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Haunted House Ghost–convoluted plot

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Haunted House Ghost

by James J. Cudney

FHaunted House Ghostor readers who enjoy a complex mystery, I recommend Haunted House Ghost for a plot that is intricate and convoluted, but in the best possible way. Author James J. Cudney takes plot complexities to a whole new level with family relationships taking center stage as past and current marriages and paternity issues come to light when victim remains from cold murder cases are discovered. 

Murder and intrigue play out in the setting of a haunted house that the main character Kellan is trying to restore as a home for his growing family. Weird sightings, threatening messages, and a locked basement set the stage for a ghostly mystery. Is a ghost actually haunting the house? Is Madam Zenya really a psychic medium? In true Agatha Christie style, the main players in the mystery are gathered to force the truth to emerge. 

There are so many surprises in Haunted House Ghost that I watched in amazement as the mystery developed. Fortunately, the author helps with a recap of possible suspects and motives as Kellan meets with the sheriff (his girlfriend April) and the case detective (his best friend Connor) to convince them to try his clever idea to force the murderer into the open. The murderer’s identity is surprising and unpredictable as are the final pages that make the perfect setup for the next book in the series.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: I am behind in my reading and reviewing but really wanted to be caught up with the Braxton Campus Mystery Series before the sixth book in the series, Frozen Stiff Drink, is published on March 18, 2020. Therefore, Haunted House Ghost (#5 ) snuck up to the top of my reading queue. All of the books in this series can be read as standalones as the author provides a lot of support in the form of a character list and an area map as well as explanations of character relationships in the context of the ongoing plot. My personal preference in reading this series, however, is to read the books in order as there are so many interesting characters and lots of developing relationships.

Publication:  October 1, 2019—Next Chapter

Memorable Lines:

“It’s sealed tighter than Scrooge’s wallet.”

Instinct suggested there were many threads to this conundrum, and if I pulled on a few random ones, I might unravel the whole knotted ball of yarn soon enough.

My skin prickled as if thousands of tiny insects crawled up and down my body. A drafty wind whistled through the stairwell as the steps creaked.


  1. A very good review of a complex mystery.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. carhicks says:

    Great review Linda. I agree with your description of the way James writes his plots yet makes sure his readers do not get lost. I am looking forward to his newest as well. One of my favourite series.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Linda,

    I love the review. Thank you so much. I am very appreciative of it… you are kind and generous, and you always pick the best phrases to include as quotes. 🙂

    I will say… #6 is complex, but it’s much easier to follow this time.

    Hope you have a great Sunday!


    Liked by 2 people

    • lghiggins says:

      Kindle makes it so much easier to work with the quotes. I enjoy it. It’s like picking up beautiful shells or rocks and then taking them home and looking over each one to choose just the right ones. In the case of writing, I look for the ones that show off the author’s style and skill and are memorable to me.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Wendy says:

    Sounds fascinating!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Oh this one sounds good, I love series books that can be read as standalones, pinned!

    Liked by 3 people

    • lghiggins says:

      I’m glad you said “pinned.” Sometimes I feel my age when I try to do something that could more easily be done with newer technology. When I was teaching, I loved pinning educational ideas. Since retirement I have pinned beautiful pictures of teacups because I don’t have the space or money for all of the gorgeous teacups available. But that’s about all I use it for. What a great idea to pin the covers of books I want to read rather than record them in one of about 3 places I usually use–notebook, phone, Goodreads. Face palm!😉

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Nancy says:

    I just love your reviews and how you add your favorite quotes! Thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Another great review!

    Liked by 3 people

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