Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Case of the Green-Dressed Ghost by Lucy Banks

I came across this book while shelving in the library. Actually, I came across the second in the series, The Case of the Deadly Doppleganger and was ready to check it out before I discovered it was actually the second in the Dr. Ribero's Agency of the Supernatural series. I'm happy to say I've discovered a series that I thoroughly enjoy.

Kester Lanner has recently lost his mother, and she has left instructions for him to travel to Exeter, in England, to a rather run-down building, to meet Dr. Ribero. Kester finds out Dr. Ribero is actually his father, and he runs a very odd company, with a small crew of argumentative people: Ms. Wellbeloved, Pamela, Mike, and Serena. And by argumentative, I mean they're all continually squabbling. Sheesh, talk about a toxic work environment! But underneath it all lies a firm foundation of togetherness. Dr. Ribero and crew run a supernatural agency. 

Kester, an overweight, pale, delicate sort of young man, relies on facts and reality, and he's thrown a curve meeting his father and the crew. In fact, he's actually dreadfully frightened of the unknown. But, he's inherited a skill from his mother: his ability to open a door to the spirit world that spirits just can't resist. It's a rare gift, and one that Kester hasn't mastered at all. The agency has a bit of an unusual job: a haunted portrait that enchants men and terrorizes their wives. If they don't solve this haunting, and capture the spirit, they will have to close the doors of the agency for good. Will Kester help them, or be the end of them?

So aside from the constant bickering between Serena (geez, she's got an attitude) and Mike, I liked the small crew at the agency. Pamela and Ms. Wellbeloved were the anchors, and quite lovely women, with their own particular talents. Serena is the one who can capture spirits in water bottles, and Mike is the techno guy who is constantly trying to fix, improve, and create technology to help them with their jobs. Dr. Ribero is a quirky, mysterious leader, and a father Kester never imagined. Kester is the most interesting. He's a sad sack, barely ever leaving home, loves to read, is great at research, but hasn't lived a life at all--until he meets the crew. Waffling between being terrified and interested in capturing spirits, he's a man-child on the cusp of potential great change, if only he can get up the courage to jump. 

I read reviews of this novel on Goodreads, and I'd say roughly half the folks either gave up, or complained about the argumentative cast of characters. I loved it, and it reminded me a bit of Simon Green's Ghost Finders series. I am heading to work today, hopeful the second in the series in still on a shelf waiting for me to check it out. Anyone who enjoys series with a supernatural twist will enjoy this one. I can't wait to see what trouble the crew get into, and see Kester mature. It's a contemporary novel, but the feel to it kept me thinking it was not contemporary; but that didn't really bother me. I thought the ghost story was pretty clever, and I can tell the author put some thought/research into the legend of that particular spirit while developing the novel. 

Yay! Another series I like. I'm continually surprised that I keep happening upon new series. I can't promise I'll always read every book in the series-sometimes they just go on for too long--(Laurel K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Patricia Cornwell, Jim Butcher). But for now, I'll continue to enjoy Dr. Ribero and his unique agency. 

Here's the second in the series, out now:

Rating:  4/6 for an entertaining start to a new supernatural series. I am looking forward to reading more! 

Available in paperback and ebook. 

1 comment :

  1. I have this on my kindle waiting to be read. So many books, so little time!