Audiobook review: Ghosts Gone Wild
Author: Danielle Garrett
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Audio Speed: 1.25x
Series: Beechwood Harbor Ghost Mysteries #2
Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Source: Tantor Audio
Ghosts Gone Wild is the second story in the Beechwood Harbor Ghost Mysteries, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. After meeting Scarlet the “ghost whisper” and learning of her talents in the first book (and prequel short stories), I felt the author did a great job ramping up Scarlet’s personality and abilities. With so many ghost around and an abundant supply of potential murder victims (in the volume of tourists that visit the small town), the author could have coasted on a set formula for her books. However, Ms. Garrett doesn’t let Scarlet rest easy.
First, let me talk about Scarlet… She’s been able to see and communicate with ghosts since she was a child. While we get glimpses of what knowledge she’s gathered over the years, in Ghosts Gone Wild, Scarlet must really stretch her understanding of the dead, giving her the opportunity to grow both in ability and in knowledge. And the more one knows, the more one realizes they DON’T know, so the door has opened for Scarlet, and I look forward to seeing where she goes with her gifts.
I also appreciate that the “formula” for ghosts and mysteries is different in book two. While Scarlet once again must deal with a departed soul who has an axe to grind (unfinished business), she also has to deal with an active murder investigation AND the disappearance of her local ghostly friends. The story is complex and interesting, and more than just a simple cozy mystery.
Finally, I adore that Scarlet has a serious love interest in security expert Lucas. While there was a spark of romance in the first book, things get more serious in Ghosts Gone Wild when Lucas returns on his mid-season break to spend several weeks with Scarlet. I adore watching Scarlet get both excited and panic when dealing with her growing feelings. The author does a great job giving listeners a romance without overshadowing the main story.
Narration: I’ve been listening to Amanda Ronconi read the original series and now this spin-off for over a half dozen books, and she has consistently done a wonderful job. The Beechwood Harbor Ghost Mysteries is voiced from the first person POV of Scarlet. Ms. Ronconi captures Scarlet’s kindness, generosity, and determination. But also convincingly voices her frustration when called for. Additionally, Ms. Ronconi gives each of the three primary ghost regulars distinct and appropriate voices. Finally, her male voices are generally deeper and fitting.
Overall, I really enjoyed Ghosts Gone Wild – the whole story felt tighter, more engaging, more complex than the first book, The Ghost Hunter Next Door. The narration really blossomed as well – with most of the characters being ghosts, Ms. Ronconi has put a lot of “life” and variety into their overall sound.
Review copy provided by Tantor Audio
About the Book:
There’s never a good time for a ghost crisis.
However, it’s particularly inconvenient while I’m trying to tackle my first wedding season. Between twelve hour days, an assistant with a case of butter fingers (not the chocolate kind), and the flood of tourists in town, I’m struggling to keep a grip on my sanity.
All I want is three months of peace from the spirit world.
But when local ghosts start going missing, I have to do something.
After all, it’s not like they go to the Hamptons.
Missing ghosts, a posthumously alimony-hungry divorcee, and a raging bridezilla. Yup, my bingo card is officially full. Can I get a prize and go home now?