>> Thursday, October 27, 2011
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?