'til Death by Jason Anspach
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Genre: Mystery, Paranormal, Comedy
'til Death was a fun, light read. Sam Rockwell is a private investigator who specializes in Returns, or ghosts who have not crossed over yet because they have some sort of unfinished business. In this book Sam's father is murdered and comes back wanting his help. I enjoyed the combination of hard-boiled mystery, ghost story, and comedy. There were some funny moments in the book, but it wasn't quite as funny as I was expecting it to be.
I mostly liked the characters in the story, even though Frank was off-putting at first, and Alice was like a regular June Clever. Frank ended up growing on me over time. In the beginning he wasn't a very likeable character, but his growth and realizations about himself were what made me like him in the end. Too bad he didn't come to those realizations until after he was already dead. I didn't blame his wife for not being upset over his death in the beginning, even though I did find the nonchalant attitude most people in the book had about death a little odd. The reasoning behind it made some sense, but was still a bit of a stretch. I would expect at least a little shock at finding out a loved one is dead.
On the other hand I liked Sam and Amelia almost immediately, even though Amelia wasn't all that well fleshed out as a character. I especially enjoyed the parts where Sam tried to pretend, with varying degrees of success, to be like the detectives in the hard-boiled mystery novels he was reading.
There is a sequel to this and I'm guessing there will be quite a few more books written in this series. If you're looking for a good clean, light mystery that harkens to the days of hard boiled mystery, but doesn't take itself too seriously then you might like this book.
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