Book Review- Haunting Me by Nikki LeClair
When I enjoy a book, I find that I want to write two or three different book reviews. This activity might sound difficult, but for me, it is quite satisfying. Because I often reread a book that I like, my thoughts are never contained in a single book review. Such is the case for Haunting Me by Nikki LeClair.
The term “cozy mystery” has been bandied about; I find this term quite appropriate in describing Haunting Me. At the outset, LeClair establishes a trust and a comfortable intimacy with the readers as we partake in her story.
The central protagonist is Phoebe Mercer, a hardworking, often underappreciated legal assistant in a top rated law firm. Her boss Terrance is a partner in the firm who seems to take pleasure in demeaning his employees and devaluing their contributions. Still, Phoebe is determined to shine at work. In addition, her personal life seems to be on the right track too. After an ill-fated past relationship with a loser boyfriend, Phoebe’s current romance with Riley appears to be everything she wanted. Well, except for Riley’s desire to turn meat-loving Phoebe into a vegetarian and Phoebe’s strained relationship with Riley’s upper crust mother.
However, Phoebe’s life changes forever when she is hit on the street by a runaway hotdog cart. While in the hospital, the young woman must deal with a complaining, obtrusive roommate. The twist: Phoebe quickly learns that her roommate is a ghost! The ghost in question is Edie Edwards. Soon Edie recruits Phoebe in a high stakes adventure to uncover the truth surrounding Edie’s death and to locate her missing will.
There is a delightful Nancy Drew vibe to this book as the legally trained Phoebe finds herself playing sleuth in Edie’s palatial estate in search for the older woman’s missing will. Complicating matters is Edie’s nephew Porter, her boss Terrance and Edie’s ex-friend Merida.
The allure of this book for me was the marvelous dynamic between Phoebe and Edie. I’m impressed at how thoroughly LeClair writes both characters. Their personalities are distinct yet they complement each other brilliantly. Edie can be bombastic at times, but she really cares about Phoebe. While Phoebe and Edie’s relationship begins as an employer and employee, as the book progresses, there is a metamorphosis to a familial bond between the women. Both Phoebe and Edie are protective of the other’s best interest.
The suspense elements of Haunting Me are effectively balanced with the humorous moments. Levity is well-served in such an intense, high stakes story.
I was so engrossed in this book that I was sad to see it end. Luckily for me and other readers, LeClair is giving us a Book 2 in the series. I eagerly await Book 2. LeClair has proven herself to be a skilled writer in this genre.