Dead Again

An Enlyn Goode Mystery

Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
265 Pages
Reviewed on 12/22/2016
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite

Emlyn Goode knew her life was one of extreme circumstances, being a direct descendant of Sarah Goode, who was executed for witchcraft in 1692; but she never thought she would be in the position to revisit that ancient relative. Although Emlyn dabbled in white magic, she did not consider herself a witch. She was just an average writer with an untamed imagination, muddling through a solitary life and trying to keep her heart off her sleeve. When her mother comes to visit on the pretense of attending a high school reunion, Emlyn is thrown into a full scale murder investigation (or two, or three) that stems from her very ancestral roots. To add to the upheaval, her sometimes police officer beau also receives an unexpected visit from his estranged wife, who is not only seeking a reunion of her own, but who brings with her intrusion a nasty twist to an already nasty situation. As Emlyn and her best friend, a certified Wiccan professional, attempt to make sense of the turmoil in town, this delightful murder mystery becomes addictive.

I really enjoyed this book. Dead Again: An Emlyn Goode Mystery by Susan Lynn Solomon is the perfect solution for a free afternoon of reading. The character development represents a solid connection between imagination and reality. Solomon’s use of humor in both dialogue and story development is the goal of every great writer. I could easily get lost in a binge session of Emlyn Goode. A combination of murder mystery and witchcraft, Dead Again is a must-read.

Jack Magnus

Dead Again: An Emlyn Goode Mystery is a paranormal sleuth mystery written by Susan Lynn Solomon. While this is not the first book in the series, Solomon provides enough background information for Dead Again to be read on its own. Emlyn is forty-one years old now, but her mother still criticizes, dominates and generally treats her like she's still a little girl. Something about the fact that she's the mother seems to make this situation one that Emlyn has to endure. She was not all that thrilled when her mom announced her return to Niagara Falls for a class reunion. The whole thing sounded a bit dodgy to Emlyn -- a forty-second class reunion? Who ever heard of such a thing? To make matters even worse, Mom was planning on going dressed in the kind of clothes they wore back in 1973, and she was insisting that Emlyn be her date for the evening, also dressed in properly cringe-worthy clothes bought for the occasion from a vintage clothing store. Emlyn's determination not to attend was soon worn down by Mom, and the two proceeded, dressed in their vintage finery, to Como's restaurant which was decorated for the reunion. Emlyn expected that the worst that would happen would be her total humiliation as she spent the evening trying to tug down the hem of the ridiculous mini-skirt her mother had insisted upon, but Rebecca, her friend and mentor in matters of the arcane, saw darker things happening that night. In no uncertain terms, she warned Emlyn not to leave her mother alone.

Susan Lynn Solomon's paranormal investigator novel, Dead Again: An Emlyn Goode Mystery, spans the centuries as Emlyn, who only a year prior had learned the truth about her ancestor, Sarah Goode, who had been hanged as a witch in 1692, tries to adapt to that knowledge and gain the wisdom and maturity not to abuse her legacy. Rebecca Nurse, her friend and the proprietor of the local occult store, had been the one to tell Emlyn of her legendary ancestor, and she had become somewhat of a mentor to Emlyn, as well as her best friend. When a series of murders sweeps the town by storm, it's all that Rebecca can do to stop Emlyn from indulging in the time-travelling formula she finds in Sarah's book in her fixation to get to the bottom of the mystery. Solomon's Emlyn is a gritty, self-reliant writer who values her independence even as she toys with the attraction felt by her and her neighbor and friend, Acting Chief of Detectives, Roger Frey. Dead Again is a fun, fast-paced read and the references to the past and the paranormal are nice dimensional touches that add depth and atmosphere to the story. I particularly enjoy paranormal sleuth novels and was quite impressed with this one. Dead Again: An Emlyn Goode Mystery is most highly recommended.

Marta Tandori

Emlyn Goode has always had issues with her mother – issues that have become more serious, not to mention more grating – as they’ve both gotten older so it’s understandable that Emlyn isn’t all that thrilled when her mother arrives on her doorstep one morning, eager to be back in Niagara Falls to attend her forty-second high school reunion. Anne Goode announces that she had been given a ride from the airport by Emlyn’s neighbor and potential love interest, Acting Chief of Detectives, Roger Frey, who had been there to pick up his estranged wife who’d walked out on him several years earlier to test the sunny climes of Arizona. With the aggravation caused by her mother’s arrival, not to mention the fact that her love interest now appears to be reuniting with his estranged wife, Emlyn’s day is hardly off to a great start and is made even worse after a phone call from her literary agent.

Things go further downhill after that when Anne announces that she wants Emlyn to go as her date to the reunion – and that they’re both going to attend wearing attire from the seventies. Determined not to give in to her mother’s manipulations, Emlyn eventually succumbs but the reunion quickly takes an unexpected turn when the body of a woman is found in the ladies’ room, the victim of a murder. Before long, there’s speculation that her death is connected to the murder of a bride more than 40 years ago in which the prime suspect had been the bride’s maid of honor, none other than Emlyn’s mother. To make matters worse, there’s soon talk that her mother may be connected to both murders. Emlyn, along with her friend, Rebecca, is determined to set the record straight, but neither is prepared for the dangers that await them…

Dead Again by Susan Lynn Solomon is a delightfully quirky mystery that will have lovers of the genre fully entertained as they eagerly race to the end of the book to find out ‘whodunit.’ Solomon has a nice way with words and with a setting that quickly puts the reader right into the heart of the story. The setting has a hometown feel to it and a cast of characters that gives the story substance. Her main protagonist, Emlyn, is quirky and a little bristly where her mother is concerned, but readers are drawn to her nonetheless because she’s so relatable. There’s a nice blend of mystery and backstory that sets the stage perfectly for Solomon’s whodunit.