by Carolyn Hart
October 6th 2009
HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition 336 pages
Bailey Ruth Raeburn has always been great at solving mysteries. Why should a little thing like her death change anything? In fact, being dead gives her more of an opportunity to be on top of events. Bailey Ruth is delighted that her unique position as a ghost makes it possible for her to lend a helping hand, sometimes seen and sometimes not. And if anybody needs a little help, it's Kathleen, the pastor's wife. There's a dead man on her porch, and once the body is discovered, the pastor is sure to become a suspect.
Uncharitable people might call it meddling, but Bailey Ruth knows Kathleen needs her help! As a member of Heaven's Department of Good Intentions, Bailey Ruth goes back to earth to extricate Kathleen from a dire situation. If Bailey Ruth has to bend a few rules to help Kathleen save her family, Wiggins, her fussbudget supervisor, will make sure it all turns out right in the end.
This story is about a heavenly resident named Bailey Ruth who wants to join the "Department of Good Intentions" and travel back to Earth to help people in trouble. She and her supervisor review her qualifications for the position and this sets up a series of potential problems for Bailey's success or failure in her maiden voyage back on earth. Such attributes as Inquisitive, Impulsive, Daring, Forthright, Rash may or may not make for a model employee when there are many rules to try and adhere.
The first couple chapters had me scratching my head wondering if the author was trying to get in as many "word of the day" terms as possible. Such as: deprecating, rueful, impecunious, admonitory, rectitude, precepts and stentorian. I'm thinking to myself, "is this Shakespeare or a fun little ghost story for the average person?" Not that I don't like expanding my literary muscles but I found myself thinking too much of the text and not as much about the story. But in truth, it lasted only the first few chapters and then took on a very smooth feel and I was enchanted and lost in the character of Bailey Ruth, Emissary (ghost) extraordinaire! Side note: don't be bothered by little details of her ghostly abilities of eating, sleeping, ability to move objects, and materializing, for perhaps this heavenly ghost is just blessed with more than the average abilities!
I haven't looked but am hoping there is a series of books dealing with Bailey and her missions on earth. I am now a big fan of Ms. Hart and look forward to see what other jewels she has out there just waiting for me to pick up and read!
I give this 4 "not of the earth" sheep
About the Author:
Carolyn Hart is the author of 56 novels. Her most recent titles are GHOST TO THE RESCUE and DON’T GO HOME. HIGH STAKES, a long ago but never before published suspense novel, will be released in November.
Hart is a native of Oklahoma City, a Phi Beta Kappa journalism graduate of the University of Oklahoma, and a former president of Sisters in Crime. She is also a member of Authors Guild, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, the International Crime Writers Association, the International Thrillers Association, and the American Crime Writers League. She taught professional writing in the University of Oklahoma School of Journalism from 1982-85. She is the author of 49 mysteries, winner of three Agatha Awards for Best Novel, two Anthonys and two Macavitys.