Wednesday, January 17

How to Seduce a Ghost by Hope McIntyre

Review by Theodore Feit


Having read the sequel before this, the initial entry into the series, I got the feeling that the main character, Lee Bartholomew, a 40-year-old ghostwriter, was a complete professional in her business life, but a somewhat flighty and mixed-up person in her personal life. After reading this novel, that belief has been confirmed.  In this opening tale, we find her in the midst of an eight-year relationship with Tommy, her long-time boyfriend, but passionately attracted to the husband/manager of her new client, a soap opera star.  Both she and Tommy have affairs, the result of their on-again/off-again association.  Frankly, Lee's love life really doesn't contribute much to the over-all story in either of the novels, both of which are, however, interesting.


In "Seduce," the mystery begins with the arson murder of a television personality in a house near to the one Lee lives in rent-free in London (it is owned by her parents who split up in this tale but come together in the next).  Then a small summer home behind Lee's is burned and later the house itself is set on fire with Lee and her client asleep in it.  The client's husband is one of the suspects. (He batters his wife regularly, providing her with a reason to have a book written on the subject of battered wives.)


Well-written, the novel is a little too cutesy for this reviewer when it comes to Lee's personal life.  The mystery in both "Seduce" and the second in the series, "How to Marry a Ghost," are well-plotted and carry the reader forth.   Now, if the conclusion of the next in the series leads to some maturity in Lee's romantic life, a third story might be even more enjoyable.


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