You’re the One That I Haunt
Avon, Mar 2009, $6.99
In her twenties in Atlanta, Nikki Styx suffered heart failure. However instead of passing on, she is sent back to earth to help those dead unwilling to move on. She co-owns Handbags and Gladrags with Evan, who is despondent because his lover Butch is cheating. Nikki has had commitment phobia issues until she met Joe six months ago when she nearly died and he was her ER surgeon; Joe is also her sister’s ex husband.
At the Moon Beam Coffee Shop an angry ghost Crystal accuses Joe of killing her. Sammy the devil arrives to inform Nikki and Joe that Crystal is his apprentice unless Nikki wants the position as he wants her to go dark. Sammy has opened up an Indie music store Divinyls nearby. Crystal leaps inside Nikki taking control of her and shouting that Joe killed her; Sammy tapes her outcry. Nikki forces Crystal out of her body. Afterward, she asks her sister Kelly in Savannah for help. Kelly promises to research possession and their transvestite “grandma” Bijou heads to Atlanta with the Savannah Garden Club members. Meanwhile Crystal’s mother encouraged by Preacher Jimmy Boyd sues Joe and Columbia Memorial Hospital for wrongful death. As Crystal refuses to move on encouraged by Sammy, she possesses her again; Nikki realizes the dead woman cannot depart until she is assured that her twelve year old sister is safe, but to persuade the mom seems impossible.
The strong relationship between the lead couple is terrific as Crystal’s possession and a hospital lawyer causes problems for Nikki and Joe. The strong support cast enhances the plot especially the Savannah posse, Sammy, and Crystal. Although the plot is thin especially the climax, urban fantasy chick lit fans will enjoy Nikki’s latest caper (see A MATCH MADE IN HELL and DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY).