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Night of the Living Deed

(A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  4,337 ratings  ·  506 reviews
Home repair meets haunted happenings in the first charming, hilarious Haunted Guest House Mystery!

Newly divorced Alison Kerby wants a second chance for herself and her nine-year-old daughter, so she's returned to her home town on the Jersey Shore to transform a fixer-upper into a charming--and hopefully profitable--guest house. But when a bump on the head leaves her seeing
Mass Market Paperback, 325 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Berkley Books
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  4,337 ratings  ·  506 reviews

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Ivonne Rovira
Dec 28, 2014 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
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
Debbie "Buried in Her TBR Pile"
3 - 3.5 stars

I listened to this one on a recent car trip. I prefer mysteries instead of music when traveling distances by car. I was entertained - it was fun. I'm not a huge fan of the reader/narrator/performance. She did grow on me. Nice set up for a series. I didn't think I would continue after this book, but now I am interested in book 2. I like the ghosts - who were murdered in the house that Alison bought after her divorce. Her intentions to turn the house into a guest house to support hers
Annie ⚜️
Mar 12, 2019 rated it liked it
2.5 stars. This book took me a month to get through! 😳 😡 It had a lot of basic ingredients for an enjoyable read but it just didn't come together for me. I literally fell asleep reading it on more than one occasion. After a while, I figured this out and started reading it deliberately when I couldn't get to sleep.

So disappointing because I have been on the hunt for a good series set in New Jersey. I love Harlan Coben books but I was hoping for one of these cozy mystery series as Coben's books ar
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Alison Kerby is newly divorced and moves back to her hometown in New Jersey to transform a 100-year old beachfront home into a guesthouse. Just as she starts her DIY project, she gets struck on the head by a falling can of joint compound. When she comes to, she doesn't just see the mess on the floor, but the spirits of two people who died in the house. The spirits beg her to help them find otu who killed them. Alison is reluctant to get involved. The safety of her 9-year old daughter is much mor ...more
Feb 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
The most exciting stories in the world are about spiritual encounters and aged houses.... with secrets for discovery! I know it's no author's responsibility for books to be what we expected. "Night Of The Living Deed" was not but grading cannot be based on that. Here are my two cents on what it IS. I'm a 'save the best for last' person and since a full-on ghost story has been hard to find since the 1990s, I savoured this modern 'Haunted Guesthouse' series, by collecting it and holding it in queu ...more
Dec 04, 2013 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
Jun 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Carolyn F.
Apr 21, 2015 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.
Genevieve Bomes
Apr 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book and I loved the characters. The ghosts were really great characters. I love grumpy old Maxie and PI Paul. I also just Alison and her daughter. The cop I could do without. She really played a nothing role except to tell Alison she should let them protect her and she was messing everything up. The story line kept me guessing till the end and I am so glad that the history teacher is history. Alison should have a great hot guy.
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
Oct 05, 2011 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
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
While very well-written, I just have trouble connecting with the paranormal cozy genre. This in no way reflects on the author and I have really enjoyed the first two installments in his cinematic series written under Jeffrey Cohen. Just me. Highly recommend for those who do..
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great first book in the series! I really liked the characters and Jersey shore setting. The mystery was good and kept me guessing. Now that Alison’s haunted guesthouse is ready to open for business I look forward to seeing what happens next.
The Crime Librarian
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another great cozy featuring a significant paranormal element. Needless to say, it looks like I'm falling in love with this genre of mysteries after all. The setting was the New Jersey shore, which is a first for me. I loved the way the area was described and I had a strong sense of place while reading the book. The main character, Alison, was witty and her background, personality, etc. was well developed. The rest of the series is definitely going on my TBR.
Oct 11, 2010 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
The book seemed to run a little long but I enjoyed it. The humor was great!
Lynn Spencer
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This book is basically likable, but it didn't completely grip me. I liked the heroine, Alison Kerby, but she never really felt three-dimensional to me as a reader. Her two ghostly companions had potential and they did (ironically) come to life a little bit more, and I suspect their characters may well be explored more deeply in successive books in this series.

As this novel opens, Alison is newly divorced and has used a settlement to buy a historic home on the Jersey Shore that she plans to open
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
First time I have read this author...I really enjoyed the book. At first, I thought it would just be another haunted house book but it was more interesting than that. I have the 2nd book in the series ready to be read.

Alison is starting a second life after a divorce, for her and her daughter. She wants to open a guest house on the Jersey shore. While doing some repairs on the house, a few weird things happen, including a bucket of plaster falling and hittin her on the head. After she recovers, s
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-ebooks
I'd started reading this sometime last year when an online book club was going to discuss it. I ended up getting too busy to finish in time, then all the holidays started rolling in at once. But I'm really glad that I picked it back up, because I absolutely loved this book! The ghosts are such characters, that Maxie is just a mischief maker, especially when she kisses a human! It was fun finding out who was able to see and talk to the ghosts.

When Paul and Maxie, the resident ghosts wanted Aliso
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I'm sorry that I put off reading this for so long. Alison is starting over with her daughter by renovating an old Victorian into a guest house. When she begins to see the ghosts of two people that died there the mystery begins as to who killed them.
The characters are strong and fun. Alison had me laughing so many times with her wit, especially when dealing with the one ghost Maxie. I also loved all the secondary characters, they all added to the story with a great
D. Wickles
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. Copperman handled the ghosts with humor and charm while the main character, Alison, juggled home renovations and a murder mystery. Can't wait to read the next one!
Good mystery in which Alison discovers, while converting her Victorian mansion into a guesthouse, that she she can see ghosts - ghosts who want her to help them figure out who killed them.
Cathy Cole
May 22, 2011 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 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
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
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
Karen B.
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was one of those "feel good" mysteries that I love so much.
I decided to try this because the setting was the Jersey Shore and I live in NJ.
Alison has bought and is trying to fix up a beautiful Victorian house that she is planning to make into a guesthouse. The problem is that she already has two guests to start with, two ghosts who died in that house and want her to help find who murdered them and why. As Alison digs into the investigation she learns that both her daughter, Melissa, and h
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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 wil

Other books in the series

A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery (10 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)
  • The Hostess with the Ghostess (A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery #9)
  • Bones Behind the Wheel: A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery (Haunted Guesthouse Mysteries)

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“He couldn’t answer me (the ghosts’ voices didn’t make it through telephones), but he could hear what I said. I felt like I was talking to myself, which was only about the seventeenth weirdest thing I’d done today. And it was just two in the afternoon. “She’s” 0 likes
“Kerin was wearing the most casual of high-end clothes, not exactly a jogging suit but something that clearly could be used during exercise, yet had cost as much as my television. She had no doubt just arrived on her way home from the fitness center at Buckingham Palace. “Kerin!” 0 likes
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