by Kathleen Bacus

October 2006
ISBN: 0-505-52694-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Lovespell
Mass Market Paperback

Kathleen Bacus has taken readers back to Grandville, Iowa for another Tressa Jayne Turner adventure. To me, the often-bumbling Calamity Jayne; as her friends and family know her, reminds me of a female character from a popular mystery series. One many know and love who tends to end up solving crimes more by accident than by her intellect.

Trouble seems to follow Tressa like the number two follows one or the letter B follows A. It seems to be inevitable. In the newest adventure, Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun, Tressa is writing a human-interest piece on the nominees for Homecoming Queen.

The last girl interviewed is Shelby Lynn. Shelby is more tomboy than feminine and does not believe in the whole homecoming idea. She believes she has no chance of being crowned Homecoming Queen, and in fact, has an ulterior motive in agreeing to speak to Tressa.

She has information that her favorite author Elizabeth Courtney Howard, is returning to Grandville, and will be again taking up residence in Holloway Hall. It is the perfect setting for the famed author as she writes bone chilling suspense books, and Holloway Hall is believed to be haunted.

She will cooperate with Tressa’s article if Tressa will help her meet her idol. Elizabeth Courtney Howard is a recluse who has not been seen in years. While still a popular author, there has been a decline to her writing, and the books are not the page-turners they once were. Shelby wants her books autographed, and Tressa decides an exclusive interview cannot hurt her fledgling journalism career. However, getting in to see the author proves to be as hard as getting into Fort Knox.

Tressa, one not to be steered away from a goal, will go to almost excessive lengths to achieve the story she believes will set her on the path to a Pulitzer. What she stumbles onto along the way, could derail her, but her spunk and determination always come back to her.

Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun is an entertaining read. Ranger Rick is back, and unfortunately, we as readers do not see quite enough of him. Tressa and Rick continue their dance around a committed relationship, and we continue to root for a happy-ever-after for the two. Tressa’s grandmother, Hannah and Joe’s granddad Joe are also back and still lusting after one another.

When I read the first Calamity Jayne book, I was less than impressed, the second book arrived, and I had a need to read it and see if Tressa was as bumbling and stupid as I believed her to be. I was so relieved to see growth in Tressa, that when I discovered a third book, I had to read it. Again, I think Tressa is growing as a character, and Ms. Bacus is improving in her writing skills. I look forward to a fourth Calamity Jayne book.

Reviewed in November 2006 by Sandi.

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