Dead Man Haunt – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish
Twila and I see ghosts. We talk to ghosts. We actually hunt ghosts and enjoy the heck out of our quests. We love to prowl old buildings and graveyards, day and night, study the history of them, and occasionally chat with the long-passed occupants of both the buildings and graves. Yet out of the dozens of gone-by souls we chat with, very few ever keep our attention past that one and only conversation. Patrick, however, a ghost I met recently, had intrigued us into this upcoming adventure, the adventure Jack was so adamantly opposed to. I’d met Patrick when I joined a few local ghost hunters to investigate the historic, scheduled-for-demolition Springs Hotel in the tiny West Texas town of Mineral Springs. He stepped out of the shower in the men’s dressing room, six foot of blond nakedness, dribbles of water crawling down his tanned muscles, a white towel draped around his neck. No doubt in my mind he was a ghost, yet what a gorgeous ghost. Patrick winked at me – he could see me every bit as well as I could him. Then he disappointed me greatly when he faded back into his own dimension. I didn’t even get a chance to see if he’d show up in a photograph, because I was too rapt to remember the digital camera hanging around my neck.
Alice is a writer by occupation and resides in a lakeside cabin in Six Gun, Texas along with several cats and a dog and a mixture of ghosts who would rather stay as they are than to go into the light to the other side. Her closest neighbor Granny and her aunt Twila both indulge in Alice’s taste for the spirit side of life, or should I say death. Oh yeah, I can’t leave out the 4 legged ghost hunters, Trucker the dog and Miss Molly the cat who accompany the 3 on all of their ghost hunting trips. And I almost forgot Jack, Alice’s ex-husband who is a New Orleans detective who seems to be drug into all of Alice, Twila and Granny’s tangles with the ghosts as well as the non-ghosts. Jack just happens to be a non-believer but he can see the ghosts. Go figure.
I can’t get enough of this author. In Dead Man Haunt I enjoyed a real laugh when Alice and team are accosted by a skunk and end up taking a tomato juice bath. I laughed when Patrick would appear at the most inopportune times, sporting nothing but his birthday suit, which seemed to be his preferred mode of dress, or should I say undress. I laughed when the ghost Mary Ann, who had been cut in half, appeared scaring the pants off Delroy the ‘commando.’ But laughter isn’t all T. M. Simmons puts into the Dead Man series. I stayed in total suspense until the end trying to guess who killed Mary Ann and why. I strained my mind trying to come up with the reason for Patrick, as well as several other ghosts, still being on this side and not the other where they can find peace. And then the characters started coming together making the puzzle into a picture. But the ending still ended up being nothing that I had suspected.
I seem to be reading this series backwards starting with Dead Man Hand, book #1, which was just as good as Dead Man Haunt, book #2, I can’t wait to read book #1 Dead Man Talking. I’ve also read T. M. Simmons Paranormal Suspense Winter Prey, enjoying it immensely. As I said, I can’t get enough of this author. And did I tell you that T. M. Simmons actually lives in a haunted house in East Texas which she shares with hubby, a variety of pets and of course her paranormal residents.