Night of the Living Deed (A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery, #1)
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Night of the Living Deed (A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery #1)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  1,966 ratings  ·  244 reviews
Welcome to the first Haunted Guest House mystery-the getaway every reader can afford.

Newly divorced Alison Kerby wants a second chance for herself and her nine-year-old daughter. She's returned to her hometown on the Jersey Shore to transform a Victorian fixer-upper into a charming-and profitable-guest house. One small problem: the house is haunted, and the two ghosts in...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Berkley
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Paranormal Cozy Mysteries
14th out of 204 books — 240 voters
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44th out of 307 books — 364 voters


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Community Reviews

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Patty
I love this book! It was fun and humorous as well as a wonderful character study. Of course, I've enjoyed everything that E.J.'s alter-ego has written so it wasn't much of a surprise.

Alison Kerby has purchased a house and is working to renovate the seven (!) bedroom house into a guesthouse. She's a pretty fair carpenter and "handywoman" who is doing most of the work herself. She is trying to build a new life for herself and her nine-year-old daughter. When she is hit on the head by a bucket she...more
Jan
Alison Kerby and her daughter, Melissa, are starting their post-divorce life by renovating an old house on the New Jersey shore. But progress is stalled by the presence of two ghosts, Maxie and Paul who were murdered in the house. They want Alison to solve their murders, and when Alison starts getting threats, she tries to do just that.

This book is a great start to the series. Alison is just snarky enough and Melissa is a charning character. The mystery is very good. The ghosts and other charact...more
Jennifer
2 1/2 Stars

This cozy mystery by E.J. Copperman is the first in the Haunted Guesthouse series. Recently divorced single mother Allison Kerby has bought a huge Victorian home in need of some work. She hopes to renovate the home, turn it into a guesthouse, and earn her living on the Jersey Shore. There's one small flaw in her plan. The ghosts of the previous owner, Maxie, and a private detective, Paul, haunt the home and insist Allison find out who killed them.

The concept of the books is great. Th...more
Deanne
This is not a scary ghost or zombie story. It is a mystery with a witty, funny main character. I loved her snarky attitude, her poignant evaluations of life and her self reliant nature. I have to admit that about 3/4 of the way through the book, I got a little tired of the wit wrapped around pretty much everything she said, but I got over it because by then I was so interested to see "who did it." There were some really humorous remarks that I wanted to write down and memorize so I could say the...more
Cathi
I liked Night of the Living Deed. I bought it because it takes place at the Jersey Shore, where I have lived for 37 years. And because there are ghosts. It's a pretty nice cozy. Don't read it thinking it'll be the best book you ever read but it's not the worst either. Some of the characters are not really well developed but they are likable. The mystery wasn't overwhelmingly exciting but it was enough to keep me reading. I understand that this is a work of fiction. But, it's supposed to take pla...more
Myhotstylist
Great start to a new series!

Meet Alison Kerby, new homeowner to a fixer-upper guest house, and her daughter Melissa. Alison's renovations get turned upside down when a pair of ghosts decide to drop a bucket of copound on her head. Now Alison and see and hear the ghostly duo, and they insist she help them find out their killer. What she discovers is that theres a valuable hidden artifact inside the house, and theres someone in town that would kill to get it.

This book was awesome!!! Do not be fo...more
LJ
First Sentence: “I don’t get it, Mom. If this is our house, why are other people going to live here?”

Alison Kerby is newly divorced, has a nine-year-old daughter and is opening a guesthouse–not a B and B and no breakfast will be served—on the Jersey Shore. What she doesn’t expect is for her first guests to be two ghosts who had died in the house. Although their death had been ruled as suicide, they want Alison to find their murderer.

This was a complete non-starter for me. Having personally exper...more
Nairabell
Alison Kerby is carving out a new life for herself after her divorce by purchasing a rundown property on the New Jersey shore. She's always dreamed of returning to her home town and opening a guesthouse there, so when the ideal property became available she brought it straight away and moved in with her nine-year-old daughter Melissa. A head injury during the renovations leaves Alison with the ability to see ghosts, and she soon realises her guesthouse already has two residents. Paul and Maxie a...more
Drebbles
Newly divorced Alison Kerby is determined to build a new life for her and her nine year old daughter Melissa so she buys a fixer-upper on the Jersey Shore and is converting it into a guest house. She can do the repairs herself but isn’t expecting to encounter a pair of ghosts: that of the previous owner Maxie Malone and Paul Harrison, a private investigator who had been working for Maxie. They want Allison to find out who killed them but she needs to be careful – the killer is willing to strike...more
Liz
I’m not sure what possessed me to buy this book – it just appeared in the mail after one of my book-ordering sprees.

The premise is not especially original, woman buys house, house is haunted, the ghosts want the new owner to help solve the mystery of their death. This time the new homeowner is Alison Kerby and she wants to open a guesthouse on the Jersey Shore. The ghosts are Maxie, the former owner and Paul, the private investigator who Maxie had hired to help figure out who was sending her thr...more
Cynthia
What can you possibly say about a book touted as 'A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery' that doesn't sound overly kitschy? This first in a new series about things that go bump in the night was OK. The premise was enough to grab my attention: Single mom buys Victorian house on beach. She plans to renovate and open a Guesthouse (she doesn't call it a B&B because she doesn't plan on having food). As soon as she moves in, weird things start to happen. A large hole appears in a plaster wall. Tools begin...more
Cathy Cole
First Line: "I don't get it, Mom."

Newly divorced Alison Kerby has returned to the Jersey Shore to fulfill a dream: renovating a Victorian fixer-upper into a beautiful guesthouse. She figures she has the know-how and just enough money to complete the makeover and open for business so she can provide a decent future for Melissa, her nine-year-old daughter.

As she begins the process of renovating, she gets the odd vibe now and then but thinks nothing of it until a fifty-pound bucket of joint compoun...more
Lindsay
After I got this book home and was about to read it, I thought that maybe it wasn't since a good idea to read a book about a haunted house, since I often think that my apartment is haunted. But the book wasn't scary at all. It was actually kind of funny, and I liked it.
Its about a woman and her daughter who buy a giant house in New Jersey and she is trying to fix it up and make it a guesthouse. But soon she finds out that its haunted by two people who were murdered there and they ask for her to...more
Vickie
I loves me a fab cozy, yes I do. And this one is it. Cozy mysteries are fun and cozies with ghosts are even more so. This one has two ghosts in the house and one is a supreme smartass former owner of the house and the other is the staid private investigator trying to solve the case of their death. They're confined to the house and grounds so they cant' do much until Alison shows up, gets bonked on the cranium (by the smartass former owner ghost) and reluctantly agrees to do the field work. Hilar...more
Lillian Carl
The first book of a mystery series. The

premise is that a woman, Alison Kerby, and her daughter buy a run-down old house on

the New Jersey shore and fix it up as a guest house. In the process they discover the

house is haunted by the ghosts of a man and woman who recently died there. Alison

proceeds to find out who murdered them, as well as solve a mystery concerning the

house--and she gets her business up and going, if not quite in the way she intended.

This is a comedy mystery, about as light...more
Susan
What a fun book! The ghosts in the story were more like Topper-types rather than there-is-a-presence-here types and they interact with only some humans, not everyone, which makes for some interesting situations.

I appreciate the author's subtle sense of humor and chuckled through some of the story.

This book is just the thing if you want to read something engrossing and light-hearted. I am so glad I finally picked up and look forward to the other in the series.
Trever
Billed as frothy and a cozy mystery, and it was that. However, the lead character's tremendous sense of entitlement ("Everyone else on the planet should clearly be thinking only of MEEEEEE and removing every difficulty from my path!" "I hated that bitch instantly because she had nice shoes." "What is WRONG with impossibly perfect guy that he did not read my mind and know I wanted him to do X?" And so on...) really soured me on the character. Spending the whole length of the audiobook inhabiting...more
C.E. Murphy
Somehow I missed this was a ghost story when I picked it up, and when the ghosts were introduced I did a serious o.O about it. But it turned out to be a cute, fun read, and the (I hesitate to call them paranormal, but) elements worked in better than I expected from their introduction. I'll look for the next ones, so that pretty much says it all, doesn't it?
Amanda
It had potential to be a really fun read, but the main character's "humorous" aside remarks seemed forced and disrupted the flow of the story because they occurred every other sentence. I found myself annoyed more often than amused.
Samantha
I thought this was a fun story. Not really a haunted house story though, it's a murder mystery. Alison and her daughter move into an old house on the Jersey shore with the intention of fixing it up and turning it into a year round guesthouse. During renovations, Alison discovers two ghosts living in her house - the previous owner and her private investigator. They enlist Alison's help to solve the mystery of their murder. Things heat up when Alison begins to be threatened too. Is it the land dev...more
Melodie
Pretty good read, tho it didn't hold my attention for more than 45 minutes or so at a time. Liked Paul, the P.I. ghost, and Melissa. Not so sure about Alison. Will read the next one.
Elizabeth
Apr 12, 2010 Elizabeth marked it as to-read
Heard about it from "There's a Dead Guy in the Living Room" blog, and since it was recommended by Jeff Cohen, and I really enjoy his books, I want to give this one a chance.
Elaine
I am looking for something to replace Charlaine Harris. This isn't it, but it was fun nonetheless. This is a light weight cozy with ghosts. Nothing deep ...doesn't make you wonder why and doesn't let you try to figure the ghost element out. We are introduced to the ghosts fairly early on, questioning if they will go to the afterlife once the mystery is solved. I will leave that one open ...but this is not a taxing philosophical question that the reader need answered, and the book doesn't leave y...more
Alyssa White
4.5 - not 4. I loved this book, but I love a good ghost related book, I am excited to see what happens next
Daryl Gerber
Finished and thoroughly enjoyed. Fun, light, great voice.
Becky
I have had this boo and the next 2 in the series sitting on my book table for a few years and when book 5 was published, I realized it was time to get reading. Alison and her Haunted Guest House drew me very quickly! I am going to visit as soon as the "New Book" sign is posted! If you enjoy cozy stories with resident ghosts, a mystery or two, personable characters, and humor, then The Haunted Guesthouse series should please you. One of the things I especially liked in this book is that Alison is...more
Alannah Davis
Premise: single mom Alison Kerby buys Victorian mansion with the intention of turning it into a guesthouse (NOT a bed & breakfast, as the aforementioned single mom continuously points out). Alison is a whiz at home repairs and is doing her own renovations on the mansion. After getting bopped on the head with a bucket of joint compound, she's suddenly able to see the two ghosts who inhabit the mansion. Unluckily for ghosts Paul and Maxie, not only were they murdered - they don't know who kill...more
Bird
Feb 28, 2012 Bird rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Bird by: Heather Webber
I've been on quite the cozy mystery kick lately and have found some great new series, this being one of them.

I was worried that the restoration angle would be boring, but it was handled nicely, with just enough details to make me understand what was happening with the house, but not so many that I felt bogged down with them.

The appearance of the two ghosts in the guesthouse was also well done. Alison doesn't spend a lot of time stewing over the fact that she can suddenly see ghosts, or getting...more
Pam
The first in a new mystery series is set in a small town on the New Jersey shore. The premise isn't original but I really enjoyed all the unique characters...both living and dead. I liked Allison and her talent to renovate most things in the house on her own. And that she got her ability to see ghosts after being hit in the head with a five-gallon bucket of joint compound...thanks to ghost Maxie...it was a hoot. This woman is able to take most things is stride, so finding her house is inhabited...more
Frank
I read NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED by EJ Copperman as an exercise in supporting local writers. You see I am from New Jersey and EJ Copperman is as well. His ghost/mystery story NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED (referred to as NotLD from here on) is a story based in New Jersey. Though mysteries are outside my normal scope of reading, I still thoroughly enjoyed this one.

The story is set in a fictional town along the Jersey Shore. Though the town is fictional all other locals mentioned are very real places in...more
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E.J. Copperman is a mysterious figure, or has a mysterious figure, or writes figuratively in mysteries. In any event, a New Jersey native, E.J. has written for such publications as The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, American Baby and USA Weekend. Night of the Living Deed is the first E.J. Copperman novel. It will be followed in 2011 by An Uninvited Ghost, the second in the Haunted Guesthous...more
More about E.J. Copperman...
An Uninvited Ghost (A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery, #2) Old Haunts (A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery, #3) Chance of a Ghost (Haunted Guesthouse Mystery, #4) The Thrill of the Haunt (A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery, #5) A Wild Ghost Chase (A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery, #3.5)

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