Ghost of a Chance is a paranormal mystery written by Kate Marsh, a pen name for the fantastic paranormal author Katie MacAlister. I have raved about Katie’s books previously, and I was thrilled to find a new book written by her. If you have read her Dark Ones (vampires) series, you will have a good insight into the background of Ghost of a Chance, as she uses the same paranormal world for both. If you haven’t read the Dark Ones books, you will be able to quickly pick up the vocabulary of the paranormal society inside Ghost of a Chance, but you should really pick up Katie MacAlister’s books; they’re great reads.
While there are mysteries and suspense in all of Katie’s books, Ghost of a Chance focuses on the mystery, rather than romance. Karma Marx is an unhappily married woman whose job is to “clean” houses; she exorcises spirits from their homes and banishes them. She’s soft hearted, and tends to move the spirits to her own home rather than banishing them completely, so she has several entities living with her, but in hiding from her husband Spider. When Karma stands up for herself and asks for a divorce, Spider agrees to divorce without contesting, with the stipulation that she “clean” one last house for him.
Nothing is ever that simple, though is it? When Karma arrives at the house, she finds the previous owner, Adam, a poltergeist, disinterested in moving. While several people are in the house there is an unexpected death. Adam seals the house so that no one can leave or enter, and he and Karma set out to discover the identity of the murderer.
The reader follows along as we read about the investigation from Karma’s point of view. Ghost of a Chance is an interesting variation on the “locked room” type of mystery. No one is quite who they seem, and their supernatural powers alter the possibilities for alibis. Additionally, there are ghosts, a unicorn, and others within the house that can testify to a person/being’s whereabouts. There are clues that point you away from one possibility and towards another. Is the solution the one which is the most obvious, or is it one that you never expected? While parts of the mystery went exactly as I expected, there were several big surprises. The quirks and abilities of each character are as unexpected as the ending; and those quirks make the characters (living or not) incredibly realistic.
It was a lot of fun to read a book that included two of my top book loves – the paranormal world and mysteries! I highly recommend Ghost of a Chance, by Kate Marsh to anyone who enjoys Katie MacAlister’s novels, as well as to anyone who likes a good mystery or a good paranormal story. This novel is worth taking a chance if you haven’t read paranormals before – the mystery is great, and the characters have depth, you can really imagine having coffee with Karma – or maybe some tea. There is some great humor mixed with the mystery and paranormal; Ghost of a Chance is a great read.