Friday, May 6, 2011

Book Review: South of Salem by Janni Nell

My mother thinks my job is crazy. I'm a paranormal investigator; she's Nancy Reagan crossed with Martha Stewart. She's always preferred my sister, Lily, who is following in her perfect footsteps.
But this time Mom needs my special skills. She believes my stepfather is possessed. I admit he's not his usual dapper, charming self, but sleepwalking doesn't sound that weird. Until the sleepwalking spreads through the family and cousin Donna walks right out of her apartment window to her death. Then my sister goes missing and I have to find her and solve the mystery before Lily and her unborn child are harmed.
Normally I would have assistance, but my right hand, a hunky angel I've nicknamed Casper, has business of his own to take care of—business that might take him out of my life forever. The stakes are too high for me to lose, but I'm not sure I can do it alone... 

South of Salem is a paranormal mystery, the second in the Allegra Fairweather series.  I did not read the first book, "Allegra Fairweather:  Paranormal Investigator," but South of Salem reads just fine as a stand-alone book.

Allegra is called home by her mother, who says her stepfather is possessed; he is sleepwalking.  Things must be pretty bad because Allegra's mother does not like that she is a paranormal investigator!  Allegra begins to investigate, but things get even more complicated when other members of her stepfather's family begin to sleepwalk and die.  Allegra keeps managing to get into danger, but she can always count on her hunky guardian angel, Casper. 

South of Salem is a book full of fun.  Allegra is a tenacious, fast-talking main character with an unseemly lust for her guardian angel.  She has a turbulent relationship with her mother and sister that makes for a lot of laughter and empathizing.

The paranormal parts of the book didn't read quite as spooky and scary as I would have liked.    I just didn't feel the life-threatening tension I hope for when ghosts and such are around, even though lives were threatened.  But I think Ms. Nell was going for a lighter tough with this mystery and it was enjoyable to read.

*Disclaimer:  This book was provided to me at no cost by the publisher.  I am not required to post a positive review.

I give this book 3 Bookworms.

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