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Don of the Dead (A Pepper Martin Mystery #1)
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Don of the Dead (Pepper Martin #1)

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,032 Ratings  ·  204 Reviews
Welcome to Pepper Martin’s world, but be forewarned: things aren’t what they used to be.Pepper’s wealthy plastic surgeon father is in the federal pen for Medicare fraud. And her handsome stockbroker fiancé? He dumped Pepper like a hot potato when Daddy’s reputation went down the drain. There go her plans for being a CCW (that’s country club wife) and any chance she has to ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published May 30th 2006)
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The first Pepper Martin mystery.

Pepper Martin is a tour guide at a cemetery in Cleveland. Shortly after taking the job she fell and hit her head on a tombstone. The doctors assured her everything was all right with her bruised up brain - so she was pretty surprised when during a tour Gus Scarpetti joined the group. Gus was the Al Capone of Cleveland and had been gunned down 30 years ago - in fact - he was on her tour of "Cleveland's Famous Dead". It quickly became clear that nobody else could se
I'm not sure why I'm not overly crazy about this book. I think the main character bothers me because she still has that rich girl mentality who wants the best shoes to go along with her SAKS outfit; even though she is no longer rich. I don't know if she is because she is clinging onto any guy that is "hot" so that she can hop in the sack with him or get married. Pepper is written, to seem like she's a strong independent woman, but I'm just not feeling it. There is something missing to this story ...more
Chick-lit ain’t my bag, baby. Speaking of bags… Pepper Martin likes bags. And shoes. And clothes. And make-up. And men (okay, I agree with her on that one.)

As for mysteries, I don’t usually go for cozies. But I do enjoy a good paranormal. Mix in a little Mafia, and I was sold. Don of the Dead is book one in the Pepper Martin series. Pepper Martin is an ex-rich girl who due to a set of unfortunate situations ends up having to *gasp* work. The only job she manages to get is as a tour guide in a ce
Emily Crow
This book was a blend of the cozy mystery, chick lit and paranormal fantasy genres that showed occasional potential, but ultimately did not work for me. I picked it up at the library because the blurb said that Pepper Martin, the heroine, works as a cemetery tour guide and decides to solve a mystery on behalf of a ghost (a mafia don murdered decades earlier), and that sounded like a fun plot. I love cemeteries. And ghosts. Mafia dons, not so much.

As it turned out, the ghostly Gus Scarpetti was m
Apr 13, 2014 BookNerdette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 07, 2012 C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: up-to-2012
I like this author, pen-named 'Casey Daniels'. Amongst an array of series, often similar despite being numerous; this one is original. Even the theme of ghosts is approached in the delightfully bizarre setting of graveyard tourism! Casey created a lead character 'Pepper', who is uneducated about the afterlife. Readers learn as she does. She is a fashion-conscious daughter of a ritzy family, made relatable due to their fall from financial grace. More people see eye to eye with her struggle to sup ...more
Sep 01, 2013 Geli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: supernatural, ghosts, ohio
The only reason I picked up this book was because it took place in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. I was very excited to read but I ended up feeling just so so about it. Pepper was a bit annoying at times and I just wanted to slap her so she'd focus and just get the mystery solved already. It seriously annoyed me that literally every guy looks at her boobs. Sometimes its a good thing she loves puffing her chest but then 2 pages later she gets annoyed that (sometimes the same guy) is checking out ...more
Valerie McNamee Earl
I really liked this book.
Reading over some of the reviews, I had to laugh, only because their take is a bit dramatic? She doesn't hop into bed with anyone..... yet..... she hasn't had feelings for anyone in a long time.... she has great assets, which she has learned to use! Jealous? Uhmmmm, oh, she is a rich snob and the best thing she says about herself is....

All because I never dreamed that someday I might have to take care of myself. I never knew I'd need it, so I'd never developed the self-c
Jan 31, 2012 Jenia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who's into Ghosts & Mysteries.
I have read this novel multiple times since discovering the series back in 2009. Yet, every single time that I have read it, I remember the reason that this is one of my favorite series. This novel kept my attention from very beginning, to the very end of the novel. There is so much action in this novel, so much adventure. At each page, it kept me wondering what’s going to happen with Pepper next. I loved her attitude, her dedication to case, no matter what. This is type of mystery novel that ke ...more
Janice (Janicu)
Pepper Martin is a cemetery tour guide who fell and hit herself on the front step of dead mob boss Gus Scarpetti's mausoleum. Soon afterwards she begins to see Scarpetti himself, and he wants her to investigate his murder. Pepper is a rich middle class girl who has found herself without a fortune when her father was conviced of fraud, and has no idea how to solve a 30 year old murder. A fast read with a style that reminds me of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. The writing flowed very wel ...more
I received this book from my best friend who told me I HAD to read it. Reading the back cover I was not quite sure why she had such an urgency for me to read this novel, it sounded like your garden variety chick-lit/murder mystery to me, but I indulged her. Two pages in I realized why she needed me to read it as soon as possible. This book is set in Cleveland, where I lived for almost 8 years. More specifically it is set in the Garden View Cemetary and Little Italy which is right next to where t ...more
Oct 19, 2011 Betty-Braden rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I have been reading the Pepper Martin series for a couple of days now. I read the first one with no big pleasure. The premise is good, but the writing came across stale and the story seemed one dimensional. Read the second one- it had sporadic plot development and inconsistent shallow characters. Read the third- I didn't love it either. SO why would I keep reading? Why even give the fourth one a try you my ask? Well, there is a twofold answer. 1) I have a serious problem starting a series and no ...more
Stephanie Eckstein
I'm so glad I found this series. Why have I never heard of it?

I loved this book it kinda reminded me of Charlaine Harris' Aurora Teegarden series. Lots of laughs and a great mystery. I gotta tell you I couldn't figure out who dunnit until page 279, and I usually have the mystery figured out by page 70. Usually I need a book with alot of romance in it to be satisfied, but this was a great book that stood on it's own.

I loved Pepper she had some serious issues to work out that made her so human and
It took me a while to get into this book. I think the problem is that I thought everyone was more interesting and likable than Pepper. There's just something about Pepper that rubs me the wrong way. I will say that she's not the sharpest tool in the shed, which doesn't exactly work to her advantage most of the time. I'm not really sure why the two love interests were brought in so early. (view spoiler) ...more
I had a lot of fun reading this book! The story sucked me in and pulled me along. (Tonight, it pulled me hours past the time I planned to go to sleep...)
Feb 28, 2012 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don of the Dead was so much fun! I loved Pepper. Gus was a mobster who was gunned down. He appears to Pepper and she is the only one who can see and hear him. He wants her to find out who murdered him. She's got two guys--Dan and Quinn but these relationships aren't quite working out like she wants. She's got hitmen after her. And I wanted to know what everyone was hiding from Pepper. Seems no one could tell her the truth or the whole story. I will be reading more of Pepper and her dead companio ...more
Jan 10, 2016 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a decent start to the series.

Firstly, I liked that it was believable that Pepper was new to this. She couldn't shake her tail, she got caught talking to herself tons of times & she made plenty of mistakes. I know, that some people may think she could be seen as stupid, but I disagree. Yes, she could have handled plenty of things better. But considering the circumstances I think it was fairly well done.

The mystery itself was interesting. I guessed parts of it, but not the whole thing, wh
Mar 21, 2015 Lokki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don of the Dead is Daniels first Pepper Martin story. It has a little of everything...mystery, action, humour, paranormal, and a little (a really little) romance. Pepper is a tour guide at an historic Cleveland cemetery, a job she's been forced to take when her upper middle class surgeon father is sent to prison for embezzlement and her society-conscious fiance dumps her. After a bump on the head, Pepper meets Gus Scarpetti, the former head of a local crime family who died over 30 years ago. Sca ...more
Jul 06, 2014 Imalady rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
I liked it enough mostly because of the premise and found the overall mystery/story interesting. I would consider continuing if not for the main character. She's a former rich girl who never thought to do anything for herself, but now has to work and support herself like every plebian on earth.

She's written to be independent and changed, but she's still a bit too vapid and self-involved to me. The author gave her big breasts so that with every male encounter she can mention how every guy ogles
Jun 29, 2014 Marsha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many of my Goodreads friends listed "Don of the Dead" under their 'to read' list. So. I had to give this book a try. When I first began reading the story I started to worry that this book might not be for me. Why? Well, the main character, Pepper, is rather whiny, self absorbed and quite frankly weak. I tend to like my main characters to be stronger and more self assured. However,within a short period of time the book and the characters really grew on me and I found myself eager to read the next ...more
Feb 12, 2014 Sonja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cute little mystery story... I love the character of Pepper Martin... It will be fun watching this character develop throughout this series.

Looking forward to finding out more about Dan the Brain Man and of course that hunky copy Quinn... I've already got the 2nd in this series and will start it today.
Sarah Crawford
Jan 28, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
his is an absolutely wonderful novel about Pepper Martin and the ghost of a mobster don.

Pepper Martin works at a cemetery giving tours and speeches. One day she trips and falls, hits her head, and after that she is able to see the ghost of Gus Scarpetti, who died decades before and wants to know who had put out the hit on him.

He's not leaving till he finds out, no matter how much he bothers Pepper, and she starts to do some research on the old murder. She finds old newspaper articles, talks to s
Jun 30, 2010 Yodamom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book really reminded me of the Teagarden Mystery books by Charlaine Harris. Some sexual attraction, some humor, and some great characters. I got involved enought to read the rest of the series, there were enough unfinished things to keep me coming back. A fast read, I finished in one day...
Nov 04, 2014 Trea rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenges-2014
I had high hopes for this one, but I was actually pretty bored for most of it. There was a lot of talking, and the actual mystery wasn't that much of a mystery, to be honest. I'm mildly curious about what is up with one of the characters, but not enough to continue the series anytime soon. As for the rest of the characters, Pepper seemed shallow overall, but she had a bit of a "look at me" personality that overshadowed all other characters in the story. Gus was very stereotypical for a mobster, ...more
Feb 28, 2008 jody rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good. The ending felt abrupt and left some unanswered questions - not enough to get angry about though. Maybe that was on purpose.
Melissa ownsbey
Apr 04, 2012 Melissa ownsbey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i like this book it took me 2days to finsh it man it was good
i did not win this on good reads but i bought it from s store
Dec 18, 2014 Tammie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First book of a "I See Dead People" Mystery series. I actually was pleasantly surprised by this book. I wasn't sure I was going to like the lead character, Pepper Martin, when the story first started but as she wound her way through her first meeting with a ghost and the mystery that followed...she grew on me to the point I was thoroughly sad when the first book came to an end. It is a very light read, but the author held my attention with some neat twists to the story and I was glad to be guess ...more
Jan 02, 2016 Jasbr rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Die Idee ist zwar nicht neu, aber dann doch immer wieder witzig: Pepper arbeitet als Fremdenführerin auf dem Friedhof, als sie plötzlich den Geist eines Mafiosos sehen kann. Und nicht nur das: Sie wird sogar von ihm aufgefordert, seinen Mord aufzuklären.
Wie gesagt, die Idee ist nicht neu, aber witzig. Pepper als Hauptfigur ist sympathisch - man muss sie einfach mögen. Ähnlich geht es einem mit Gus, dem Geist. Er ist bzw. war zwar ein Gangster, ist aber trotzdem zum lieb haben.
Anfangs ist es mir
I bought this book on a whim so imagine my surprise when I finished the book and it sunk in how much I really enjoyed the story! Pepper Martin is a debutante in trouble. She had to recently take a job because her doting dad is doing time in jail and she has no one to spoil her anymore. Her fiance dumped her because he didn't want to marry into a convict's family. Lacking many skills, Pepper finds herself leading tours in one of Cleveland's oldest cemeteries. After a bump on the head, Pepper find ...more
I first noticed this series due to the fact that is labelled under the categories "urban-fantasy" and "mysteries". I'm really crazy about these two literary genres so I thought I couldn't dismiss such a book/ series. I have to say that although I wasn't expecting anything in particular from this installment I still liked the experience and I'll be sure to read the next book. The writing is simple and light and the mystery behind the story is engaging. I guessed everything correctly at the end bu ...more
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Buddy Reads : This topic has been closed to new comments. * Don of the Dead by Casey Daniels (March 1 2015) 1 3 Feb 05, 2015 12:25PM  
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A pseudonym used by Connie Laux, A.K.A Miranda Bliss and Kylie Logan.

A couple years ago I applied for a part-time job as a tour guide at a historic cemetery not far from where I live. Why? Well, aside from the fact that the job would force me to step away from my computer and remind me that there was a life beyond writing (even in a place where just about everybody was dead), I love cemeteries.

More about Casey Daniels...

Other Books in the Series

Pepper Martin (9 books)
  • The Chick and the Dead (Pepper Martin, #2)
  • Tombs of Endearment (Pepper Martin, #3)
  • Night of the Loving Dead (Pepper Martin, #4)
  • Dead Man Talking (Pepper Martin, #5)
  • Tomb with a View (Pepper Martin #6)
  • A Hard Day's Fright (Pepper Martin #7)
  • Wild Wild Death (Pepper Martin #8)
  • Supernatural Born Killers (Pepper Martin #9)

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