Rotting beams and carpenter ants are the least of Jacobia Tiptree’s worries when the ghost of her ex-husband settles into her ramshackle retreat in downeast Maine.
Jake Tiptree (Nail Biter, 2005, etc.) would be the first to acknowledge that Victor wasn’t much of a soulmate. He cheated on her every chance he got. So she’s not sure why he’s chosen to haunt the Colonial she has under constant repair. Maybe the answer is in the leather-bound book she discovers in the cellar that lists all the home’s owners, including Jake herself. But once she ships the book off to Dave DiMaio at Miskatonic University, Jake’s concerns shift to more corporeal visitors. Jemmy Wechsler shows up, seeking refuge from contract killer Walter Henderson, whose palatial home sits on the edge of Moose Island. Although her best friend Ellie White assures her that Jemmy is a sociopath, Jake can’t forget how he helped her when she was on the street in her teens. So she stashes him in her lakeside cabin and braves the wrath of the hit man’s ferocious wolfhounds while she investigates what she hopes will be Jemmy’s ticket to freedom: the all-too-fishy death of 18-year-old Cory Trow, whose romance with Henderson’s daughter Jen ends when he’s found hanging in Henderson’s barn with an alleged suicide note.
Graves fits one too many plots into a compact space, giving short shrift to a clever solution.