Reviewed by Kristin
Bailey Ruth is back, once again serving on Earth as an emissary from Heaven. Bailey Ruth is a helpful ghost, that is—a helpful emissary, who has been known to lend a hand when individuals on Earth need a little help. (We really shouldn’t use the word “ghost” because Wiggins, the head of the heavenly Department of Good Intentions, certainly wouldn’t approve.) Bailey Ruth is impulsive and has a tendency to bend the heavenly rules for earthly visitation. After all, how can she help people when she is supposed to work behind the scenes and avoid public notice as much as possible?
In this outing, Bailey Ruth is whisked away suddenly before she has a chance to obtain directions from Wiggins. Dropped on the edge of her old hometown—Adelaide, Oklahoma—Bailey Ruth arrives at a young man’s house immediately before someone sticks a rifle through the curtains and takes a shot. Fortunately, Bailey Ruth is on the job and saves Nick Magruder from serious injury. Unfortunately, reassuring him requires materializing in a visible form, something that is strongly discouraged in the heavenly precepts. As she swirls her physical form into being, she discovers that she cannot vanish again at will.
Something strange is afoot! Bailey Ruth realizes that perhaps her mission was not authorized by Wiggins; as she struggles to discover what she is supposed to be doing, she wonders how on Earth will she ever get back to Heaven?
I find Bailey Ruth rather delightful as she focuses on her appearance, changing her outfits with a mere thought. Carolyn Hart writes the character in such a way that makes the reader feel how happy Bailey Ruth is in her heavenly environs, and how much she enjoyed her life on earth with Bobby Mac. After they both arrived in Heaven together when their boat sunk in the Gulf of Mexico, Bailey Ruth discovered the wonders of an eternity full of happiness and love. Forever appearing to be age twenty-seven with curly red hair and green eyes, Bailey Ruth has an infectious spring in her step and a smile on her lips.
This is definitely a cozy mystery series, although I have read that Hart prefers to call the books “traditional mysteries”. There is very little violence or blood, just a kind soul who wants to help people in trouble. A bit of history is given at the beginning of every book so you can just jump in and read any of the books in the series, but the books in order are: Ghost at Work; Merry, Merry Ghost; Ghost in Trouble; Ghost Gone Wild; and coming in October 2014: Ghost Wanted.