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Ghostly Southern Mystery Books In Order

Publication Order of Ghostly Southern Mystery Books

A Ghostly Undertaking (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Ghostly Grave (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Ghostly Demise (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Ghostly Murder (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Ghostly Reunion (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Ghostly Mortality (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The Ghostly Southern Mystery is a series of novels by Tonya Kappes, the USA Today bestselling mystery writer. While a popular author with over 40 titles under her name, the Ghostly Southern Mystery series of novels is one of her most popular works yet. A Ghostly Undertaking, a fan favorite and first novel in the series and was published in 2013. Due to the popularity of the series, the author went on to write five more titles with the sixth in the series, A Ghostly Mortality, coming out in February 2017. The novels are about Emmy Lee Raines, a funeral home owner in the small town of Sleepy Hollow in rural Kentucky. After a freak accident in which a falling plastic Santa Claus hit her on the head, the protagonist has developed the paranormal ability to speak with dead people. Given her ability to speak with the dead, she often finds herself the only person with the ability to solve local murder mysteries that have baffled the police and everyone else in the small town. Over the course of the series, Lee Raines has to deal with ghosts at the most inappropriate of times who want her to bring justice to their murderers.

The first novel in the series, A Ghostly Undertaking introduces us to the chief protagonist Emma Lee Raines, and offers the background story of how she came to have paranormal abilities. Emma now sees dead people and while this is not a glamorous talent, she is convinced that she could find a way to use it for good. Getting hit on the head by a huge Santa decoration seems to have made her a connector between the world of the living and the dead. Recent murder victims now haunt her days, desperately asking that she help bring their killers to justice. However, Lee Raines finds little sympathy for her new found ability from people in her hometown, necessitating that she keep her Funeral Trauma abilities secret, if she wants to fit in. However, this is not an easy thing to do given that her ghosts tend to be highly distraught ghosts that hound her at the most inopportune of moments. The five novels in the mystery series takes the chief protagonist on a journey of discovery and amateur sleuthing as she tries to solve the most bizarre of murders. She is joined in her quest by a handsome sheriff, her sister, her septuagenarian yet vivacious grandmother and a host of ghosts, killers, suspects, and quirky residents.

As a paranormal cozy mystery series, the Ghostly Southern mystery oozes southern charm on every novel. The plotlines while intricate, are easy enough to follow even with the many quirky characters that Kappes introduces. Unlike other mysteries in which the protagonist is driven by an inner need to solve a murder mystery, the author makes a very innovative twist by having ghosts move the story plotlines. Emma has to help to solve the murders in the little town to get the ghosts to move on and leave her alone, or else risk being haunted forever. The mix of small town setting and murder mystery always makes for some gripping narratives, and the author has expertly done this. The characters have been very well developed with the dialogue between Emma and her sheriff boyfriend Jack hilarious and refreshing. An expert at creating tension, Tonya keeps you guessing about the identity and motivations of the killer right to the very end. The mystery develops slowly and cleverly, allowing the reader o enjoy the intricacies of a murder investigation, invest in the characters, laugh at their selfishness and stupidity, and follow them as they go about their lives.

A Ghostly Undertaking, the first novel in the Ghostly Southern Mystery series introduces Emma Lee Raines, a young funeral home proprietor. The funeral home named Eternal Slumber is based in Sleepy Hollow, a quaint little town in Kentucky. A normal young woman, Raines’s life is turned upside down when a plastic Santa falls on her head causing her to start seeing ghosts. She now sees the ghost of one of the town’s most obnoxious gossip, Ruthie Sue Payne who is more of a pain deceased than while she lived. Ruthie tells Emma Lee that her recent death at the Sleepy Hollow Inn had not been accidental as the police had reported. She asserts that she had been pushed off the stairs to her death, and is now stuck in no man’s land between the living and the dead until her killer is brought to justice. She will haunt Emma Lee forever unless she can find the desperate killer and his motive for wanting Ruthie dead. Given that the deceased co-owned the Inn with Emma Lee’s grandmother, who also happens to have been her arch nemesis, Emma has even more incentive to find out if her grandmother could have been involved. She now has to determine if there was a killer, and who it is if she wants to get Sheriff Jack and Ruthie off her back.

The second novel in the series is A Ghostly Grave which is also one of the most popular novels by Tonya Kappes. Emma Raines has to dig up Chicken Teater, a man that Eternal Slumber Funeral Home had buried just four years past. The entire thing is bad for business given that a big festival is happening in town and her grandmother is running for mayor. However, Chicken has been bothering her to find out his killer ever since she started seeing dead people, and she has no choice but get down to it. With the help of Sheriff Jack her boyfriend, she gets some new forensic evidence which leads her to her first suspect. The widow of the dead man is a former winner of the Miss Kentucky pageant, though Chicken’s real love had been the prize winning chicken, Lady Cluckington. Chicken believes that Mrs. Teater was a jealous woman and may have had something to do his death. Something is definitely fishy in the entire murder mystery, and Emma can only hope that she can find it before the ghost makes her go crazy.

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