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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  ·  Rating Details ·  3,321 Ratings  ·  382 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 i
Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Berkley
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Ivonne Rovira
Dec 28, 2014 Ivonne Rovira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: funny cozy fans
Recommended to Ivonne by: Bill Wolfe
The pun-filled title notwithstanding, E.J. Copperman’s first novel in this series deals not with zombies but ghosts. Single mom Alison Kerby (not Kirby) buys a dilapidated Victorian mansion on the Jersey Shore to turn into a guesthouse but gets more than she bargained for in the purchase: The house comes with two demanding ghosts. Private investigator Paul Harrison and over-the-top Maxie Malone were killed a year ago, and they can’t cross over until they find out who killed them. For that, they ...more
Nov 03, 2015 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good, cozy series made up of a single mother, trying to refurbish an old home, a sassy daughter, an eclectic, clingy grandmother and of course a couple of wacky ghosts. It had just the right amount of enticing mystery and likable characters to keep me wanting to pick it back up. This is definitely a light paranormal that can be a bit far fetched but that is all part of the fun. I did read book two in the series before this one and it was interesting enough to make me want to start the ...more
Carolyn F.
Apr 21, 2015 Carolyn F. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Enjoyable audiobook about a house with ghosts and what people have tried to do to obtain this house. No romance. Loved the mom. I'm not sure about Paul. Ended up liking Maxie. I would recommend this audiobook.
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
Dec 04, 2013 Deanne rated it really liked it
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
Oct 05, 2011 Yvonne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m very late in reading this one, but I finally got around to it and I’m so glad I did. This book reminds me so much of the old Ghost and Mrs. Muir TV series, but with a pair of ghosts instead of just one. Alison Kerby and her daughter have the difficult task of dealing with both of them.

There is humor laced throughout this book. The dialogue is witty and had me “laughing out loud” quite often. I especially enjoyed the conversations between Alison and the female ghost, Maxie. Alison sure had h
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
A ghostly-good romp. Witty - Charming - Mystery and Mayhem. A fun indulgence. The perfect sort of cozy for the Halloween season. Fans of DIY cozies will also find this a worthwhile add.

Three *** Quick-n-Quaint *** Stars
Oct 11, 2010 Myhotstylist rated it it was amazing
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
Cathy Cole
May 22, 2011 Cathy Cole rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 26, 2013 Cathi rated it liked it
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
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
Jun 16, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries, 2011
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.
Jun 07, 2010 Liz rated it liked it
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
Jun 25, 2010 Nairabell rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star, read-in-2011
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
Aug 03, 2012 Frank rated it liked it
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
Sep 08, 2010 Drebbles rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
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
Dec 22, 2015 kaoyler rated it really liked it
I came upon this series by lucky accident. Actually is was a download from audiobooks and I just started it one day when I didn't know what book I want to spend the next ten hours devouring. I started with the last book, but quickly realized I was at the tail end and much had gone before. So I went back to beginning, which is this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters, the situation, and the writing. There was/is nothing objectionable in the book, but I had many moments when I happily snicke ...more
Lisa Hall
Oct 10, 2014 Lisa Hall rated it it was amazing
After a harassment lawsuit pays out, Alison Kirby buys an old Victorian house on the Jersey shore, thinking to turn it into a guest house, a business that would pay the bills for years to come. The house is in need of repair and Alison is on a schedule. She has to be. If the guest house isn't ready by April, she'll be paying a mortgage on a house she can't afford, but work done the previous day is undoing itself overnight. Alison can't imagine who's messing with her, until a bucket of joint comp ...more
May 26, 2011 Cynthia rated it it was ok
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
Really 4.5 stars but I rounded up.

I told myself I wouldn't read another book from the library or buy any more books until I had finished five books from my tbr stack. This is my second one, and I wasn't expecting much. It hand been sitting on my shelf for forever, and I never read it, but I was pleasantly surprised. This book was great!

I absolutely adored this book. The characters, especially the MC and ghosts, were so real to me I felt like I was seeing them interact with each other. The author
Great start to a new series by a favorite author using a pseudonym. When Allison Kirby (the name must be a sly nod to the film Topper, which is referenced in the story) moves into her 100+ year old house on the Jersey Shore, which she plans to turn into a guesthouse for vacationers, she begins experiencing more than the usual difficulties in renovating. When she's hit on the head by a bucket of drywall compound, all becomes clear: her house is haunted. And the ghosts, who died in the house not l ...more
Frank Smith
Jul 25, 2015 Frank Smith rated it really liked it
I got a little worried when first reading this book. I don't mind any books with female leads that give a sarcastic, quick witted and sharp analysis of events in the book, sprinkled with some good humor, smart observations and great story telling, but.... I've seen a few series now where the stories start off well, but they sort of get a bit too sickly sweet, oversimplify characters [until they become two dimensional] and really spoil what could of been a great story, for me the best way to desc ...more
Aug 16, 2014 Trever rated it it was ok
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
May 09, 2010 Eithne rated it liked it
I'm a sucker for anything with the promise of an old house, ghosts and a good mystery but while this was mildly amusing the mystery itself was simply ok. Maybe I've read too many books in this genre but it seems to me there are a lot of books out there with gimmicks galore, quilting, ghosts, food, home restoration, needlework, bookshop, restoration etc etc where the heart of the story the mystery is often poorly thought out and weak. The recipe is always the same gal starting over, gimmick (sele ...more
Jun 23, 2010 Lindsay rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
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
Aug 09, 2010 Vickie rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 13, 2016 Jazz rated it it was ok
I don't read many paranormal mysteries, but the description reminded me of the Topper TV series of my childhood, even down to the name of Alison Kerby for the protagonist. So I really wanted to like this series. Perhaps my head was elsewhere with the election, but it moved very slowly for me with a lot of amusing, but inconsequential, dialog along the way. I liked the protagonist and her voice, but ultimately, by page 200, I really didn't care whodunnit, and hurried forward to the ending. I will ...more
Jul 07, 2012 Richard rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-12
When it comes to supernatural mysteries, apparently my hope, as they say, does spring eternal.
I've yet to find a series that I like, but I keep on trying....
This isn't the worst such book I've read, but it really isn't very good, either.
There were quite a few points at which I questioned the basic intelligence of various characters. But the most annoying thing here is the heroine's attitude: her reaction to discovering that her house is haunted by two not entirely friendly murder victims? Mild a
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Librarian note: E.J. Copperman is the pen name for author Jeff Cohen

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 fol
More about E.J. Copperman...

Other Books in the Series

A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery (8 books)
  • 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)
  • Inspector Specter (A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery, #6)
  • Ghost in the Wind (A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery, #7)
  • Spouse on Haunted Hill (A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery, #8)

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