Night of the Living Deed (Haunted Guesthouse Series #1)

Night of the Living Deed (Haunted Guesthouse Series #1)

by E. J. Copperman

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Home repair meets haunted happenings in the first charming, hilarious Haunted Guest House Mystery!

Newly divorced Alison Kerby wants a second chance for herself and her nine-year-old daughter, so she’s returned to her home town on the Jersey Shore to transform a fixer-upper into a charming—and hopefully profitable—guest house. But when a bump on the head leaves her seeing not only stars but spirits, Alison realizes the real challenge she’s facing is out of this world.
The two residing ghosts are Maxie Malone, the foul-tempered former owner of the house (who has definite opinions about Alison’s design plans), and Paul Harrison, a private eye who’d been working for Maxie—both died in the house on the same night. The official cause of death was suicide, but the ghosts insist they were murdered, and they need Alison to find out who killed them—or the next ghost in the guest house will be Alison herself...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101187852
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/01/2010
Series: Haunted Guesthouse Series , #1
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 7,685
File size: 630 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

E. J. Copperman is the Barry Award–winning, national bestselling author of the Haunted Guesthouse Mysteries, the Mysterious Detective series, the Agent to the Paws Mysteries, and with Jeff Cohen, the Asperger’s Mysteries.

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Night of the Living Deed 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 89 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
After her divorce from Steven AKA as the Swine, Alison Kirby wants to start over with her nine years old daughter Melissa. She buys a seven bedroom four bath fixer upper beach house and does her own repairs. Her plan is to open up a guest house; sans breakfast. Her project is coming along nicely until a bucket of compound falls on her head; knocking Alison out cold. When she awakens she sees the ghost of Maxie Moline and her bodyguard private detective Paul Harrison. They both died in the house with the official verdict being a double suicide. Paul insists they never took the sleeping pills that caused their deaths; instead he claims to Alison someone poisoned them. They plead with Alison to look into their contention, but she says no until Maxie's antics drive her crazy so feeling like a victim of emotional erosion she agrees. Alison soon receives threatening emails and phone calls in which she is told they want "it" as she investigates what happened to the ghosts and links that to the threats to her. She finds a suspect, but to prove her belief requires her to employ extraordinary measures as deadlines leave her in a cemetery on Halloween night. Witty, charming and magical describe the entertaining first Haunted Guest House mystery. The spirits interact with Alison, her daughter and mother as if they are alive; especially moxie Maxie with her antics to blackmail the heroine into investigating her demise. In between home repairs, a very frightened Alison tries to determine who is terrifying her and if the threat is tied to the deaths of her ghostly houseguests. Her trepidation and her relationship with her daughter make for an enjoyable paranormal amateur sleuth tale. Harriet Klausner
ElleryAdams More than 1 year ago
This book had it all - from the picturesque Jersey Shore setting to an historical home, desperately in need of an overall and perhaps, an exorcism, to a group of feisty females banding together in search of a killer. This dialogue is witty, the writing crisp, and the reveal will surprise even the most eagle-eyed readers. Mr. Copperman has scored a home run!
NJMetal More than 1 year ago
I read NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED by EJ Copperman as an exercise in supporting local writers. You see I am from New Jersey and EJ Copperman is as well. His ghost/mystery story NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED (referred to as NotLD from here on) is a story based in New Jersey. Though mysteries are outside my normal scope of reading, I still thoroughly enjoyed this one. The story is set in a fictional town along the Jersey Shore. Though the town is fictional all other locals mentioned are very real places in New Jersey. This gave a very authentic feel to both the story and the characters that inhabit it. That sense of authenticity bleed through every part of this book. At it's heart this story is an every mystery but to really function it needs to identify with it's Jersey short roots. Geography aside, NothLD presents very strong and well developed characters. Every personal presented is believable and likable (or dislikeable) based on the traits and actions presented. The writing is seamless and easy going. Though the theme of murder and deciete is prevalent throughout the story, it does not weigh heavily on the psyche. The ghost aspect of the story is played up in the synopsis. To be certain there are ghosts but make no mistake this is a mystery at it's heart. There ghosts are characters the same as the living. That does not mean they are forgettable either. They functioned and felt just like the ghosts of Gena Davis and Baldwin in Beetlejuice. As real as anyone else just they are dead. All in all this is a straight forward mystery. The ending is not too much of a shocker. Though the book serves as book one of a series it works well as a stand alone story. There are no cliffhangars. This book sets up a series on the strength of it's characters and not a continuation of it's plot.
Lelia Isel More than 1 year ago
could not put it down. very detailed and did not confuse you. would tell people to read if they like some comedy and mystery twised in a crazy way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved It! Loved the humor, the ghosts and the main character! Can't wait for the next one in the series!
MikeBishop More than 1 year ago
I loved this first book in the Haunted Guesthouse Mystery series. What's not to like: a haunted house, home renovation, a savvy single mom with a great kid, and a wonderful story that kept me up until 4 a.m. reading. Having been to the Jersey shore, I could picture everything in the book, and the description really brought not only the setting to life, but the characters as well. Alison Kerby is a terrific character, and I can't wait to read her further adventures.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyable. The characters are human. Lots of humor. Maxie ads adds a nice touch of human pain. Great read
cozygurl More than 1 year ago
Good story. Great character development. This going to be a great series!
Kuzlin More than 1 year ago
Mystery, ghosts and the Jersey shore...what more can you ask for? This first book in A Haunted Guest House Mysery Series provides the reader with an enjoyable mystery and wonderful new female characters. Alison is a strong, independent single mother who is raising her daughter, renovating her new guesthouse, and coping with two ghosts who are pestering her to find their killers. And during the course of her investigation, in between retiling bathrooms and fixing plaster walls, she becomes the killer's target.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first of the "A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery" series. Alison Kerby, newly divorced buys a house on the New Jersey shore with 7 bedrooms, 4 baths, and needing lots of repairs. When strange things happen, tools tossed around, a hole in a plaster wall, and spooky noises Alison tries to explain them rationally. However, when a tool is knocked out of her hand and a bucket of compound hits her on the head, she wakes up seeing ghosts. Paul Harrison and Maxie Malone, they claim they were murdered, the official report states suicide. No wonder Paul and Maxie are a little cranky. Maxie is the former homeowner and Paul, a private investigator, was working for her when they died together in the house. They ask Alison to do some investigating to find out who killed them. I enjoyed every page, I laughed all the way through it. Alison and her daughter Melissa were realistic. Her mother, the incurable optimist, was a scream. Paul and Maxie certainly had personality. A very cozy mystery and worth curling up with.
DAinNY1 More than 1 year ago
This is a great read in a new ghostly series. The characters are great and the dialogue is witty and it has a feel-good charm that will make you want to read the next book in this delightful series.
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cathyskye on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First Line: "I don't get it, Mom."Newly divorced Alison Kerby has returned to the Jersey Shore to fulfill a dream: renovating a Victorian fixer-upper into a beautiful guesthouse. She figures she has the know-how and just enough money to complete the makeover and open for business so she can provide a decent future for Melissa, her nine-year-old daughter.As she begins the process of renovating, she gets the odd vibe now and then but thinks nothing of it until a fifty-pound bucket of joint compound knocks her in the head, and she begins seeing ghosts. Two of them. One an evil-tempered young woman named Maxie (the previous owner of the house), and the other, a private eye named Paul. Both died in the house on the same night. Police think they "drank the Kool-aid" and committed suicide. Maxie and Paul insist that they were murdered-- and they also insist that Alison drop everything to find out who killed them.It's quite a stretch for Alison to believe in the resident ghosts to begin with, but she finally has no alternative. Both ghosts are very good at getting their way, although they have very different methods. However, Alison's not bad at driving a hard bargain herself, and she manages to persuade them that she'll investigate as long as the renovations keep on schedule. As she begins to play sleuth, things begin to happen, and she realizes that she'd better identify the killer before she becomes the third ghost in her guesthouse. (And don't you dare call it a bed and breakfast!)I was in the perfect mood for a light, fast-paced, and laugh-out-loud funny read. Night of the Living Deed almost immediately had me in reading nirvana. The cast of characters is superb. Alison's voice is pitch-perfect: alternately sarcastic, befuddled, DIY knowledgeable, stressed out, and punch-drunk... as only the mother of a young girl can be. Her daughter, Melissa is a nine-year-old prosecuting attorney who's the perfect sort of child to have live in a haunted house. Alison's mother, her friends, the police detective she runs to constantly, and the ghosts, Maxie and Paul, all add color, depth and humor to the story.When I wasn't laughing or telling Alison to "Check there! Check there!", I was appreciating the fact that this mystery with the home renovation theme actually had quite a bit of DIY detail. Alison kept to her bargain and managed to wear her deerstalker cap while she refinished cabinets. So often in themed mystery series, the theme seems to be a thin veneer that's easily cast aside. Not so in this book, and that's refreshing.I tired of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series long ago, and I've felt the lack of a truly funny mystery series in my reading life. No more-- and I have E.J. Copperman to thank for it!
chinquapin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After divorce, Alison Kerby acquires a run-down old Victorian home "down the shore" in New Jersey. She moves into the house with her nine year old daugher, Melissa, and begins renovations to turn it into a guesthouse. After being hit on the head by a falling bucket of wall joint compound, Alison discovers that she can literally see ghosts. They are Maxie and Paul, the former owner and a private investigator who she had hired to look into some threatening emails that she had been sent. The ghosts persuade the reluctant Alison to help them investigate their deaths. This was a fun cozy with amusing, sassy characters. I enjoyed it enough that I plan on reading the sequel, but it also had flaws. First, I thought that it was just too long for a cozy...some 325 pages. It dragged toward the end, and I thought that it should have been edited down by 50 to 75 pages or so. Second, the plot and motivations were not rational for me. I had a hard time imagining that someone would murder two people premeditatively for the reasons given. But even so, I enjoyed the story, the characters and the setting. Alison sures knows her way about home renovations, and the situations created by the ghosts sometimes had me laughing out loud.
enemyanniemae on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This title was chosen for the May Mystery Group's read. What can I say about it? It's the first in a new series... a Haunted Guesthouse Mystery. Meh. The plot was fairly interesting and the ghosts were entertaining. Does the old TV show Topper ring any bells?
Squeex on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loves me a fab cozy, yes I do. And this one is it. Cozy mysteries are fun and cozies with ghosts are even more so. This one has two ghosts in the house and one is a supreme smartass former owner of the house and the other is the staid private investigator trying to solve the case of their death. They're confined to the house and grounds so they cant' do much until Alison shows up, gets bonked on the cranium (by the smartass former owner ghost) and reluctantly agrees to do the field work. Hilarity and action ensues. My favorite character, besides the smartass ghost, is Alison's daughter Melissa. She is a well-written nine-year-old, eye rolling exasperation and all.Five meddling ghosts beans....
Booklady123 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
From the back of the book:"7 BEDROOMS, 4 BATHS, 2 GHOSTS.Newly divorced Alison Kerby wants a second chance for herself and her nine-year-old daughter, so she's returned to her hometown on the Jersey Shore to transform a fixer-upper into a charming - and hopefully profitable - guest house. But when a bump on the head leaves her seeing not only stars but spirits, Alison realizes the real challenge she's facing is out of this world.The two residing ghosts are Maxie Malone, the foul-tempered former owner of the house (who has definite opinions about Alisons' design plans), and Paul Harrison, a private eye who'd been working for Maxie - both died in the house on the same night. The official cause of death was suicide, but the ghosts insist they were murdered, and they need Alison to find out who killed them - or the next ghost in the guesthouse will be Alison herself . . ."One of the challenges I entered this year is the Mystery and Suspense Challenge hosted by Book Chick City. I signed up to read a minimum of 12 mystery or suspense books in 2011. Not a problem. I love mysteries and so far have read 20 and have plenty more I can read before the end of the year. I also signed up for the Off the Shelf Challenge where I'm hoping to read a minimum of 30 books that I had purchased prior to January 1st 2011, but had not yet read. This book fits both challenges.I'm not really sure why I had this book on my shelf for a year without having read it. I guess I have to blame it on my book addiction and this past year being crazy.What I liked about the book: Just about everything. The pacing is just right. It's not too intense, but instead is a steady page turner. I love the characters. Alison is a strong female character. Like most cozy mystery heroines she does tend to get herself into some scrapes that a normal person, using a little common sense would be able to avoid. If she didn't, the book would be rather boring. And you have to love a woman who can do her own home repairs, to include hanging cabinets, tiling the bathroom and repairing the furnace. I admire her way with power tools. I do well to be able to identify a hammer. Alison's daughter, Melissa is a nice change from the typical moody child of a single parent. That's not to say she's a paragon of virtue, but rather she seems to be working with her mom rather than against her. I read a lot of mysteries and pride myself on figuring out the culprit long before the end of the book. So, when an author stumps me, I'm impressed. I had another culprit in mind, but I have to admit that the guilty party makes sense. In fact I had briefly considered this character at the culprit, but changed my mind. Copperman added just enough twists to keep the reader guessing. There are no annoying characters in this story. Usually there is someone the reader just LOVES to hate or be annoyed with. Not so with this book. Granted, Maxie has her moments, but basically, she's a likable ghost.I'm looking forward to reading more about her, Paul, Alison and Melissa and Melissa's history teacher - Mr. Barnes.What I didn't like about the book: I'm on a good reading streak. There was nothing in this book that I didn't like. In fact I enjoyed this book so much I've already added book two, The Uninvited Ghost, to my shopping cart.If you are a cozy mystery fan this is a series you will want to follow.
drebbles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Newly divorced Alison Kerby is determined to build a new life for her and her nine year old daughter Melissa so she buys a fixer-upper on the Jersey Shore and is converting it into a guest house. She can do the repairs herself but isn¿t expecting to encounter a pair of ghosts: that of the previous owner Maxie Malone and Paul Harrison, a private investigator who had been working for Maxie. They want Allison to find out who killed them but she needs to be careful ¿ the killer is willing to strike again.¿Night of the Living Deed¿ is the nicely done first book in E.J. Copperman's new Haunted Guest House cozy mystery series. While the idea of ghosts in a cozy mystery is hardly a new one (the book reminds me a bit of Alice Kimberly¿s Haunted Bookshop series), Copperman adds some nice twists and touches to keep the book interesting and fresh. What really makes this book stand out are the ghosts ¿ especially Maxie who might be the sassiest character (dead or alive) that I¿ve come across in a book. Alison is also a good character ¿ not as Sassy as Maxie but a bit snarky and prone to saying things without thinking them through. Outside of the ghosts (and who can see them), one of the most interesting parts of the book is reading about the repairs Alison is doing on the house. While the book is a cozy mystery and the paranormal aspects are benign (and humorous at times), there are some scary moments, particularly towards the end of the book. The mystery aspects are pretty well done as Copperman deftly mixes in the murders of Maxie and Paul with a more recent murder and death threats against Alison but the book could have used a few more suspects as it was obvious early on who the killer was.¿Night of the Living Deed¿ is a good cozy mystery and I look forward to reading more books in the series.
TheLibraryhag on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Alison Kerby and her daughter, Melissa, are starting their post-divorce life by renovating an old house on the New Jersey shore. But progress is stalled by the presence of two ghosts, Maxie and Paul who were murdered in the house. They want Alison to solve their murders, and when Alison starts getting threats, she tries to do just that.This book is a great start to the series. Alison is just snarky enough and Melissa is a charning character. The mystery is very good. The ghosts and other characters are fun too. I am looking forward to the next book.
cfk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a delightfully wacky who-dunnit.
debbieaheaton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In Copperman¿s mystery novel, recently divorced Allison Kerby is looking for a second chance for both her and her daughter. Returning to her hometown on the Jersey Shore, she purchases a fixer-upper with plans to establish her own Guesthouse. But a bump on the head has her seeing the ghosts of two people who died in her house and they want her to find their killer. And finding their killer puts Allison and her daughter in the line of fire.Copperman has brought together a bright and lively combination of ghostly apparitions and a well-plotted mystery. A terrific read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the humor to go with the story. It's a book that kept me going and I am going to start book 2 now
Chuck56 More than 1 year ago
LOVED the book -- it was well written, it was funny, it was suspenseful. The fact that it was set in my part of NJ and even mentioned my hometown, was an added perk.