By TJ O’Connor
Tuck is back! After solving his own murder in O’Connor’s first novel, Dying to Know, Oliver “Tuck” Tucker thought he would move on to the afterlife. But he is destined to be a ghost detective for the unforeseeable future.
His wife/widow Angela is hosting a charity gala in the historic Vincent House. The huge home, grounds and additional houses in the estate take up a city block in the small town of Westchester, Virginia. The fine citizens there to enjoy the evening for a good cause aren’t the only ones in attendance. Long dead mob boss Vincent Calaprese and his hot babe Sassy watch as strangers dance, dine and die in their home.
The Gala is a hit; donations roll in as the revelers enjoy cocktails and the band. The dance floor is full when a bullet finds its way into Spence Grecco’s body, killing him instantly. Was the bullet meant for him, his beautiful young wife, Bonnie or someone else at the event? Mysteriously, the shooter seems to disappear into thin air.
Bear, Tuck’s former partner, and the local police arrest the likely suspect, but quickly realize they might not have the right person. As the police interview everyone at Vincent House, the FBI barges in and claims jurisdiction on the case. The local cops are not going to back away that easily; Bear and Tuck are still on the case, much to the chagrin of the FBI.
Meanwhile the ghost gangster from 1939 can’t leave his former home, but desperately wants something from 2014. Calaprese needs Tuck’s connection with the living to retrieve a book that has information in it that may be connected to the Gala murder. Surprisingly, several of the suspects are also after this mysterious book.
There are more twists and turns in this novel than a ride down San Francisco’s Lombard Street. It takes a masterful author to perfectly meld ghosts, gangsters, a lovable Labrador, professors, ghostbusters, Russian Mobsters and a couple of beautiful women – both dead and alive – into an intriguing mystery. O’Connor pulls in all of these crazy characters, adds a solid story with equally fun and interesting subplots to give us a fictional feast to enjoy.
If you haven’t read the first book in this series, Dying for the Past works well as a stand-alone mystery. I would suggest reading Dying to Know only because both of them are really good mysteries, and you may as well start at the beginning of Tuck’s adventures. O’Connor’s easy to read style is laced with humor and kept me guessing up until the very end.
Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman
DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.