I have to admit, the first time Gus Scarpetti spoke to me, I didn't pay a whole lot of attention.
After all, the guy had been dead for thirty years. How much could he possibly have to say?
Welcome to Pepper Martin’s world, but be forewarned: things aren’t what they used to be.Pepper’s wealthy plastic surgeon father is in the federal pen for Medicare fraud. And her handsome stockbroker fiancé? He dumped Pepper like a hot potato when Daddy’s reputation went down the drain. There go her plans for being a CCW (that’s country club wife) and any chance she has to develop a decent backhand and a really good tan.
Now, armed with a degree in art history that she thought she’d never have to use, Pepper has to earn a living, and she’s stuck in the deadest of all dead-end jobs, working as a tour guide in a historic cemetery.
Oh yeah, and then there’s the ghost. When he was alive, Gus Scarpetti was the mob boss all the other bosses feared. But that was thirty years ago, before he was gunned down outside his favorite restaurant. The cops were sure it was a hit by a rival gang. They pushed the investigation to the back burner and that (as they say) was that.
Or was it? After she trips and hits her head on Gus’s tombstone, Pepper finds out that resting doesn’t always mean resting in peace. Gus is back, and the not-so-dearly-departed don makes it clear that he’s not going anywhere–not until Pepper finds out who really murdered him.
Can things get any more complicated? Well, there is the little matter of the sexy cop. Pepper is attracted to Quinn Harrison’s street-smarts and the fact that he looks terrific in everything from worn jeans to thousand-dollar suits. It helps that he carries a really big gun and he knows how to use it when danger threatens. Then there’s Dan Callahan, the adorable and slightly muddled research scientist who wants to study Pepper’s brain. He seems as innocent as a basket of puppies--until Pepper discovers that he has some secrets of his own.
These days, Pepper’s more worried about hitmen than high fashion. And the guys who are following her in the big, black sedan? Something tells her they’re not from the Prize Patrol. What she needs to do is solve Gus’s murder and solve it fast. It just might be possible, too. If she doesn’t end up getting whacked herself.
And once Gus has gone to the Great Beyond, Pepper sees a peaceful, quiet, ghost-free life.
Then again, what you see and what you get . . .
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Mystery