VICTORIA LAURIE – What’s A Ghoul To Do? “A Ghost Hunter Mystery.”

Signet, paperback original, April 2007.


   Victoria Laurie is described in the inner back-cover copy as a “real-life psychic,” author of the Psychic Eye series that features Abby Cooper. She’s apparently branching out with a new series in which medium M. J. Holliday and her sidekick Gilley Gillespie help souls stuck on this “side” cross over.

   This is psychic lite as M. J. and Gilley (who functions as her manager, and has a notable aversion to spooky manifestations) attempt to help the grandfather of Dr. Steven Sable cross over, a job that’s more difficult than they expect and involves some real-life characters with larceny on their mind and no objection to murder.

   And, to complicate matters, M. J. has to break one of her prime rules, which is that nobody accompanies her on her ghost-busting for a very attractive doctor, grandson of the dead – and possibly murdered – ghost.

   The psychic lite elements pretty much drain the novel of any suspense, but the characters are appealing, and there’s enough ghostly business to keep a ghost fancier like me reasonably entertained.

VICTORIA LAURIE – A Vision of Murder “A Psychic Eye Mystery.”

Signet, paperback original, December 2005.


   I was looking for another M. J. Holliday Ghost Hunter mystery, but all I found on the shelf at the Mystery Lovers Bookshop was the third in an earlier series whose protagonist is Abby Cooper. Abby’s a professional psychic who’s taking some time off from her psychic readings to enter into a real-estate venture with her sister (“Cat”) and handyman (“Dave”) that involves fixing-up a very run down house.

   (I liked this hook since my wife and I entered into a similar agreement some years ago with a handyman to a house in our neighborhood that was up for a sheriff’s sale.)

   Unfortunately, the house seems to have two very active spooks, and a mysterious intruder whose intentions are just as threatening as those of the resident haunts, and a good deal more deadly.

   These two books constitute a pleasant addition to my meager supply of contemporary conventional supernatural fiction (somewhat overloaded, I’ve concluded, with vampire novels). I like the author’s carefree but committed approach to the dark side and hope to visit her spectral world again.

      Psychic Eye Mysteries:

1. Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye (Signet, December 2004)
2. Better Read Than Dead (Signet, June 2005)
3. A Vision of Murder (Signet, December 2005)
4. Killer Insight (Signet, September 2006)
5. Crime Seen (Obsidian, September 2007).     [Reviewed earlier by Steve here.]
6. Death Perception (Obsidian, September 2008)

      Ghost Hunter Mysteries:

1. What’s a Ghoul to Do? (Signet, April 2007)
2. Demons Are a Ghoul’s Best Friend (Signet, March 2008)