I’ve been a huge fan of Victoria Laurie since I read the first Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye book a few years ago. I adore reading about that feisty psychic detective and her often near-fatal mishaps. However, when I read the first MJ Holliday book, I was completely hooked. If you haven’t read the other books in the series (you really should), MJ Holliday is a medium/ ghost buster. In the early books, she worked more or less alone, with only the assistance of her trusty sidekick Gilly. In the later books, she is accompanied by a more expansive team as she earns her own cable-network TV show (think Ghost Hunters).
In Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls MJ, her new co-star/”are they or are they not” boyfriend, Gilly and the crew of Ghoul Getters head off to a remote part of Scotland to bust a particular nasty ghoul living in Dunlow castle. In fact, it’s the worst ghoul they’ve ever faced (until the next book). To make matters worse, their producer is missing and the castle is only accessible (or escapable) twice a day for a few hours.
The plot was fun and easy to follow, like all of Laurie’s books. The atmosphere was particularly creepy (pretty much any Scottish, Irish or English castle always comes across as creepy!), and I really liked the development between MJ and Heath. I enjoyed reading this book, but I do have a few complaints. First, Gilly is getting more annoying and less charming with each book. He used to be just a little off in a fairly comedic way. Now he’s a downright raving lunatic, busting into a complete psychotic meltdown at the sight of talking animals on the television. Seriously? The guy deals with ghosts for a living (albeit reluctantly and outfitted in a sweatshirt filled with magnets), but talking animals reduce him to hysterics? I’m terrified of clowns. I hide my eyes when particularly frightening ones come on TV. I don’t start screaming and acting like a loon though, especially in the midst of a particularly frightening investigation (not that I do much ghostly investigating). He’s becoming a hindrance to the other main characters to the point of distraction. Please Ms. Laurie, if you somehow manage to stumble across this little review blog, I beg of you, return Gilly to his usual slightly whacked by still charming self.
Second, I miss Doc, the wise-cracking African Gray that usually travels with MJ and crew. He’s been all but written out since MJ started production on her show. I understand that it is unrealistic to bring her parrot along on trips across the continent, but his presence is still missed.
Overall, “Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls” was a quick, entertaining read. I hope Laurie addresses some of the issues with the ever unraveling Gilly (based on Amazon reviews, I’m not the only one who thought it was over the top) and brings back my beloved Doc, even if just for a few pages. But regardless of the issues with this particular book, I’ll be snapping up her next one the day it comes out, as always.
The giveaway portion of this post is closed and has been removed.