Date: 25th October 2022
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Christmas lights on palm trees and Santa hats on plastic pink flamingos are far from the snowy landscape Maureen and her beloved golden retriever, Finn, are used to. But Maureen is determined to make this a holiday to remember—which means finding a way to promote Haven House on a shoestring. Fortunately, Haven’s vintage movie theater, the Paramount, has come up with a great “Twelve Days of Christmas” idea. They’ll feature an impressive list of the best classic Christmas movies ever made—shown by one-time movie actor-turned-projectionist Decklin Monroe . . .
But nobody bothered to tell Maureen that the Paramount is haunted by the ghost of a man who was murdered a few years back. Haven’s top cop Frank Hubbard doesn’t believe in ghosts but, believing that Decklin Monroe was somehow involved, he wants a reluctant Maureen’s help.
That plan is derailed when, on the first day of the festival, a fresh murder victim is found at the theater. Now Maureen has to defend her staff and guests, while trying to keep her high-spirited resident ghosts out of the picture—before they have company for the holidays . . .
High Spirits is #2 in the Haunted Haven series, and follows Be My Ghost. We find Maureen settling into the Inn that she has inherited rather mysteriously. She has plans for it’s development and they seem to be going well. Ted the chef, and herself also seem to be getting along well and are a great team, along with the rest of the staff.
A fund raiser that involves old movies at the Paramount, leads to a murder. Who killed the victim? Frank Hubbard the local police officer is out to find out, and he does believe that Maureen knows more than she is telling. It’s a weird set up really and his consulting her all the time I found a bit strange. One thing Maureen is though is observant and knowledgeable about fashion and this is an asset in this murder. As well the present day murder seems linked to a long ago one.
I enjoyed the story but found it rather slow paced. There is the murder, and the mystery of who funds the Haven Inn and how did Maureen become chosen to take up as the owner. This isn’t solved yet and no doubt will be a thread going through the series. I will certainly want to read the next one but I am certainly hoping it will have a faster pace to it.