Amanda Ronconi narrates this humorous mystery with the vocal equivalent of an eye roll. While she doesn’t sound bored, she certainly sounds annoyed. But imagine her character’s predicament: She’s purchased an old crumbling Victorian on the Jersey shore, she’s fixing it up into a guesthouse, her precocious nine-year-old is hectoring, and now she finds out the Victorian is haunted!
Admittedly contrived, over-the-top, and including references that will be dated unto obscurity within the next decade or sooner, Night of the Living Deed seeks to achieve only one thing: Your temporary laughter and merriment at - or with - Ronconi’s eye-rolling voice.
Welcome to the first Haunted Guest House mystery - the getaway every reader can afford.
Newly divorced Alison Kerby wants a second chance for herself and her nine-year-old daughter. She's returned to her hometown on the Jersey Shore to transform a Victorian fixer-upper into a charming-and profitable guest house. One small problem: the house is haunted, and the two ghosts insist Alison must find out who killed them.
©2010 Jeffrey Cohen (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Read A Book
Amanda Ronconi is one of my favorite audio book narrators. I will often try an unfamiliar author based on the narrators, which is why I gave Night of the Living Deed a listen. I am so happy that I did.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the characters, and look forward to listening to all the books in the series.
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Listened for fun (Audible)
Tracking Books Read Review (Short)
Overall Rating: 4.25
Story Rating: 4.25
Character Rating: 4.25
Audio Rating: 4.50 (not part of the overall rating)
First Thought when Finished: Night of the Living Deed had great characters, a solid mystery, and ghosts who added a bit of unusual to the story!
Story Thoughts: Confession: I picked up this book based on the fact that Amanda Ronconi narrated it. Yes I have gotten to the point where I will pick up books that I haven't heard of because of the narrators. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I actually enjoyed the story. I had not heard of E.J. Copperman but I think fans of Juliet Blackwell's Haunted Renovation series would really like this one. Alison is a strong leading lady, single mom, and she can see ghosts which is problematic at times. This particular element has a twist in that one of the ghosts is a private detective trying to solve his own murder. What ensues is just a fun who-dun-it with ghosts, moms, daughters, PTA's, and house renovations. Overall this was just a ton of fun and I can't wait for the 2nd one to come out in audio (these are older books so they are already out in ebook).
Narrated By Amanda Ronconi / Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
Amanda Ronconi simply rocks in most cases and this was no exception. She pulled off Allison, her daughter, her mother, and the two ghosts extremely well. Her timing was dead-on and the personality used was perfect for the characters. I totally recommend this one on audio!
Final Thoughts: Night of the Living Deed surprised me with fun, ghosts, and a leading lady I could root for!
Alison Kirby is the main character in this book. She's is under alot of stress. She is recently divorced. She has taken on the challenge of rehabilitating an old house. She discovers that the house is haunted. Someone has threatened to kill her.
I understand and empathize with Allison complaining and being annoyed - alot. However, i got tired of listening to it. It is true that there are some humerous moments in the book. I found myself laughing out loud more than once.
These humerous moments were not enough to win me over. If the tone changes in subsequent books in the series I may try it again. For right now, this series isn't for me.
This was a cute little novel. There was a fun mystery. The characters were "wacky" and "way out". There were ghosts.
This is probably a great read for many mystery fans. It's light. Which is actually what I really enjoyed about it. I don't require serious reading and deep and meaningful themes in my murder. However, the kid was way too annoying. Please. Either our heroine is the worst mom ever (with the worst relationship with her own mom) or the kid is, well, annoying (to repeat myself.) I don't want to spoil anyone's fun, but trust me, children who act like that one (and who are encouraged to act that way by all the adults around them EXCEPT the mother) have issues. And why does the mother allow these people to hang around? Oh, wait, she can't help it.
Perhaps if the heroine had taken a bit more control of her life instead of always being "forced" into the actions of others. I could have thought of 15 ways to not have gotten into some of the stupid situations that she faced. Sure, Monday morning quarter-backing, but hey, I didn't write it (and yes, it is certainly better than anything I could produce-it's cute).
But I wanted more. Or perhaps better. Better character development. A plot line that really made sense with regard to motivation.
I actually, despite the problems, do recommend this book. It is an easy "read" and a bit of fun. I just don't think that I can continue with the series.
I read science, biographies, histories, mysteries, adventures, thrillers, educationals, linguistics but not no way, not no how, romances.
The start of a new series with ghosts and killers and quirky characters, but it's still missing something. Night of the Living Deed, tells the story of Alison, a single mother who receives a whack on the head and now can see ghosts. And the first ones she meets ask her to solve their murders. All this while she's trying to open up a guest house on the Jersey Shore. Let's do this as a pro and con list.
Pro: the author really loves her characters and wants to explore them, the plot isn't predictable, the book delivers on its promise to be fun without being serious, it's a fast read, there are endless opportunities for stories in the future of the series, the narrator is just great.
Cons: there isn't a lot of plot and when it happens there will inevitably be a scene recapping everything so far, the jokes only work some of the time, the author isn't really exploring the idea of the main character seeing ghosts nearly as much as she could so it feels underwhelming, the mystery isn't a primary focus, there isn't very much suspense even as the narrator's life is threatened and in danger, there isn't much development, and there is very little interpersonal drama.
I might read more of the series, but it didn't grab my attention very well.
Good. Clean. Fun.
Smirk, sarcastic... can't think of a third right now
I did laugh out loud sometimes, which always makes my family wonder about my mental health since they don't listen to or enjoy audiobooks. But hey, as long as I'm in my happy place, they pretty much just let me be.
This is a nice light listen, although a little too formulaic for my liking. You know pretty early what's going to happen, and the author and reader both know that you know, so I guess that draws the reader in as though we're in cahoots with the whole thing, but willingly going along for the ride anyway. The story gives you enough insight into the characters that you will want to read more to find out what happens next. I love Amanda's voice, just perfect for the main character, although she lacks range for the other characters, especially children and men. But overall, well matched to the story line.
What I like best is that the author doesn't need to get too far into the grim /violent climax a lot of other mystery writers fall into, messing up a perfectly good story by thinking they need to go out with a big bang or shocking finale. I can't think of how many books I will replay only up until a certain point because I hate the gratuitous violence. Character and plot development doesn't really need that thrown in, just seems to be part of the formula for unimaginative writers these days.
I will buy other books in the series, unless they fall below 8 hours in length
Ok so maybe the whole story line is slightly cheezy but it is very entertaining. The characters seem very real...even the spirits. I enjoy listening to books that are offbeat and entertaining and this qualified.
Good narration, easy to listen to and each character was could be singled out.
I like the idea of solving the murder of the ghosts, but the plot dragged on a little too long.
Most interesting aspect of the story was the interaction of the ghosts and solving the murders. Least interesting was the maybe going to be a romance/have to fix up my house plot that didn't seem to go anywhere. There just wasn't enough hook and I didn't finish this book.
It's more than three words but "All men sound like Zeb" pretty much describes it. She is an amazing narrator and I find books because of her, but yeah, it's kind of funny.
Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.
This paranormal murder mystery is a little light on suspense and the ghosts aren't all that interesting either. Might have a bit more appeal for those who like those genres and enjoy DIY (lots of home renovation action here) and precocious (i.e. sassy, irritating) children - neither of which are big favorites for me. This the first of a series of mystery books that will continue these characters and I think there might be some potential for future episodes to be more interesting. Copperman can be amusing, although I'd suggest she dial down some of the snarkiness when discussing death threats and truly serious issues, and she has lined out a decent set of characters in a good setting (small NJ shore town) to expand her plotlines. However, she will need to more fully develop the characters (only Allison has much back story so far) and their relationships with each other. Copperman depicts each of these relationships as simplistic one-note interactions - each exchange between Allison and her ghosts, her daughter, her mom, the main police officer, her best friend are exactly the same. With all that said, I didn't hate the book - I got it on sale and it was a decent "beach read" - no thinking required and sometimes humorous. In addition, Amanda Ronconi is always good to listen to and did a nice job with some of the character voices, especially the cop and the newspaper owner. I won't be quick to pick up more in the series, but if I need a light read again, I might try another.
"Nice light story, with ghosts."
I bought the story 'Chance of a Ghost' when it was on offer. Having read the summary I thought it would be worth a listen. However, because it was not the first in the series I decided to buy at least this book so I had an idea of the characters involved.
You don't really need to buy these stories in order, but if you like light-hearted fantasy books then you probably won't be disappointed with any in this series. Of course this book (being the first in the series) does give you a deeper look into the characters you'll come across in the later books.
Having only listened to a few chapters I found the story slightly different to some of the ghost stories out there, with a nice light storyline, and odd humorous moment thrown in for good measure.
This is not a story to strain the old grey cells, but it is fun, and worthy of a listen. The narrator does a pretty decent job, and the sound engineering is better than some audio books out there.
I'd quite happily give this story ten out of ten, and I had no qualms about purchasing the rest of the series for my Audible library. They only added to my relaxation over the Christmas and New Year period.
"An easy story to listen to"
To be honest, this is a really fun story. You can't help but like the characters and the performance. I will definitely be getting more.
"A fun, if marginally unrealistic, story"
Okay so fantasy is all marginally unrealistic &, if I'm honest, this might be the most realistic of all the urban fantasy, female investigator type novels in that the lead is not some super kick-ass woman who only wears black & has a wicked sharp wit. She is instead a normal lady who, after a bump on the head, is confronted with the ghostly inhabitants of her new home & ends up doing the leg work in investigating their death (one of the ghosts is a private investigator who does all the real work).
Over all nice characters although I hope the writing style improves a little in future books ^^
"Incredible becomes just another take on normal"
It's a fascinating story, with excellent characterisation and humour. This lifts a potentially dark tale to another level completely and so disarms the reader that the impossible becomes not just feasible but logical. Skilful writing!
I think the whole concept is pretty original so cannot compare it to any books other than those in the same series
Undoubtedly the main character, Alison, although the ghost Maxie is a pretty close second. You really feel for Alison in all her troubles and rejoice with her at last.
New home with haunting history and future
Can't wait to read the next
"Funny, witty and a joy to listen to!"
It's a fresh take on the murder mystery genre, made very entertaining by the ghost factor, the woes of the guesthouse business and the very lovable family at the centre of the story. I'm halfway through the second book and loving it too.
"Ghostly goings on"
If your looking for an easy to read enjoyable light entertaining book this is for you...
"Gentle, spectral fun"
This was more, "Murder She Wrote" than "Taggart", in that it was a nice wee murder, if there is such a thing! The crime was glossed over and the humour was very Janet Evanovich, which I'm a great fan of.
A newly divorced lady moves into a ruin with her daughter, only to discover there are ghosts and they need her help in solving their murder.
"easy listening crime story with ghosts."
good start to a series with enough intrigue to keep you listening to find out who did the murders and the ghosts either helping or hindering along the way.
overall well performed by Amanda ronconi although at times I did find her accent a bit grating.
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