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Ghost Gone Wild by Carolyn Hart

Carolyn Hart has come up with another adventure in “Ghosts Gone Wild” for her human-saving ghost, Bailey Ruth Raeburn, formerly of Adelaide, OK.  This time Hart has invented a side-kick for Bailey Ruth who has a very different personality, Delilah Delahunt Duvall, the horse-riding ghost who was Aunt Dee to Nick Magruder, the guy who is the one Bailey Ruth is supposed to save.  Nick made it big as an entrepreneur and has retired back home to Adelaide.  Jealous former high school friends goad him into being everyone’s least favorite town citizen until someone actually takes a shot at him and he is saved by Bailey Ruth just to be accused of killing one of these former friends.  Nick’s personality is such that the head of celestial visiting to earth, Wiggins, never actually sent Bailey Ruth back to earth to save the man; it was all connived by Delilah Duvall.  Therefore, once Bailey Ruth makes herself visible during her rescue visit to Nick she is unable to turn herself back into a ghost, and she worries that she will be stuck in a half-life state forever unable to get back to heaven.

Bailey Ruth and Dee are delightfully contrasting characters, and yet they make a good team.  It is pretty clear by the end of the adventure that they could easily be paired up again for another book plot.  I was not an easy convert to the Bailey Ruth Ghost Novel series.  It all seems pretty silly, but rescuer-ghosts have been a successful part of literature for centuries amusing readers in a way that seems almost timeless.  “Ghost Gone Wild” is not necessarily great literature (unlike Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” or the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”) but it does provide a few amusing evenings of laugh-out-loud reading for the cosy mystery lover.

Liz Nichols

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