*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author and to Emma Welton of damppebbles blog tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: DEAD IS BEAUTIFUL, finds Rose leading Charlie from the peace of the afterlife to the place he hates most on earth, “Beverly Fucking Hills,” where a mature, protected tree harboring a protected bird is being illegally cut down.
The tree-assault leads Charlie and Rose to a to murder and to the person Charlie loathes most in life and in death, the sibling he refers to only as “his shit brother,” who is in danger.
Charlie fights-across the borders of life and death–for the man who never fought for him, and with the help of a fearless Scotsman, a beautiful witch, and a pissed-off owl, Charlie must stop a cruel and exploitative scheme and protect his beloved Rose.
Dead is Beautiful is the fourth book in the Charlie and Rose Investigate series, but the only one I have read to date so I can confirm that it does work as a standalone novel. However the situation and characters are somewhat unusual so I would personally recommend reading the series in order to get the bigger picture.
You see, Charlie and Rose are dead. But they’re mostly okay with it. Rose is a traumatised dog and Charlie is a very angry man, and they keep each other company and keep an eye on the goings on in the world below them from their perch in the not-quite-afterlife. Actually, Rose keeps an eye on things and Charlie mainly gets towed along, complaining, behind her.
Which is how he somehow ends up investigating the series of unfortunate events concerning his hated brother and despised wife. Oh, and a rather delightful house-sitting doula!
Charlie’s simmering rage and disgust with most of humanity (unless they happen to have violet eyes and dripping, naked curves) should make him an unlikable main character – I certainly got fed up with him constantly referring to his brother as ‘my shit brother’ throughout! – but his love and protection towards Rose are redeeming and reveal him to be all bluster, hiding a soft and squishy centre.
This is an unusual premise, especially as Rose and Charlie are physically unable to interact with events and therefore limited to observation for their investigation, but it is well-written and easy to read (with very short chapters), and the characters add humour and pathos, even the relatively minor ones.
If you’re looking for a murder mystery that is out of the ordinary and unpredictable then this series may be right up your boulevard!
Once I was like you–
Loud and turbulent.
Okay, I’ll admit it–not just “solid”.
I was a fat, thirty-eight-year-old Caucasian male, Ashkenazi Jewish resident of Hollywood, California named Charles–no middle name–Stone.
Now I’m something else.
– Jo Perry, Dead Is Beautiful
Dead Is Beautiful is available on Amazon right now!
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