Tag Archives: TJ O’Connor

Book Review: Dying to Tell – My Favorite Dead Detective is Back!

Dying to TellDying to Tell

By TJ O’Connor

My favorite dead detective is back in all his crime solving glory. Oliver “Tuck” Tucker was murdered by an intruder, but that hasn’t stopped him from doing what he does best.  He continues to solve murders and mysteries from the other side of the grave.

He is not alone in his crime fighting. His former partner Bear and his wife Angel work with him. Oftentimes Tuck’s presence has helped them, but sometimes it annoys those he left behind. They love him, but Angel especially might need to move on to seeing other men who are not dead, even though she still loves Tuck. Being the wife of a ghost wouldn’t be easy for any woman, but Angel tries to make the best of a bad situation.

As for other crime solving partners, Tuck has a legion of dead people contacting him. Some of them are helpful, some want to get revenge. Most interestingly, some of them are long dead relatives sent to look out for Tuck and help ease him into his new life among the dead. Oftentimes he learns much more about his family than he would have ever found out while living.

In Dying to Tell Tuck meets another of his ancestors. His deceased grandfather, who was an Army captain, shows up looking for answers about an Army mission gone bad from 1942. This mystery is directly related to a case Bear catches. A dead man is found in a hidden bank vault and everyone surrounding the death have secrets or are not who they seem to be.

Tuck participates reluctantly in the investigation until it hits him close to home. Angel is somehow being targeted, and the killer will stop at nothing to keep his secrets from being revealed. Can Tuck find out what is going on before it is too late for his wife?

This book is easily a stand-alone mystery. There are references to the first two books in the series, Dying to Know and Dying for the Past. They are explained without an overabundance of back-story, but enough so new readers would not be lost.

O’Connor’s characters are believable and fully fleshed out with pasts and present stories and events. He artfully weaves the dead and living characters together, using Tuck as the conduit to make it all work.

This is the third in O’Connor’s award winning  Gumshoe Ghost Mystery series. His plots are varied and intricate yet fun and easy to read. They keep me guessing until the final pages. Just when I think I have the killer figured out, a monkey wrench that makes total sense makes me point to a different suspect. This delectable dead detective series is a must read for mystery lovers.

It has quickly become one on my favorite mystery series. O’Connor is an author that should be sought out if you like a well told mystery with a fabulous mix of homicides, history and humor to keep you turning pages well into the night.

Copyright © 2016 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.

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Filed under Book Review, books, Mystery

Book Review: Dying for the Past – Gotta love a book with ghosts and gangsters!

Dying for the PastDying for the Past

By TJ O’Connor

395 pages

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.

Dying to KnowIf 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.


Filed under Book Review, books, Mystery