Right off the bat I have to say – I thoroughly enjoyed A Ghost for Christmas by J.D. Winters. This is the first book in the Destiny Bay Cozy Mysteries. It was a one afternoon read for me, but I honestly had a hard time putting it down. As seems to be a trend with a lot of these cozy mysteries, this one also includes a recipe – a Hawaiian one, for Chicken Hekka… and for once I may just be tempted to try it! (without the mushrooms as I seem to be semi allergic)
But, enough of that… back to the story itself. The main character – Mele Keahi is half Hawaiian, half Caucasian. Her father has passed away and her mother disappeared when she was quite young. This left her with her grandmother (who was Hawaiian) and her Aunt Bebe (the same). Having recently lost her job and had her relationship suddenly end, Mele has traveled to Destiny Bay to sort herself out and enjoy a vacation with her aunt. Cue body in the front yard and the mystery begins.
Mele has more issues than just a murder to cope with. As we learn in the early portion of the book she has also (at least as a teenager) been haunted, or at least seen the ghost of a man who she calls Dante. Why, she doesn’t know, but he is back.
Add into the mix a bit of Hawaiian flavour, a detective who seems to be both suspicious of Mele and flirtatious, neighbours and workers who have dubious motives and even more dubious alibis and that ever present hint of the paranormal and A Ghost for Christmas is a wonderful contemporary cozy read.
The Destiny Bay Cozy Mysteries series has great potential. I especially love that the main character, while “damaged” is still confident, she is who she is and is shaped by her past, but the future is an open book! One which I look forward to reading further!