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Uncommonly Tidy Poltergeists

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A poltergeist haunts Taro, dogging his international travels. It washes glasses, puts dishes away, and even dusts. At least he hopes it's a cleaning-obsessed poltergeist and not his own anxieties burbling over into neat freak fits he doesn't remember. When his property manager suggests he call paranormal expert, Jack Montrose, Taro's skeptical but desperate enough to try even a ghost hunter.

Jack's arrival crushes Taro's hopes of a dashing Van Helsing-style hero. Instead of an invincible hunter, he gets Ichabod Crane. As the paranormal puzzles multiply and Jack begins to suggest the entity might not be a ghostly one, Taro adds a budding friendship with Jack to his pile of anxieties. It's a race to see whether Taro's poltergeist or his relationship with the obviously-not-ace Jack will reach maximum strangeness first.

Word Count: 35,454

182 pages, ebook

First published January 11, 2017

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About the author

Angel Martinez

96 books650 followers
Angel Martinez currently lives part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware and full time inside her head. She has one husband, one son, two cats, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.

Angel's alter ego writes the all-ages science fiction - Sandra Stixrude.

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5 stars
62 (24%)
4 stars
93 (36%)
3 stars
86 (33%)
2 stars
12 (4%)
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1 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 50 reviews
Profile Image for Mir.
4,781 reviews4,986 followers
May 26, 2020
This book had a lot of good elements and I think needed to be longer to develop them more fully. Especially the supernatural parts.

If I were haunted by something that cleaned my apartment in the night and did not in any other way bother me or interfere with my stuff, I don't think I would be as upset as Taro is. In fact, uncommonly tidy supernatural entities are welcome here. Must like cats.

I might have enjoyed this slightly more if not read during lockdown and broke: Dammit, I wanna be rich and travel the world at my leisure!

Profile Image for Tamara.
943 reviews30 followers
March 17, 2019
Taro (not the root vegetable!) has won the lottery and suddenly has more money that he knows what to do with. He decides to travel the world and somewhere along the way he notices someone's been cleaning after him during the night. And that someone followed him home and keeps cleaning. Is he sleepwalking and cleaning house? Is he the victim of a very tidy burglar? Or is he haunted by uncommonly tidy poltergeists? Enter Philip call-me-Jack Montrose (because Philip Montrose is just an accountant's name, but Jack Montrose - he could be anyone!) - he investigates unusual activities and follows them to their paranormal or mundane roots. In the course of the investigation they become friends, but can there be more when both are gay but Taro is also ace?

I really enjoyed this story. It was light, funny and heartwarming and the mystery was interesting. And I was really glad to read about an asexual character!
Profile Image for A.J. Sherwood.
Author 49 books1,166 followers
May 5, 2020
This is one of those cute fantasy urban reads where you get to the end and sigh, satisfied with the overall cuteness. I liked the originality of it, too - she's uses mythology that I've literally never seen in any other fantasy book. And the two main characters are well fleshed out, and in many ways, an average Joe - they're utterly relatable.

Also, if you're looking for a good book with an asexual MC, this is your ticket. Angel handles that very well, too.
Profile Image for Alison.
739 reviews30 followers
January 19, 2018
Delightful. This was a lovely little story and I really enjoyed it. It's light-hearted and amusing and the romance is sweet and warm. Both main characters are endearing. Taro is ace and I think that aspect of the story is handled well.
Profile Image for Natalie .
2,334 reviews32 followers
January 8, 2022
Not one for me. I couldn’t get into the story and whilst the little guys were adorable, I guess I was hoping for actual ghosties. Jack was sweet but both of them need to work on communication.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jayne.
Author 14 books64 followers
December 30, 2016
From an ARC
Taro has recently won the lottery, and with his winnings has invested in several properties around the world. As he travels, familiarising himself with his new circumstances, he becomes aware of strange happenings in the night. Every morning, the mess he has made during the day is conveniently tidied away. When these events follow him from property to property, he is driven to enlist a ghost hunter to help him either solve the mystery, or prove that he needs psychiatric help.

When Jack Montrose appears, he isn’t the hero Taro hopes for, but a gangly eccentric who is just as strange as the turn Taro’s life has taken. Their awkward friendship is hilariously realised as Jack becomes Taro’s travelling companion, and attempts to understand why these strange events keep happening.

This book was a treat from start to finish. I instantly liked Taro, whose unexpected good fortune leads him way out of his comfort zone. And Jack, the eccentric genius, was a memorable character; sweet, awkward and brilliant, bruised from an abruptly ended relationship and wary of being hurt again.

Everything was unpredictable, including the story taking me to some very unexpected places. The author has obviously researched each destination, but has not fallen into the trap of sounding like a travel blog. The answer, when it is discovered, is delightful. I can’t say any more than that without massive spoilers.

This was a highly entertaining and intelligent read, with enough science to satisfy geeks and a sparkle of magic and a dash of folklore. Chemistry fizzed between the two MC’s, but it wasn’t laboured at all, and Taro’s sexuality was dealt with, subtly and sensitively. The whole thing just worked from start to finish. It wasn’t a long read (36,000 words) but for me it was just the right length. A fun-packed read that punches way above its weight.

Profile Image for Jennifer.
42 reviews
February 7, 2017
3.5 rounded up. I would have loved to see more of Taro's family, but I like all the time he spent together with Jack. It was interesting to watch their relationship develop. Taro is also very patient. :) I'd almost like to see another follow-up story to this one, though I did enjoy the little epilogue.

As for the announcement Taro makes at the beginning, . And regarding Andel, .
Profile Image for Laura.
71 reviews7 followers
January 22, 2017
I enjoyed the story and the premise was interesting but something about it just didn't click enough for me to rate it higher. I think that problem is that I just don't feel like I'd gotten to know either MC that well, especially Jack. I'd have liked getting his POV as well, otherwise he just doesn't feel fleshed out to me.
Profile Image for Lisa Guertin.
464 reviews7 followers
January 9, 2017
I really enjoyed reading Jack and Taro's story. This was my first book with an Ace character and I found him fascinating and realistically portrayed. The reveal of the "poltergeist" was fun and well handled. The author included just the right combination of suspense, comedy, drama, and angst.
Profile Image for Hart_D (ajibooks).
355 reviews8 followers
January 27, 2018
This is a very cute and funny romance, with a light paranormal mystery and charming main characters. Michael Pauley's narration of the audiobook added a lot to my enjoyment. I really like how he performs the various accents, and overall, his cheerful style really fits the lighthearted tone of the book.

Taro is lovable and easy to sympathize with. I think a lot of people would act similarly if they won the lottery. His first priority is to make sure everyone in his family has a secure future; then, he wants to use the money to do something meaningful with his own life, and he decides to travel. But the supernatural cleaning entities ruin his plans. As a solitary type myself, I would've been just as scared as Taro at the evidence of unknown beings invading my life! His anxiety felt very real to me.

Taro has a loving, large family; sometimes they're a little overbearing, but they always have his best interests at heart, which was nice to read about. I really like the side characters in general, who all have unique personalities and relevance to the story.

Taro is asexual, which causes some angst in his getting together with his love interest, Jack, who is not asexual and doesn't know much about the topic. I will leave it to asexual reviewers to share their feelings on this book's ace rep. They eventually figure out how a relationship (including sex) will work between them. But while this story is not primarily about being asexual, Taro does believe his asexuality is the reason he's had problems with relationships in the past, and the conflict in the romance is also about his asexuality. Jack is a bit negative about it when he first finds out, but it's only from lack of understanding (and he doesn't behave horribly or anything). Still, if you avoid reading anything at all negative about ace characters, I don't recommend this book.

I really like Jack, because he's so full of life. It's easy to understand why Taro develops feelings for him. I think the audiobook narrator does an especially great job with Jack's dialogue. Jack doesn't enter the story until the plot is firmly underway, though. I thought at first the romance might be between Taro and whatever was haunting him. But Jack is a ghost hunter whom Taro hires to help him with the problem.

The ending is very happy for everyone, including the supernatural beings. I had a great time with this book and look forward to reading more by this author.
Profile Image for Love Bytes Reviews.
2,529 reviews36 followers
March 7, 2018
Audiobook review by Christian

Taro comes into a lot of money and decides to country hop for a while. In one of the countries that he’s bought a house he starts seeing things cleaning up all by themselves at night. At first he just thinks that it’s him but little by little he comes to terms with the fact that it may not be him at all.

Jack shows up and he’s tall, clunky and a little bit weird. But he stays there to do the job of trying to figure out what this uncommonly tidy poltergeist really is.

This is the first time I’ve ever heard or read anything from Angel Martinez. The characters are pretty solid, especially Jack’s character. I love the chemistry between Taro (not named after the root vegetable) and Jack even though it doesn’t show up until late in the book, I wish I could have heard more about them two together because they were really sweet. Taro and Jack finally get what they have been yearning for. Uncommonly Tidy Poltergeists is a really cute mystery with a few twists and turns that are sure to leave you surprised.

I wish the book was a bit longer and that both Taro and Jack had a bit more back story. Taro was pretty freaked out all the time when he honestly shouldn’t have been. I would love for something to be cleaning up all my messes at night!

I do love the ending of the story and glad Taro and Jack are able to solve the mystery together. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. There is a teeny bit of sexy-time. Taro does a really good job of explaining Asexuality to Jack. I know that I understand a bit more now of what Asexuals may go through.

Michael Pauley does a really good job keeping voices separate from each other, especially with the German accents. He and Angel made Jack and all of the other characters in the book come to life. I’m glad Michael Pauley can do gruff voices along with sweet and high pitched voices, he has a great vocal range.

I totally recommend this audio book. It’s short but cute and sometimes funny in it’s own quirky way. Definitely a different book than what I have been reading. But wonderful!

This book was provided for free in exchange for a fair and honest review for Love Bytes. Go there to check out other reviews, author interviews, and all those awesome giveaways. Click below.
Profile Image for Ann.
516 reviews12 followers
January 4, 2017
This is different to my usual reading material and I found it both funny and heartwarming.
Taro had a massive lottery win - why not me? - and uses some of his winnings to buy assorted property around the world so he could travel and keep his privacy intact. He finds during his travels that he is being haunted by something really tidy. Washing up done, floors cleaned, where can I find them please?
Taro employs Jack a tall, lanky figure to find out who or what is haunting him or whether it is him going nuts.
We follow their travels and see them growing closer. The ending is quite a surprise!! I loved it.
A really good read to cheer up a dreary winter evening.
Profile Image for Lada.
865 reviews10 followers
January 11, 2017
I don't know if it's because I didn't pay the book my full attention when reading it or if it's the story itself, but I found the story bland and the interactions between the MCs clunky and uninspiring. I also didn't really grasp the plot, I mean, why the MC got so anxious over cleaning-obsessed poltergeist? As long as the poltergeist didn't disturb him/do anything harmful or demanded bloody sacrifices, he should've been thankful for and just enjoyed the experience of having invisible, free/cheap cleaning service that could follow him all over the world.

As for the ace thing, it only appeared near the end of the story and the author didn't delve deeply into it.
Profile Image for DaisyGirl.
1,201 reviews64 followers
February 26, 2017
3.0 stars

This book was alright. I liked Jack, the world traveling, and Taro's family. I liked Taro well enough but he came across as a little aloof and I struggled to connect with him. My absolute fave part of the story? The .

Bottom line: just okay.
Profile Image for Elisa Rolle.
Author 72 books219 followers
December 4, 2017
2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Angel Martinez Uncommonly Tidy Poltergeists
1) I very much enjoyed how utterly smooth this book was. The characters were established and differentiated from each other very quickly, and with the engaging voice of our narrator Taro, it was a lovely ride through the journey of a young person trying (however belatedly in Taro's mind) to find out who and what he is. More importantly, who and what he is WITHOUT casting himself against the frame of someone else. The various different settings were dynamic and evocative, the side characters only added to the story, and the mystery was delightful: a little bit of ghostliness, a little bit of whimsy, all enjoyable. And then Jack comes along, and has this hilarious, self-effacing, almost klutzy personality (and by klutzy, I mean with his emotional state much more so than physically, though that element is present as well) that is funny, heartwrenching/warming, and never too much. You're rooting for the two of them right from the get-go. But what impressed me most was the way dialogue was used to explain Taro's asexuality. This part of the book could easily have become preachy or unnatural-sounding as delivered in spoken conversation. It never did. Everything was in character. Everything flowed perfectly. Everything made sense as a conversation, as well as a series of self-realizations for both characters, and that is an extremely tricky juggling act... as well as an amazing skill in a writer. I immediately recommended the book to a friend, and I find myself smiling fondly about it days after finishing it. Well done!

Profile Image for Heather.
1,410 reviews53 followers
October 30, 2017
4-1/2 Stars
Taro has recently won the largest lottery to date and has kept the information from everyone but his family to avoid the horrors that befall previous lottery winners. After setting up some trusts and charities he decides to purchase homes all over the world to become a journal-keeping traveler. Problems arise when he wakes one morning in one of his new homes to find everything has been mysteriously tidied overnight. Has he begun sleepwalk cleaning or does he have a tidy ghost? The cleanliness soon follows him to other properties and spooks him out. With the help of paranormal expert, Jack Montrose, will Taro learn the identity of his supernatural servant and will he find love along the way?

Uncommonly Tidy Poltergeists is a fun tale laced with just the right amount of romantic spookiness. You can't help but love Taro and his desire to help his loved ones and create a new path for himself now that money is no object. When he meets Jack he's looking for nothing more than answers to his mysterious cleaner. Jack's devotion to finding answers is commendable and makes him even more endearing to me.

I won't give away any hints to just what Taro's otherworldly helper is but I will say how much I loved and appreciated the originality behind it, "not something you often see" is all I'll say on the subject. If you are looking for a scary freaky story than this probably isn't the tale for you but if you are looking for a fun, entertaining tale of discovery with just the right blend of freaky and romance than Uncommonly Tidy Poltergeists is right up your alley.
Profile Image for Lisa.
526 reviews4 followers
November 14, 2020
Angel Martinez is a new author that I recently discovered based on multiple recommendations and I have zero regrets! She is a brilliant and talented writer with so many books in her backlist that I'm steadily working through. I was instantly attracted to the title and summary.

Taro not named for the root vegetable recently hit the jackpot and won the lottery. He decides to use his excess funds to purchase property in a new country and spend a few months there. He plans to be a travel blogger as he spends time at each property but he has some unexpected visitors. At first, he thinks he is sleep walking but soon realizes that he has a ghostly problem. He hires a ghostly expert and expects Van Helsing...only to have Icabod Crane aka Jack show up on his doorstep. Taro tries to fight his attraction to Jack because he is used to disappointing partners once they discover he is asexual.

I really enjoyed this story due to the rapport and slow-burn relationship between Taro and Jack. They've each been hurt in the past but find themselves working through the problems to come together for a HEA. The carrot comparison was spot on and a perfect metaphor. I'll certainly never look at carrot cake the same way again ;) Brilliant novel and well-written. I'm excited to read more by this talented author!
Profile Image for Duncan Husky.
183 reviews13 followers
June 8, 2018
I adored this book! Taro is kind of a mess, but he clearly has a good heart and is working really hard to get past his insecurities. Jack is a mess in his own way, though I didn't think we got a clear picture of his motivations, which is the only reason this isn't rated 5 stars.

I enjoyed these characters and the interactions between them. The story was an engaging, though low-stakes, mystery. The side characters were a hoot, too - Frau Voss, Taro's brothers, and Taro's parents (his father cracked me up, a perfect foil for his mother).

Finally, I am also always cheered to see a sensitive, thoughtful treatment of asexual characters, and I think Martinez did a good job of that here. I recommend this for a light, enjoyable read!
Profile Image for N.W. Moors.
Author 11 books153 followers
February 16, 2018
Taro wins the Lottery and lots of money. After settling some on his family, he decides to take the unique step of buying homes in different places around the world and spending time in each one. But after a sojourn in Germany, weird things start happening. He finally hires Jack, a paranormal expert, to investigate the odd events.
This is a pretty quick short story. It was okay. Taro and Jack make a nice couple though unusual. The story didn't really grab me, but there's nothing wrong with it. I think others might like it better. I'd give it a 3 and 1/2 stars.
Profile Image for Jessie Pinkham.
Author 16 books13 followers
September 8, 2018
How do I get this problem? I hate cleaning. Any supernatural/fantastical overnight help would be greatly appreciated.

Very enjoyable read. The writing is high quality, the premise fascinating, and the characters intriguing. I was somewhat concerned at the slow start, but no worries, once events pick up, they carry on nicely for the rest of the book.

I enjoyed the discussions of asexuality, what Taro is and isn't willing to do just to make his partner happy. And Jack. Oh, Jack... when he says what he needs sexually, my heart hurt for him.

Recommended.

Profile Image for Wende.
1,077 reviews7 followers
May 12, 2017

I want these little critters to come live with me. I loved this book. Taro and Jack were so sweet and so different from each other. It was a low angst book with two fun characters. The paranormal was funny and I loved how it all worked out. It is hard to review this book without giving away the plot. It just was a fun book to read.
Profile Image for Tam.
Author 21 books96 followers
March 10, 2019
It was cute but I thought the set-up was a bit convoluted (did he need the whole lottery/travel around the world premise?) It has an ACE character which is new for me, I was fine with that and how it was handled but the relationship part comes much later in the book, it's primarily about the poltergeist issue. So it was okay, but not something I loved.
Profile Image for OkayKim.
1,136 reviews
June 21, 2021
I'd love to have poltergeists in my home that love to clean! Unfortunately, I have that one's that are constantly making messes.

This story was a bit of a slow roller coaster for me. Started off slow, picked up, than slowed down again. Nice narration, but didn't quite hit the mark in the romance department.
Guess asexual romances don't do it for me.
8 reviews2 followers
September 25, 2017
Sweet and fascinating.

Though the main character is asexual...it always worried me--how an author will handle it...I really enjoyed the book. The characters are well developed. The romance is sweet. And the journey the characters take to come together is fun, smart and novel.
Profile Image for Anu.
364 reviews6 followers
October 4, 2017
Oh what a wonderful, wonderful story. I adore Taro so much. It is so uncommon to find a good, honest description of an ace/demi/graysexual character, someone who is at peace with themselves and knows who and what they are.

I just utterly loved this.
Profile Image for Pamela Su.
1,167 reviews30 followers
May 7, 2020
An enjoyable read. Taro and Jack make an interesting couple and I like the epilogue to let the readers have a glimpse into their future. The supernatural aspect was lovely and rather creepy. Perhaps because of the length, the story suffered a little because there is a feeling of incompleteness.
Profile Image for Cylonsarecuddly.
48 reviews
July 11, 2020
This book had some great ideas and elements, but was too short to fully develop them. Loved the weird German cleaning ghosts, enjoyed reading about an asexual character, but neither plot was fully resolved to my satisfaction, and ended a little too abruptly.
Profile Image for Teresa.
3,179 reviews34 followers
December 2, 2021
Easy read

Sweet with real everyday people and a touch of the supernatural. I liked Taro and his explanation of his asexuality. I liked the descriptions, though brief, of Taro’s initial travels.
Profile Image for Kat.
47 reviews1 follower
February 7, 2017
Surprising

This was a very sweet story with a nice paranormal angle. I enjoyed the portrayal of an asexual person shown honestly and with respect. This was a very enjoyable story.
Profile Image for Lindsay.
945 reviews
August 31, 2017
What a lovely read for Jack and Taro I've not read many stories in this light but I've enjoyed each and every one for the information they bring.
A nice sweet read thank you
Displaying 1 - 30 of 50 reviews

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