Revenge Served Cold by Jackie Fullerton

Revenge Served Cold by Jackie Fullerton was kindly sent to me by the publishers, Thomas House Publishing. It’s her second book featuring Anne Marshall, a part-time court reporter and law student. I think it slots into the “cozy mystery” category, with the crime being solved by amateur sleuths rather than the police, who are always one step behind. If  there is a category for “paranormal crime fiction” that applies too. In some respects it reminded me of that TV series – Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), a remake with Vic Reeves of a 60s TV series about private detectives, one of whom was dead and appearing in a white suit could only be seen by his partner.

Anne’s father died three years earlier, and his ghost appears to her, helping her to solve crimes. She is the only person who can see him, although others can smell his pipe tobacco. The book begins with the death of Professor Elliot Spence, Anne’s law lecturer and her father’s former colleague, when a car apparently driven by Kathy, Elliot’s wife runs him down.

Kathy’s friend Shirley, who works with Anne at the law courts, convinces her of Kathy’s innocence and Anne together with her fellow law students start looking for evidence to prove it. Her father also helps, which really means that you have to suspend your disbelief in following everything that happens. As a ghost he is able to be at police interviews unseen, and report back to Anne thus giving her information she wouldn’t otherwise have and also send text messages on her phone. One thing  that made me pause for thought is that at one point he breathed a sigh – ghosts can’t breathe as far as can tell, but if I can accept his presence in the story I also have to accept that he can breathe and smoke and chat to Anne.

I found this a light and entertaining book and although I found the style stilted in parts, with too many short sentences and repetitive, it moves along at a rapid pace. Even though it was obvious early on who killed Elliot Spence there were enough plot twists and turns to hold my interest in the story to its dramatic ending.

2 thoughts on “Revenge Served Cold by Jackie Fullerton”

  1. Margaret – Thanks for this fine review. I think you rasie an interesting question that fiction fans need to ask themselves: how much are we willing to suspend our disbelief? If the plot is well-done, and the characters engaging, I think, readers are much more willing to accept the paranormal, etc., in books than if the rest of the book falls flat.

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  2. Thanks Margot. This book doesn’t fall flat. I just had a slight reservation about a ghost detective, but I was able to suspend my disbelief most of the time.

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