The Ghost of Christmas Past – Book Review
Author: Angie Fox
Genre: Cosy mystery, paranormal
My rating: ★★★★☆
Expected release: 29th November, 2019 by Moose Island Books
Format: Kindle edition
What did I think?
If you want to jump straight to what I thought of the book pls scroll down…but first a few thoughts on cosy mysteries in general…
The thing about cosy mysteries is that I find them so comforting. It’s like a little excitement, but not too much, and not too awful that I’m left feeling scared or depressed. ‘But you enjoy reading horror,’ you might counter. Yes, I do. I enjoy hard-hitting novels but I also like cosies. I feel they’re a fun palate cleanser and a nice break from other books. I REALLY do like cosies!
Something else about cosies: There are some poorly written cosy mysteries getting about. To be clear, cosies aren’t known as literary masterpieces. The writing is down-to-earth and easy to follow. Someone on Goodreads said they felt they were reading YA, and it wasn’t for them. Well, I can understand what they meant by that. But I love it.
Now, Angie Fox’s cosies…
The Ghost of Christmas Past is not my first Angie Fox novel. I read and reviewed the first book in the ‘Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries’ series last month (you can read it here), Southern Spirits. I knew straight away that I wanted to read more.
Angie Fox is what I would call a good cosy writer. I’ve had to stop reading some others because they were so poorly done. I’ve got my limits. But Fox provides writing of a quality that I don’t get hung up on, the plot is enjoyable and moves along, and the characters kept me hooked. So when I saw a chance to read an Advance Reader Copy of The Ghost of Christmas Past, well, I jumped in.
So, The Ghost of Christmas Past…
This novella (most of Fox’s books seem to be on the short side) was fun, cute as hell in parts, and followed the path of the first book giving me all the elements I’d enjoyed so darn much.
The story continues with Verity, a down-to-earth southern gal and her freaking adorable pet, a skunk, called Lucy. Lucy is a rescue animal and her stink gland has been removed (we don’t have skunks in Australia so I don’t know how common that is or anything more about it). I can’t get enough of Lucy and her waddling about. Verity has a new life now, helping ghosts with problems, since she got saddled with one of her own. Frankie the ghost can’t leave Verity’s big old property except with her. He is a fabulous character himself, grumbly, sarcastic, and just a little loveable. Frankie is a great counterpoint for Verity.
Verity also has a sweet boyfriend named Ellis and on the protagonist side there is Ellis’s mother, Virginia Wydell. Oh, how I love to hate her and she was at it again in this book, right in the first chapter. I won’t tell you in what fashion she causes trouble though. You can find out for yourself if you read it.
I was three quarters through when “future” was mentioned and the penny dropped. I realised Fox was playing with Dickens’s A Christmas Carol story. Perhaps it was obvious but in my defense I was engrossed in the drama and I haven’t read Dickens’s book (it’s now on my list!).
I became confused with Verity experiencing vulnerability connected to using Frankie’s power at one point. The exact reason for it wasn’t clear to me but was it explained and I missed it? Or was it spelled out in an earlier book that I haven’t read? Who knows, but at any rate, it didn’t distract me from my enjoyment of the narrative.
As every good cosy should, the story had a nice ending that wrapped things up satisfactorily. I love Fox’s writing style. She has a very down to earth, natural way of expressing the story and she can be funny, too. I LOVE this series. It doesn’t achieve perfection, but this is a cosy – they aren’t meant to be realistic- they should be fun and somewhat wholesome (:D). The Ghost of Christmas Past achieved that.
Thanks to the publisher, Moose Island Books, the author, Angie Fox, and NetGalley for my copy of the book, given in return for an honest review. It was a pleasure.
For more info: Goodreads – Or your local Library