Supernatural Born Killers
Publisher: Penguin Group
Release Date: Sept 4, 2012
Retail Price: 7.99
Former cemetery tour guide and reluctant medium Pepper Martin is thrilled when she gets her job back—with a promotion. But her new position is turning out to be more than she can handle, especially with the dead clamoring for her attention…
As Garden View Cemetery’s new community relations manager, Pepper is feeling overwhelmed with planning the annual party to attract new sponsors. Luckily, some of the cemetery’s permanent residents have volunteered to give Pepper a ghostly hand, and she’s not about to turn away the help. But when a murdered ghost starts leaving puddles everywhere, Pepper quickly finds her newly acquired free time occupied.
The dead man is her ex-boyfriend Quinn’s former partner Jack Haggarty—and he isn’t going away until Pepper figures out the real reason behind his murder. And while Quinn recently had a brush with the afterlife, he still isn’t ready to accept Pepper’s abilities—or offer his skills as a detective. Now, Pepper has to convince Quinn she’s the real deal and investigate Jack’s death—before someone else meets their end in a watery grave...
Series: A Pepper Martin Mystery
For fans of: Victoria Laurie, E.J. Copperman
Pepper Martin has been able to communicate with the dead ever since she struck her head on the corner of a mausoleum in Cleveland’s Garden View cemetery. This was a problem when Pepper was employed as the cemetery’s tour guide (hard to concentrate on entertaining the living with so many ghosts vying for your attention and demanding your assistance), but it’s even more vexing now that Pepper’s been promoted to community relations manager; her new job takes up a lot more of her time, but Garden View’s resident spirits haven’t gotten any less needy.
Pepper’s personal life has gotten more complicated, as well. Her on-again/off-again boyfriend, homicide detective Quinn Harrison, has never believed in Pepper’s abilities, but a recent brush with death has forced him even further into denial, and his temporary reassignment to a desk job is making him damn near impossible to deal with.
Then, however, Pepper encounters the ghost of a recently murdered man – a cop named Jack Haggarty who, as it turns out, used to be Quinn’s partner, and who has ties to a case Quinn was investigating before he got benched. Is it possible Pepper can kill three birds with one stone – help Jack to cross over, solve Quinn’s case and get him reinstated, and convince the man she loves that she really can talk to the dead – or will her ambition simply lead to failure on all fronts?
Supernatural Born Killers is the ninth of Casey Daniels’ Pepper Martin Mysteries, and it’s a riotously good read. One of the things I love most about Daniels’ books is that they’re incredibly well written, but they don’t take themselves too seriously. If you like your kills and thrills seasoned with a splash of supernatural and a healthy dose of silly, then this series is for you. Supernatural Born Killers is a joy to read from cover to cover. The prose is witty and stylish; Daniels’ descriptions are lush and vivid; her dialogue is sharp, snappy, and rings 100% true; and her narrative style is engaging, breezy, and fun, which makes reading this book not unlike spending several days in the company of a good friend.
Pepper is a fabulously snarky protagonist. Stubborn, selfish, and fashion-obsessed, she’s far from a perfect human being – but she means well, and her flaws merely add to her charm. Quinn’s great, too; he has fantastic chemistry with Pepper, but he’s also a compelling character in his own right, and he displays a surprising amount of depth in this story. He’s surly, but he’s not afraid to show a little tenderness when the situation warrants, and though he’s always seen things in black and white, his love for Pepper is helping him to realize the world may also contain the occasional hint of gray. I love where Daniels appears to be taking their relationship, and I can’t wait to see what transpires in installments to come.
The plot and mystery both are beautifully conceived, expertly crafted, and skillfully executed. I love that Daniels uses Pepper’s ghostly encounters to achieve different things in different situations – everything from chills to poignancy to humor – and her human interactions add some nice nuance to the story, as well. I do think the story strays a little too far into comedic caper territory when her parents appear on the scene (sorry – I can’t really expound upon this without ruining some key plot-points), but other than that slight misstep, Daniels has constructed a really well balanced and intriguing tale that’s sure to hold your attention straight though to the final page.
Reviewed by Kat N.
Your ReviewYou must register before posting a comment.
Click to login
There are no comments to displayYou must register before posting a comment.
Click to login