupted) where there was a decided turn in the feel and tone of the books to the latest installment – that still has a few elements of previous absurdity but is much more enjoyable.
Once you get past the fact that Gilley has things that weird him out to the mutual understanding that oversized sweatshirts packed with magnets will ward off angry spirits, you settle down into an enjoyable paranormal involving the Grim Widow of Kidwella Castle in northern Wales.
The Ghouls Getters TV show has been invited to check out the haunted goings on at the castle, but when strange encounters begin on their very first night, the team must reanalyze if the near death of one of their own is worth it.
The Grim Widow is a nasty entity, she has been blamed for endless drownings in the moat, but the team must decide if she is the only one responsible for the bodies that are beginning to pile up. As the body count rises, the team wants to high tail it out of there, but contractual obligations hold them there until there is enough film footage or the widow and her demonic cohort is finally entombed.
As the story concludes, there is an interesting twist as to what a spirit will do to protect the living, that chains are only in your mind, and that love endures no matter the amount of time. I loved that final twist and the sacrifice that was made.
I still have no idea how to classify these books, they are not the heavy paranormal type nor are they a lightweight cozy, they are somewhere in between. As I have said, the reader has to be patient with the beginning of this series and not give up too soon - the characters are a work in progress and Ms. Laurie is slowly bringing the nonsensical into the realm of entertainingly absurd.