Review: A Ghostly Grave by Tonya Kappes

Posted March 1, 2020 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 16 Comments

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Review: A Ghostly Grave by Tonya Kappes
A Ghostly Grave
Narrated by Tiffany Morgan

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Ghostly Southern Mysteries #2
Genres: Mystery Romance, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Comedy
Published by Tantor Audio
Released on January 21, 2020
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
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The Delight

The previous book, A Ghostly Undertaker, introduced me to the quirky residents of Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky, and none could be quirkier than Emma Lee Raines who runs the local funeral home with her sister and sees ghosts since she got bopped on the head by a fallen plastic Santa.  The ghosts insist she finds their murders and town sheriff, handsome high school crush, Jack Henry, insists she leave the investigating to him meanwhile her granny is stirring things up and the town gossips are having a field day.  What’s not to like, right?


A Ghostly Grave is book two in the Ghostly Southern Mysteries series and builds on the previous book, but could be read standalone or out of order in a pinch.

Emma Lee Raines buried Colonel ‘Chicken’ Teater four years ago and when she started seeing ghosts, he was the first ghost to start pestering her to find his murderer.  Now, the whole town wonders about his death when Jack Henry orders his body exhumed at Emma Lee’s advice that Chicken didn’t die naturally.  Jack Henry knows she sees ghosts so he knows that her intel is good, but he also tells her to stay out of it now and leave the investigating to him.

Emma Lee can’t keep her nose out of it because Chicken won’t let her.  He insists his beauty queen widow killed him and is more concerned about his prize hen, Lady Cluckington, in the hands of his wife who hated how he loved that hen more than her.  Chicken doesn’t want to believe it was his wife, but she had strong motive and she has Emma Lee suspicious from the start with her false grief and the way she flirts  with any red-blooded man near her including Jack Henry.

Meanwhile, the rival funeral home is taking more of their business and granny decides to run for mayor to oppose the rival funeral director who will make them all miserable if he gets elected.  Granny is convinced the man stole her motor scooter and goes on a mission to get it back causing Emma Lee more embarrassment, distraction, and not just a little concern that between her seeing ghosts and her occupation plus a crazy granny, Jack Henry whom she has dreamed about for so long and has looked past her beautiful sister and all the other women to her might just finally decide its too much.  He sure won’t like the lengths she has gone to in solving Chicken’s murder.

This was a crack up just like the first book.  The books are not meant to be taken seriously and are more comedy than mystery and just as much cliched small town Southern life and romance.  There is a little depth and some underlying serious elements like Emma Lee’s relationship with her sister, her loyalty to family and their business, and her concern that justice was done, but just as much amusing antics like the old gossipy women and their new fascination with yoga.  Chicken Teater was hilarious when he spouted slightly crude, redneck aphorisms and got upset about his ex wife, the guy at the trailer park crushing on her, and cooed over his pet champion hen.  Jack Henry is the straight guy in this comedic group trying to keep peace in the town, solve the crime, and show uncertain Emma Lee that he likes her just the way she is and he thinks she is the most beautiful woman.

The mystery side is not chinzed on and is clever enough to keep you guessing a bit and also deliver a few exciting suspenseful moments among all the amateur fumbling and bumbling of Emma Lee with her ghost guide.

Tiffany Morgan continues to narrate the series.  She catches the tone of the books with an exaggerated slow drawl for most of the characters particularly when they are talking to Emma Lee all careful-like thinking she has the ‘funeral trauma’ (aka caught talking to ghosts).  She has a wonderful vocal range for men and women’s voices, old and young, and all the emotions with a good sense of comedic timing.

In summary, it was highly entertaining and fun leaving me looking forward to the next ghostly escapades for Emma Lee and the rest of the Sleepy Hollow gang as told by Tiffany Morgan.  Those who enjoy cozy mysteries with strong paranormal and romance elements should pick these up.

My thanks to Tantor Audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met

New Release #16
Literary Pickers #33 audio
Audio #13

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Mary Kirkland
1 year ago

That sounds fun but could you imagine if you all of the sudden started seeing ghosts? That would be awesome. lol

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Oh my yes, she thought she was crazy and so did everyone else. 🙂 But the ghosts are a stitch and crack me up.

Anne - Books of My Heart

I’ve seen some other books reviewed by this author. I haven’t read her yet as I’m not in a cozy mystery mood very often. The paranormal aspects make it more likely though. Excellent review!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Yes, I love her Kenni Lowry series. It is also ghostly driven, but this one is more comedy so I like it for a different reason. 🙂

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

This sounds like a whole lotta of fun! I do love it when a book cracks me up, but is also clever enough to keep me guessing with the mystery. Off to see if my library has the audios. 🙂

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

They are hilarious entertainment. 🙂 Hope they are a library find for you, Rachel.

Carole's Random Life in Books

This sounds fabulous! It has been a while since I read a book that I really found to be funny. I have wanted to try this author for a while so I will have to look for this one.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

They are a lot of fun. I know what you mean about funny books being thin on the ground. 🙂

Angie Elle
1 year ago

It sounds like there is A LOT going on in this book, but it also sounds like it’s all in good fun!

I’m glad you enjoyed this one, Sophia. Great review. 🙂

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Angie Elle

It sure was, Angie. I’m hoping to start the next one soon. 🙂

Carole Rae
1 year ago

” Colonel ‘Chicken’ Teater”? I LOVE IT!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Isn’t that a crack up? LOL, I kept thinking of Colonel Saunders with a bucket of chicken. 🙂

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

This series sounds light and fun..the perfect escape read.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Good call! They are zany and over the top, but great fun. 🙂

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

I love quirky characters and this series sounds like it delivers! I’m glad that the mystery gave you some surprises and suspense filled moments. I’m glad you got a good narrator. Now that I’m starting to listen to audiobooks, I see how that can make or break a story. Especially with so many hours of listening. Great Review Sophia!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Oh yes, I nearly stopped before I really got started with audios because the first few books I listened to had poor narrator matches. They weren’t bad voices just not good matches for those books. Then I finally tried one recommended to me and it was much better. And, the rest is history. LOL

This is definitely a funny series and sometimes I forget there’s a mystery to work out while enjoying the characters’ antics.