Book Review: Mystery at Maplemead Castle (Chapelwick Mysteries #2), by Kitty French

Publisher:  Bookouture

Publication date:  17th March 2017

The Mystery at Maplemead Castle is a place where ghouls rule and rival ghost whisperers duel. It’s bursting with personality, non-stop hilarity, and the eccentricities are just tripping off the page!

Chapelwick is the home of the Bittersweets, no nonsense ladies with an intuition for all things other-worldly.  There’s the champagne flute wielding grandmother, a pancake flipping mother, a converse wearing daughter and her dog she lovingly named after a fictional vampire (I’m 100% convinced that pooch could have his own series!)

Melody might be the youngest of the clan but she has fiercely inherited her ‘gift’ from a long line of independent Bittersweet women. She embraces a contented sense of fashion offset by a lack of passion sense, at least where recurring mania for the journo-inferno that ‘lights her fire’ is concerned. Yes, self-control reaches breaking point as the Melody/Fletcher connection becomes feverishly intense and risqué humour positively thrives with their dialogue exchanges.

When she isn’t failing spectacularly at applying ‘Fletcher Gunn avoidance tactics’, Melody can be found sniffing out baked goodies faster than her one-eared, keg-bellied pug, Lestat, or chasing the next peculiar presence with her ghostbusting fellowship, who are every bit as quirky as she is.

They’re a cracking bunch of individuals, with the stress on individual! A strong cast is needed to cope with the unwanted, wisecracking visitors residing Maplemead Castle, and I’m not talking about the American couple who bought the property over the internet!

What I love about the Chapelwick Mysteries is in addition to the funnies is a compassion shown for the tormented souls who linger to replay the most traumatic moment of their life. The ‘troupe’ of lodgers this time provides an assembly of raw emotions. Despite their poltergeist activities and sardonic retorts when acquainting themselves with the new people that come and go, they are driven by their own tragedy, eternally trapped by the final moment of the end of their lives.

Melody, for all her unintentional inappropriate timing and clumsy approach to life (and death!) situations, is compelled to delve into the source of conflict which is something other people often miss; people like her adversary and ex, Leo Dark, and his snarky devotees who Melody refers to as his ‘fem-bots’. The tottering clones make some fleeting but smashing appearances, and we are treated to a new performance from Leo altogether: is there a lighter side to Mr Dark?

Miss Bittersweet may be a tad unsubtle at times, sugar-crazed certainly, and so impulsive the heckles of hindsight are frequently heard, but she’s a flurry of unpredictable fun, delivering an amusing, amorous, and pretty darn awesome diversion.

Rating:  4.5/5

You can find my review for the first Chapelwick Mystery here. You’ll may notice the cover has been re-branded since my review was written, but as I have a soft spot for the original I’ve left it exactly as it is!

(I requested a copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley and it’s my pleasure to provide an unbiased review.)

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Welcome to Chapelwick, a leafy English town in the hills of Shropshire, where chocolate pecan cookies come with a helping of sabotage.
 
Maplemead Castle is crawling with ghosts, and the new owners need them gone. When Melody Bittersweet and the Girls’ Ghostbusting Agency arrive on scene, they quickly identify the troublemakers swinging from the chandeliers… literally.
 
A century ago, stunning trapeze artist Britannia Lovell plunged to her death, and has done every night since. But did she really just fall, or was there something more to her demise?
 
Forced to work with Leo Dark, her scoundrel ex, and infuriating, irresistible reporter Fletcher Gunn, Melody’s investigative powers are under strain (i.e. lost in a pink mist of lust and confusion). She needs her team on top form, but best friend Marina’s cake pipeline goes AWOL, assistant Artie’s distracted by a giant sausage roll, and the pug is scared witless by a lion.
 
Somewhere, hidden in the castle, is a heart-breaking secret, but what will it take to find it? And is there a chance it could set Britannia free, or is she doomed to repeat her last fateful act forever?
 
An utterly hilarious, gripping, spooktastic read for fans of HY Hanna, MC Beaton, Gina LaManna and Jana DeLeon.
 (Courtesy of Amazon UK. Photograph courtesy of publisher.)
 

USA Today best selling author Kitty French writes sexy, escapist romance hot enough to burn your fingers…

The USA Today best selling Lucien Knight series has been a hit around the world, and Kitty is now writing and releasing the Regular Sex series of half hour erotic reads, a weekly issue to make sure your weekend starts with a bang!

Kitty is also the disreputable alter-ego of a romantic comedy writer Kat French. She writes full time, and lives in England with her husband and two little boys.

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