Book Review: DON OF THE DEAD by Casey Daniels



Series: Pepper Martin, #1
Publisher: Avon
Released: May 30, 2006
Source: Borrowed from the library

Beautiful, smart, and chic, Pepper Martin never had to work a day in her life – until her surgeon daddy was convicted of fraud, her wealthy fiance took a powder, and the family fortune ran bone dry.

Suddenly desperate, the inexperienced ex-rich girl was forced to take the only job she could get: as a tour guide in a cemetery. But a grave situation took a turn for the worse when a head-on collision with a headstone left her with an unwanted ability to communicate with the disgruntled deceased…and now Pepper has a whacked Mafia don demanding that she hunt down his killers – and threatening to haunt her until she does.


Pepper Martin, a down-on-her-luck-former-rich-girl, is stuck giving cemetery tours to pay her bills. After taking a spill and whacking her head on a tombstone, she’s suddenly able to see Gus Scarpetti, a mob boss who got whacked decades earlier. Gus’ spirit is not able to “move on” until he takes care of some unfinished earthly business, namely finding out who murdered him, and he wants Pepper to help. Pepper doesn’t want to do it, however Mafia dons don’t take no for an answer, even deceased ones.

Likes: The murder mystery was fantastic. Essentially it was a 30-year old cold case that Pepper had to crack, and Gus wasn’t always forthcoming with helpful information. It wasn’t easy putting all the pieces together, but Pepper managed to do it. I didn’t figure out the culprit until the last few pages. I also loved the cemetery setting. For a taphophile like me, a cemetery tour guide would be a fascinating job.

Dislikes: I’m sorry to say that I just didn’t care for Pepper. She was great at solving the mystery, and her ghost-seeing ability was super cool, but other than that, she was kind of annoying. I lost count of the times she mentioned her large boobs and how men find them irresistible. *eye-roll* She came off as shallow and materialistic, which I’m sure ties in with the former-rich-girl thing. I’m hoping her personality goes through some changes in future books.

Though the main character could have been better, I loved the paranormal mystery in DON OF THE DEAD. Since I love ghost stories so much, I’d be willing to read the next book in the series and see if Pepper’s character matures.

Rating: 3Β½ Stars