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A Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery #2

Ghost in the Polka Dot Bikini

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Imagine spending eternity with your backside hanging out--that's what Emma Whitecastle and Granny Apples can't help but think when they meet the ghost of Tessa North frolicking in the surf off Catalina Island. Tessa, a young starlet who died on the island in the 1960s wearing nothing but a polka dot bikini, won't cross over until "Curtis" comes for her. To help the winsome, bikini-clad spirit, Emma and Granny must find out who Curtis is and how Tessa died. Their investigation takes them from the grit and glamour of Hollywood to Kennedy-era political intrigue-before hitting dangerously close to home.

Along with a sprinkling of history, this spirited new mystery series features the amateur sleuth team of Emma Whitecastle and the spirit of her pie-baking great-great-great-grandmother, Granny Apples.


"Adding two paranormal series (Granny Apples and Madison Rose) to her long-running paralegal series doesn't take a bit off Jaffarian's edge."--Kirkus Reviews

"Fans of paranormal cozies will find a lot to like."--Publishers Weekly

"Jaffarian's clear passion for writing comes through with lively characters, each brimming with wit and intelligence and making for a fun, lighthearted read."--Suspense Magazine

"Sue Ann Jaffarian never fails to make me chuckle."--Joanne Fluke, New York Times best-selling author of the Hannah Swensen Mysteries

285 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2011

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About the author

Sue Ann Jaffarian

54 books531 followers
Sue Ann Jaffarian is the author of the popular Odelia Grey mystery series, the Ghost of Granny Apples mystery series and the Madison Rose vampire mysteries, as well as short stories.

Sue Ann also writes the Winnie Wilde romance novellas.

Like the character Odelia Grey, Sue Ann Jaffarian is a middle-aged, plus-sized paralegal. She lives in Los Angeles.

In addition to writing, Sue Ann is sought after as a motivational/ humorous speaker. You can visit her on the web at www.sueannjaffarian.com, www.sueannjaffarian.blogspot.com, and on Twitter and Facebook.

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5 stars
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595 (39%)
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383 (25%)
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65 (4%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 184 reviews
Profile Image for Yodamom.
1,981 reviews195 followers
November 24, 2014

A fun light cozy mystery with adult who think before acting. I enjoyed this read very much and the setting of Catalina Island was very nice. The main characters where educated grown ups with life history behind them. I found their mature view so nice after all the lust infused books I've come across recently.
Smart, mysterious, well written and I will buy more from this author
Profile Image for Christina.
176 reviews33 followers
February 2, 2018
What a delightful book!!! I probably never would have discovered this in a million years except one of my reading challenges was to read a book with a character wearing a bikini on the cover. I think this is definitely a book for people with who are fans of cozy mysteries and I am now definitely hooked into the series myself.
Profile Image for April.
67 reviews10 followers
October 22, 2016
Another good Granny Apples mystery. I definitely enjoyed the 1st book better but, it was still exciting.
I missed the involvement of some of the characters in book 1. They were still in the book but they were sidelined for most of this book. On to the next! :)
Profile Image for Moondance.
1,015 reviews49 followers
October 15, 2018
The woman frolicking in the waves was underdressed for November, even for a ghost

Emma and Phil are enjoying Thanksgiving weekend on Catalina when she notices a bikini clad ghost. A little conversation reveals that Tessa, the ghost, was an aspiring actress and she is waiting for someone to return to take her home. A little digging proves that Tessa worked with Emma's former father-in-law and the sleuthing begins.

This is such a fun series. I love Granny Apples! All of the characters are growing and evolving as the storyline continues. I feel that I am in the book, not just reading it.

I appreciate Emma's need to find a resolution for Tessa even though she puts herself at risk. She digs enough to get information without doing stupid things to get her into trouble. I liked getting to know the B movie industry a bit better. It made me sad that so many young women tried to break into the business with little success. I was a bit surprised by some of the revelations at the end.

Politics and politicians are always good for twist and turns in a story. These did not disappoint. I was a little surprised that Emma's former father-in-law was not more forthcoming with his help until the end.

I'm happy with the Milo/Tracy relationship. I look forward to seeing where it leads. I'm really interested in where Emma and Phil are headed.

An overall great read, I started it in the afternoon and didn't put it down until I finished. Who needs to eat dinner?
Profile Image for Debbie.
219 reviews4 followers
February 1, 2018
This was a good installment to the Granny Apples series. The relationships between the characters are growing, and there was a good mystery here. The ending came as a bit of a surprise to me. It was definitely better than the first. I'm looking forward to book 3.
Profile Image for Jaclyn.
507 reviews45 followers
August 5, 2017
Interesting plot line. There were some consistency issues that bothered me a bit, but overall it was enjoyable.
Profile Image for Ellen.
939 reviews121 followers
August 31, 2016

Ghost in the Polka Dot Bikini by sue Ann Jaffarian

This is the 2ND book in the Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery series I've read. Don't let this silly title fool you into passing by this marvelous cozy. Jaffarian has done it again!

Emma Whitecastle is now in the process of getting over her failed marriage to Grant. Their divorce hasn't done anything to put a damper on her relationship with her in-laws, George and Celeste Whitecastle.
Emma's parents have gone on vacation, which leaves Emma & Phil, time to enjoy themselves on Catalina Island. That's when Emma first encounters Tessa North on the beach. Tessa, it appears, died some 40 years ago but hasn't been able to cross over. Tessa is still waiting for "Curtis". But...who is this Curtis? And...why is Tessa waiting for Curtis?

Jaffarian builds this wonderful mystery around relationships that started in her first Granny Apples mystery book and builds upon them. The most important factor in this book is Emma's paranormal abilities to see and hear those who have gone on. It's both the living and the dead who come to Emma's aide in solving this mystery.

The gifted author did not let me down. Jaffarian brought me into the center of this mystery along with Emma. I highly recommend this engrossing cozy to all cozy mystery lovers with thanks to the author.
Profile Image for Sheila Beaumont.
1,102 reviews143 followers
April 21, 2014
This second entry in the "Ghost of Granny Apples" paranormal mystery series was great fun to read. I enjoyed the characters (especially Granny Apples, amateur sleuth Emma's ghostly great-great-great-grandmother, who is picking up some modern slang from watching TV and has become a fan of the San Diego Chargers), the puzzling, well-plotted mystery, and the local Catalina Island setting. Like the first book in the series, this was a light, entertaining read, and I'm looking forward to going on to the third and fourth.
Profile Image for Becky.
480 reviews1 follower
November 26, 2011
After reading the gloomy "Right as Rain," I needed something lighter. This was super fluffy - a book my friend Kathy would like! :)
Profile Image for Julie Howard.
Author 2 books12 followers
January 29, 2020
This is another really good book that I enjoyed immensely. I love the whole idea of ghosts helping to solve murders and this author does it in such a way that it is fun and often times funny. I like all the characters but especially Granny Apple's, who is hooked on tv and is broadening her knowledge with old reruns of programs. This is book two but I started with book three and enjoyed that one so much I had to get the rest of the series, you don't have to because each book is a stand alone book with an ending but why would you stop at one? I didn't. I hope the author has plenty of story lines to keep me going as it is an author I will definitely be keeping an eye out for.
Emma is away on holiday when she sees a ghost that she isn't even sure knows that she is dead. The naive girl seems to be waiting for someone and has been waiting since the Kennedy shooting. Emma and Granny Apple's set out to help her move on but there actions hit close to home, when it turns out the young girl worked on the film Emma's ex father in law produced. Will Emma investigating her ex father in law and his friends seem like sour grapes or is there a secret that needs to come out? When someone is murdered after Emma questions her, an ex senator on her doorstep, her car damaged and an angry ghost following there every move can Emma and her unusual team get to the bottom of the death of the girl in the polls dot bikini.
I really like the narrator and think she is partly the reason that this is such a fun story. The author and narrator make up a winning team and I hope there are many more books in this series to come from the pair.
20 reviews
November 3, 2019
I checked out this book because the backdrop was Catalina Island and I wanted to get a feel for what Catalina is like. Only the first part of the book and the end take place in Catalina. The rest of the book takes place in LA. Emma Whitecastle, is a detective/talk show host who has a television show dealing with the paranormal. Emma herself has the ability to see ghosts. One of these ghosts is her sidekick known as Granny Apples. At the opening of the book Emma is on vacation with her boyfriend Phil on Catalina Island when she notices a young ghost named Tessa who wears a polka dot bikini. Emma notices, as well as Granny Apples that the young Ghost had not crossed completely over and is waiting for someone who promised to return to her. Emma goes back to LA and starts to dig into the history of Tessa to help her complete crossing over into the other world. This investigation triggers certain people who want to suppress what happened to Tessa to do bad things, mainly murder. Anyhow it made for a decent mystery and the ending was very similar to what happened in the film THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR so you could say it was a happy ending.
Profile Image for Imjussayin.
449 reviews8 followers
October 15, 2019
A refreshing take on the cosy paranormal murder mystery.

Our protagonist Emma Whitecastle is a wealthy woman in her 40’s who sees ghosts. As does her mother. Her father, doesn’t see ghosts but ‘believes’ or at least supports his wife and daughter. Made all the more interesting because he is a doctor.

After that Emma’s scenario is the usual, divorced with child from cheating rodent former spouse who has younger woman.

The book comes into its own because Emma is handling the crossroad of her life. Not just a new love interest, different from her ex husband but working in media with a new found paranormal TV programme.

Emma’s sidekick is her great, great and maybe then some grandmother known as Granny Apples. The reasons for her name are set out in book one.

There are amusing aspects to the story but this episode has a dark story of political intrigue, blackmail and murder. It’s well written and sits on the very borders of cosy mystery.

Well written and worth a read.

Profile Image for Vickie.
1,948 reviews7 followers
November 9, 2020
I didn't realize how much I'd missed Granny Apples and her great-great-great granddaughter Emma until I started this book. A mini vacation for Emma and Phil to get away from the phhhhht of home and the ex-husband. Emma sees a ghost or two while there and off she sets to find out what happened 40 -some years ago.
This is not a cozy-cozy. There's some cussing, pretty grim incidents of bodily harm and death, but overall it's fairly light-hearted in essence. I love seeing Granny Apples managing her way in this modern world. I like how Emma is moving on and has her own show. This is about relationships as much as it is about mystery, murder, mayhem.
I had fun with this book and I look forward to the rest of the series. I won't be waiting as long this time for a revisit.
I can definitely recommend this book, series and author.
1,532 reviews5 followers
March 16, 2021
"Ghost in the Polka Dot Bikini", second in the 'Granny Apples' series, is a very enjoyable read with a lot of heart.
In my review of the first book, "Ghost a la Mode" I wrote that while it was enjoyable there was little to lift it above many other similar books/series.
This book, however, is elevated by a superior plotline, a solid and moving ending, and an enjoyable cast of characters.
When Emma Whitecastle spots a scantily-clad female ghost on a Catalina Island beach she discovers that the one-time starlet, Tessa North, has been waiting for decades for Curtis to return.
The search for Curtis brings Emma to a surprising list of suspects, including her own father-in-law.
It soon becomes clear that Tessa's death five decades before has been covered up and that there are those who will go to great lengths to keep it that way.
I enjoyed it tremendously.
6 reviews
January 12, 2019
Meh. Starts out intriguing and exciting then sort of fizzles out much like the ghosts coming in and out of the plot line, adding little more than some bubbles. Also did anyone notice the racist undertones this author threw around? Making sure to point out the main character’s young African American research assistant who has a “forthcoming personality” which might cause her trouble in her career but it was only a matter of time before she made a name for herself. She also points out the Asian, frumpy maid while the first maid earlier in the story had no race? Eye roll. Also at the end, the ghost Tessa is willing to overlook the guy who left her for dead because she knew he really always had a crush on her and was so sweet. What the hell!?
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jan.
4,544 reviews46 followers
September 4, 2019
First, suspend disbelief. Emma interacts with ghosts, starting with her own multi great grandmother Granny Apples. Emma also has good friends, good former in laws, a self absorbed ex husband, and a TV show about ghosts (but not that she can interact with them). While on vacation with her love interest on the Isle of Catalina she meets a young female ghost who is happily still waiting for the one who said that he'd be back for her-----forty years ago. Emma wants to help her but runs into many roadblocks and misinformation which eventually leads back to people she's known for years. Intricate plot full of twists and red herrings kept me reading into the night!
Sandra Murphy is a great narrator and really adds to the frustration and suspense.
December 24, 2022
This one took my breath away. There were so many twists and turns, my attention was held tightly. I could barely put the book down! I enjoyed the development of the character relationships while not being overwhelming. I’ve been to Catalina island so it was so fun to have the opening chapters take place there. I could imagine every place described☺️. This book moves a good pace, not too fast and not too slow. There is a lot going on with this story but it’s written in a way that is clear and orderly. I didn’t feel lost even though there seemed to be a lot of characters and two different time periods involved.
This was an excellent read and I absolutely enjoyed it. I have to admit that the last several chapters had me on the edge of my seat. Well done Ms Jaffarian!!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jan Miller.
729 reviews4 followers
September 14, 2019
Sue Ann Jaffarian has outdone herself with The Ghost in the Polka Dot Bikini. I love the Ghost of Granny Apples series! This book immediately pulled me in. The story flows so well, and has some awesome twists, the characters are well developed, and the narrator is spectacular at bringing the characters to life. Sandra Murphy is wonderful to listen to. She adds the right emotions and tones to her voice, one can easily hear who is speaking. I can't wait for the next Grannie Apples book! I requested this review copy audiobook and have voluntarily written this review. I will definitely listen to more books by this author and narrator.
Profile Image for Kellene.
872 reviews9 followers
August 18, 2022
Why in the world did I wait 4 years to read the second book in this series? I liked the characters in the first book, and I like them even more in this one. The new ghosts are very sympathetic characters, and while the newly introduced characters (ex-husband not withstanding) are not "good" people, I still feel bad for them. The mystery was solid and kept me engrossed until the resolution, and the final scene was extremely touching. Looking forward to the next book in the series, and not waiting years to read it.
Profile Image for CassandraG.
610 reviews
September 12, 2019
It was another nice cozy mystery with Granny being as feisty as "Mama" from the old Carol Burnett
shows. She was a hoot. Her Great-great granddaughter and her boyfriend weren't so bad either.
It had a lot of humor, enjoyable quirky characters and a somewhat,(might-not-be) so ditzy bikini clad ghost. You enjoyed the narrator telling the story. so when you get a chance pick up a copy of either the eBook or the audio version and enjoy.
Profile Image for April.
606 reviews
January 22, 2020
I found this story to be more interesting than the first one because of the ghosts. Granny Apples is as sassy and funny as ever but she's got company this time around! Some friendly, some not. Grant is still a horse's patoot but that comes as no surprise and it's a shame it took Emma this long to figure that one out. Not sure how things in this story will play out in the long haul but am curious enough to keep reading this series to find out.
Profile Image for Deedra.
3,737 reviews19 followers
December 23, 2019
Audible:I enjoyd this book!It was fun,with Granny Apple always tossing in her 2 cents.Sandy murphy was a fine narator.I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.' 
Profile Image for Veronica-Anne.
459 reviews1 follower
January 17, 2020
The second in the Granny Apples mysteries. Just the right amount of tense thriller, combined with supernatural twists and turns, a quick and entertaining story that proves another great read from author, Sue Ann Jaffarian. I look forward to more books in this great series. Highly Recommended.
7,308 reviews24 followers
March 22, 2020
Emma is always finding another ghost that needs help in this with Granny Apple. A girl stuck in the era of the 60’s, cute with an adult take on it, and Granny speaking her mind, good narration added to the story
Given audio for my voluntary review and my honest opinion
Profile Image for Jennifer.
402 reviews2 followers
April 2, 2020
Well done on making the paranormal feel normal/realistic. I didn't read the first book, but wasn't lost or confused at all. Solid mystery. I'm not immediately buying the next in the series, but if I see it at the library, I'd pick it up.
Profile Image for Jan.
4,342 reviews74 followers
January 6, 2018
Started before my trip to England, and had to wait until I got back to finish it.

Great story - and I really liked the characters in this book. I'm looking forward to reading others in the series.
172 reviews1 follower
May 5, 2019
I enjoy the author's style. It was really fun to watch the mystery unfurl with the help of the ghostly help.
Profile Image for Lorraine.
29 reviews
June 26, 2019
As much as I loved the plot of this book, the characters didn't seem as consistent to the first book. The idea was there but the execution just didn't cut it for me, personally.
96 reviews1 follower
July 7, 2019
I thought Granny and Emma did a great job trying to help Tessa but it took an old friend in the end to do the job. Enjoyed the book.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 184 reviews

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