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Confessions of a Serial Reader – The Ones with Ghosts

>> Thursday, October 27, 2011

Confessions of a Serial Reader

Although I’m not nearly as into the whole Halloween thing as some folks are, it seems like a good time to take a look at the series that I read that feature ghosts. It turns out that there are two of them and in neither case is the ghost anything spooky or creepy. Once again I don’t quite get properly into the Halloween theme. So, allow me to introduce you to a couple of entertaining ghosts.

Aunt Dimity from the Aunt Dimity series by Nancy Atherton

"When I learned of Aunt Dimity's death, I was stunned. Not because she was dead, but because I had never known she'd been alive."
--from Aunt Dimity’s Death

Aunt Dimity is not really Lori Shepherd's aunt. In fact Lori thought that Aunt Dimity was a character her mother had made up. Lori not only finds out that Aunt Dimity was really a good friend of her mother's, but also that Dimity has passed away and left her house in a small village in England to Lori.

It turns out that Dimity herself wants to communicate with Lori. Although she never appears in the books in person or in spectral form, she manages to be very much a character. Lori finds an old blue journal in the cottage and when she opens it handwriting appears. This is how Dimity talks to Lori.

Dimity is a wise woman who lived an interesting life. Every book seems to add a bit to Dimity's history and it often goes back to the days of World War II when Dimity and Lori's mother became friends.

The ongoing stories in the series are of Lori and her family as well as a few recurring neighbors in the village. Lori can drive me nuts sometimes but most cozy mystery protagonists do at some time or another. I like returning to this series every once in a while just for a dose of cozy and cute.

JItty from the Sarah Booth Delaney series by Carolyn Haines

The ghost in this series is one of my all time favorite characters.

Set in a small town in Mississippi, Dahlia House is the ancestral home of Sarah Booth Delaney's family. Sarah has returned home after giving up on an acting career in New York but the cost of keeping up the family home is proving to be tough.

There's someone else living at Dahlia House, though. The problem is that she died in 1904. Jitty is a sassy entertaining ghost who can nag Sarah and cause more trouble that some living folks can. When Jitty was alive, she was the nanny for Sarah's Great Great Grandmother. Jitty needs to help Sarah keep Dahlia House because having the house stay in the family is the only way Jitty can stick around.

This leads to some hilarious conversations and interactions. Although Jitty is often a little too concerned with getting Sarah to produce a Delaney heir, she's still a crackup. You never know how Jitty will appear. What Sarah will see Jitty wearing will often depend on Jitty's mood or motivations. It can be anything from any era, whether or not was alive at that time. Jitty's 1960's era phase was hilarious.

Aunt Dimity and Jitty are some of my favorite ghosts. They are so different but both are fun in their own way. Dimity is wise, gentle and comforting. Jitty is sassy, funny and a snappy dresser.

Both of these series are light and fun and worth a try.

What about you? What series do you read that feature some unusual characters?


Kay 10/27/2011 12:39 PM  

I've read the Aunt Dimity books for a long time. I really like the series, but I think I actually like Dimity more than Lori. I don't really like Lori's "roving eye". Her husband is so wonderful. LOL

I haven't read the other series, but it's been on my list of possibilities. Sounds like a lot of fun.

Have you read the series by Alice Kimberly (who's also Cleo Coyle) set in the Haunted Bookshop? The ghost is a private eye and the first book is THE GHOST AND MRS. MCCLURE. It's fun.

Kailana 10/29/2011 7:10 AM  

I am enjoying your posts like this! I actually managed to get all the series I am in the midst of organized. It scared me a bit...

SuziQoregon 11/06/2011 9:57 AM  

Kay: I totally agree that I like Aunt Dimity more than Lori. She doesn't seem to really appreciate how good she has it.

Kailana: Oh thank you for saying that! I go back and forth about continuing this feature. Some months I have a hard time coming up with a topic but I love to read series and talk about them with other fans. FictFact is a great site for keeping your series organized. I highly recommend it.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment. I read and respond them here although not always right away. If you would prefer an email response let me know.

I do moderate comments on posts older than 14 days in order to control spam. I will approve your legitimate comments as soon as I can.

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