Ghost of a Chance
Neil Richards and Matthew Costello
Another book that was rather on the short side - it lasted me less than two working days on my short trips to and from work. But I loved it!
The writing was good, the story fast-paced without giving the impression of being rushed, the characters came to life even with just a few bold strokes of the paintbrush, and the mystery was solved to my satisfaction.
Yes, mystery. That's what it was about: A hotel that has seen better days but is trying so hard to cling to its faded Victorian glory hosts a "ghostly" dinner; guests pay for the meal, get to hear a scary story and maybe will even witness the apparition of Freddy, the hotel's very own ghost.
The special dinner has been a tradition for many years, and never anything more happened than what the Master of Ceremonies had planned. This year, though, even as the visiting MC is setting everything up for the evening, a few strange and unexplicable things happen. Then, during the dinner, a heavy chandelier falls from the ceiling, scattering broken glass everywhere - an accident that could have seriously hurt (or worse) some of the guests.
But was it really an accident? And if it wasn't, who is behind it, and why?
Private investigators Sarah and Jack are asked to help, and their questions soon yield more than one possible suspect.The big show-down at the end of the book reveals it all... or does it?
As I said, I loved this book! The two authors are, according to their website, very active in script-writing both for TV and games, and it shows - they are accomplished storytellers who manage to draw the reader into the story from the start.
I enjoyed the atmosphere of the hotel and the cast of characters, some quirky, some lovable, some (deliberately) less so. Events and people's backgrounds were explained when necessary, and only then. There were no repetitive conversations, the way you find them in some books, where something happens to the hero and then the hero relates the entire thing all over again to someone else, while you as the reader think 'yes, I know...'.
The book is part of a series; it can be read on its own but clearly isn't the first in the series. I wouldn't mind learning more about the two investigators and the setting of the stories - a fictional English village called Cherringham. I shall have a look for the other parts, I think.