The Dead Detective Mysteries-4 Books

Update! The Dead Detective Mysteries are now available as a Boxed Set from all major e-book sources. If you're a binge reader or you missed some of the installments, here's your chance to catch up and save some $$$!
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In the mood for something mildly paranormal? The Dead Detective series takes a whimsical view of the Afterlife, where murder victims can request that an investigator returns to Life to discover who killed them and why.
Seamus, the sleuth in the series, faces obstacles in his quest to help his clients, but he's a determined guy. With a supporting cast of angels, recently dead, and the living (who are blissfully unaware of it all), Seamus' stories might lead us to conclude that the best things in life begin after we die.
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The Dead Detective Agency   Book #1
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Tori VanCamp wakes up one morning on a luxurious ship, but she has no memory of booking a cruise. What she does recall is being shot point blank in the chest. Once she understands her situation, Tori wants to know why she was murdered. She engages a cross-back detective, Seamus, whose job is to answer her questions. As he and Tori investigate it becomes clear that the killing isn't over, and if they can't help, two people Tori cares about will soon join her in the ranks of the no-longer-living.
 
Book 1 of 4 Dead Detective Mysteries

1)                  At the beginning of the story, the reader experiences along with Tori the confusion of not knowing what’s going on. Looking back, what clues did you get that she was dead?

2)                  Some of the book’s humor comes from Sunday school concepts of Heaven juxtaposed with practices common to cruise ship vacations, such as the guest activities including harp lessons. Which of those did you find amusing?

3)                  Tori’s reaction to returning to her apartment is moving, since she sees that her life is truly over and there are things she didn’t get done. If you died today, what unfinished tasks would you leave behind that might bother you?

4)                  Seamus develops as a character over the course of the book and is the recurring character in subsequent books. What qualities does he have that make him a “leading man” for a mystery series?

5)                  One theme developed in the Dead Detective Mysteries is the idea that “resting in peace” requires a person to accept the end of his or her “personhood.” How difficult would be for you to do?

6)                  The two settings in the book, the cruise ship and life on earth, are vastly different. What earthly things does Tori experience in a new way after being on the ship? Do you agree that might be the case when one shifts planes of existence?

7)                  The plot is complicated by restrictions the dead face when going back to Life. Which aspects of the “rules” did you find interesting? Did any of them seem unlikely (given that the whole idea is just for fun)?

8)                  One common reaction to this series is “This should be a movie!” One problem would be showing the ghosts and hosts as different entities, since they share a body. How might that be handled?

9)                  A scene that gets a lot of attention from readers is the one in which Seamus hosts with a rat. Did you find it funny, upsetting, or did you have a different reaction?

10)              Were you upset that Tori went on to the Next Step at the end of the book, or did you see that as the logical choice for her (and for most people)?
 
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Dead for the Money   Book #2
When Dead Detective Seamus is asked to investigate the death of wealthy businessman William Dunbar, he agrees, but there's an additional request. Will he take a detective-in-training along? Reluctantly, Seamus agrees and meets Mildred, who seems charming if a little headstrong.

Suspects include Dunbar’s family and staff, notably his beloved grandson Bud, who was with him when he fell from a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. There’s chemistry between Bud and
Scarlet, a member of the household staff.  Seamus wonders why they work so hard to keep it hidden. 

As they try to learn what happened, Mildred decides she must help Dunbar’s adopted granddaughter Brodie, a problem child devastated by “Gramps” death. Brodie feels no one on earth cares about her now, and Mildred is determined to convince her otherwise, forgetting that the first rule of returning to life is to stay out of the affairs of the living. 

In a breath-taking climax, Seamus also finds himself compelled to break the rules against interfering. Far above the Straits of Mackinac, Brodie is in danger, and while her rescuer fights to save her, Seamus must act to save both the rescuer and himself. 

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Dead for the Show    Book #3
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Faced with a woman who refuses to believe she's dead, Seamus goes back to life to find proof that will convince her. In a little theater in Toronto, he finds that the woman's sister has taken over her job as costumer for the group. 
The murderer soon stalks her, and Seamus works to discover which member of the troupe is guilty. Oddly, though, there is something--or someone--hanging around. Can a guy who's pretty much a ghost himself possibly be haunted? 
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Dead to Get Ready--and Go  Book #4 (end of series)
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 Discontented with existence on the ship, Seamus decides it’s time to do what he’s been avoiding for six decades. Though he knows his wife and best friend teamed up to murder him, there are things about the crime he doesn’t understand, as well as emotions he hasn’t yet been able to face. With fellow Dead Detective Ronnie to assist, Seamus returns to 1953 to face his memories and answer questions that remain about his death.

      In a world much different from today, in an America where questions of social justice are just beginning to be addressed, the two detectives find lots going on under the surface. Chicago offers opportunities for crime on many levels, and there’s always someone around to take advantage of those with secrets. Seamus learns a shocking truth about his wife and the secret she kept from him that eventually led to his murder. In the end he and Ronnie must work to save the lives of two young cops brave enough—maybe foolhardy enough—to try to discover what really happened the night Seamus Hanrahan died.      

     



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