Gem of a Ghost by Sue Ann Jaffarian
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
*** Spoiler Alert *** This is the third book in the Ghost of Granny Apples Mysteries featuring Emma Whitecastle and Granny Apples (the ghost). While I enjoyed this book, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the previous books.
The story revolves around the ghost of a young woman who died in the late 1800’s and who did not have an easy life. Since her death, she has haunted a ring, with less than nice intentions. Emma is drawn to the mystery when the ring affects one of the friends of her daughter, Kelly. The mystery takes Emma to Pennsylvania, where the the ghosts of some of the Molly Maguires play a role, albeit a very small role.
This mystery didn’t quite live up to it’s potential and in some ways wasn’t resolved. In fact, the last half of the last chapter seemed to be out of order to me; it just seemed to throw off the flow of the book a bit.
In the previous books, we got to know the ghosts and their story a little more than here. This book introduces a new man, an archeologist, Quinn Keenan. It was almost like a romance competing with a mystery and both suffered from it. While I understand Emma not being sure about whether or not a permanent relationship with the first man she met after her marriage ended, I like Phil and felt like the potential romance with Quinn and Emma’s emotions around the whole thing leaned toward the drama queenish side. It took away a little from the mystery.
The mystery was good and the ending unexpected. However, it was only a partial ending as I hope we’ll know what the true end result of the last act of the ghost in the next book, though I doubt it. While I understand on some level why the end of the mystery was left a little hanging, I found it unsatisfying. I also found the Emma/Quinn ending unsatisfying. And, if I admit it, a little annoying. I read these books for the mystery, but I very much enjoy Emma and Phil’s relationship and I don’t really care to have soap opera elements thrown in. Though I do like Quinn, I hope this potential romance does not continue in future books. Because, yes, while I found this one a bit unsatisfying, I did enjoy the book and do plan to read the next one.
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