Haunted by the Past

Baen. (Ishmael Jones Mystery, Bk. 11). Dec. 2022. 240p. ISBN 9781982192280. $25. FANTASY
When the super-secret “Organization” investigates mysterious disappearances in infamous haunted houses, they always send Ishmael Jones and Penny Belcourt. Jones may have supernatural origins of his own, but he knows there’s no such thing as ghosts—only humans using a bit of fake ectoplasm to cover up real crimes with concrete motives. So when a fellow agent vanishes from Glenbury Hall, a house that is famous for disappearing people, Ishmael knows there’s someone attempting to fool even his skeptical senses. Someone is lying, misdirecting, and more than willing to leave a trail of bodies to get Ishmael and Penny out of the Hall. Green’s novel plays with all the tropes of locked room/haunted house/ghost story mysteries and makes them all dance on their skeletal heads.
VERDICT The 11th book in Green’s fantastical mystery series (following Buried Memories) pokes fun at the genre, with fun and plenty of cathartic resolution for readers who like rueful chuckles with their chills. Recommended for those who like antiheroes with more than a bit of snark.
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