Review: Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper

Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly HarperMolly Harper has a couple of well-known series and while I have noticed them so many times, it wasn’t until recently that I tried her writing.  I listened to How to Flirt With a Naked Werewolf and knew I needed to try more of Ms. Harper’s offerings.  When I saw she had a new book coming out, unattached to her other series, I didn’t hesitate to grab it up.

Nina Linden has been hired by software genius and billionaire, Deacon Whitney, to clean up the landscaping on his old family vacation home.  The home is in a remote location and she must take a boat to get there.  On the boat she meets Cindy and Jake, the organizer and the architect, also the two people she will spend the next couple of months with.

They were all hired with strict instructions that this project must be their only focus until complete.  Nina is more than happy to give it her full attention because she needs this job, recognition and money very badly.  She is coming off a very bad situation with her old partner who tried to sabotage her reputation and company when she went solo.  This job will give her what she needs to get back into the industry and be well-known.  They all just have to survive first.

Jake, the architect, is a family friend of Deacon and tells them all of how the house is haunted.  It doesn’t take but a couple of minutes of being on dry land before Nina sees her first ghost.  She dismisses it as something else but when things start to happen it is obvious they all can’t ignore that something else is at work on the island.

When Dotty, a cousin to Deacon, arrives to write the story of the house and their ancestors she tells everyone to write everything down.  They find some journals and the story of Catherine, Gerald and Jack slowly emerges.  Catherine and Gerald are the happily wed lady and lord of the manor.  Jack is the man hired to build the house and happens to be Catherine’s childhood friend.  Catherine is murdered and nobody knows how or why and Dotty is determined to find out what happened.  All signs point to Gerald being the one who killed his wife but maybe that isn’t really the case.  Malevolent things are happening on the island and the group must figure out what happened before one of them is really hurt.

While the mystery is unfolding Nina and Deacon have a romance going on.

“You make my cousin smolder,” Dotty whispered in awe.  “Until two years ago he didn’t wear matching socks half the time.  He actually pays someone to match his clothes for him.  So for him to throw any sort of swagger at you, that’s sort of a miracle.”

Deacon is such an awkward person; it is kind of funny to watch him fall.  There is a lot of geek talk going on, comic books and sci-fi shows and whatnot.  The two are really perfect for each other.  Deacon was even aware of Nina’s situation when he hired her, extensive background checks, so when her ex-partner shows us to ruin another job for her, Deacon is more than willing to step in and fix things.  He has been Nina’s main fear for a long time and to have Deacon help really showed how they felt about each other.

Overall, this is a fun book that I really enjoyed.  Molly Harper’s writing is humorous and quirky.  I have learned that when I sit down with her books I will blaze through them because they stories are always engaging and witty.  Better Homes and Hauntings was no different from her normal fare and fans of Ms. Harper will be pleased with this latest offering.  Final grade- B

Favorite Quote:

Deacon snapped her out of her reverie.  “You’re actually doing me a favor, you know.”

“I am?”

“If the whispering among my staff is any indication, this dance is probably serving as the office pool breaker for “Is Deacon asexual?'”

“That’s kind of insulting.  How is that helping you?”

He shrugged. “I put fifty dollars down on ‘not asexual'”

“They let you bet?”

“Well, I bet under Vi’s name.”

Rating: B
Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper
June 24th 2014 by Pocket Books
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  1. says

    I just finished this up recently, my first Molly Harper read, and totally enjoyed it. I completely agree that Molly Harper’s writing is filled humor and quirkiness. Something that I’ve missed reading lately, and it fit the bill perfectly. Wonderful review and I love the quotes. They totally capture Nina and Deacon’s characters :)

    • says

      Thanks! I have only read a couple of Molly Harper’s books also but they were enough to know I really enjoy her writing.