Erin McCarthy

Once Upon a Ghost

Murder by Design Book 3


With Bailey Burke’s design and staging business booming- it turns out tangling with a serial killer is the best advertising ever- she has no time to lament her lack of love life or wonder where her dead friend Ryan’s ghost has gone. She hasn’t seen him in months, but when she finds a body in a home she’s been hired to stage she’s hounded by the dead man’s ghost.

Having been a medium before, this guy is by far the most irritating ghost she’s ever met, with his constant need to talk over her and flick pennies at her head. Without Ryan to guide her, she’s on her own to figure out what the dead man needs from her. On top of all that, cop Jake Marner is back in her life, ostensibly to protect her, but mostly to confuse her as to whether they are dating or not.

Before she can say “Put It Where?” Bailey finds herself immersed in mob dealings, the secret world of male-only sweat baths, and double dealings. When another body turns up, there is no doubt that she’s in over her head, again.

“Sammy Salami?” That couldn’t be real. None of this could be real. Maybe Marner was right and I had lost my mind. Because no one should have a nickname that referenced processed meat.


I didn’t need to be insulted by a man with hair on his ears and a belly that rivaled a woman pregnant with triplets at full term.


I breathed a huge sigh of relief and finished my drive home singing along to the Backstreet Boys, a guilty pleasure that brought to mind awkward middle school dances where I had been sporting braces, a denim mini-skirt and Uggs. I hadn’t been a seductress then either.


She gave him a quick kiss and went back to work, giving a laugh that was throaty and mature and sexual. A laugh can sound that way, trust me. And only women over forty know how to do it. I wondered if at thirty-nine a switch would flip and I would magically understand how to be seductive, a genuine femme fatale.

I giggle-snorted my way through this cleverly written and delightful amusing conclusion to the weak stomached Bailey’s ghostly murder-solving spree. With this installment, Bailey continued to receive occasional visitations from her friend Ryan but had also picked up the additional spirit of her new client who happened to be a freshly murdered rotund mobster named Cezar who had been unfortunately killed while in his swim trunks. Cezar tortured and blackmailed Bailey into helping him by loudly “caterwauling” off-key to his repertoire of pop divas like Brittany Spears until she finally caved and agreed to assist him in locating his missing body. Her romance with the stud muffin policeman, Jake Marner, was finally on track and he made for a sweet and perfect boyfriend.   Jake currently resides on my list of sexy BBF. Written from the first person POV of Bailey, I greatly enjoyed her humorous inner musings and comical descriptions. Erin McCarthy has mad skills.

About the Author  

USA Today and New York Times Bestselling author Erin McCarthy first published in 2002 and has since written over seventy novels and novellas in teen fiction, new adult romance, paranormal, and contemporary romance. Erin is a RITA finalist and an ALA Reluctant Young Reader award recipient and is both traditionally and indie published.

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