If I accidentally moved into a haunted house, I’d probably fall for the cute, local ghost tour guide too. Especially if his psychic gifts can help me un-haunt my house. The blue hair is probably just a bonus. Apparently, I identified a lot with Levi as a character because most of all of his decisions made perfect sense to me. Not every hero of a paranormal romance has to have some sort of lingering damage, and even the ghosts in Levi’s past (sometimes literally) want him to be happy. He’s a perfect foil for Blue, a down-on-his-luck psychic, and I thoroughly enjoyed how the sparks flew in every scene they shared.
So many books that take place in England are set in either London or some vague countryside location. However, Morton brings York to life (or un-life, as the case may be). Her sensory descriptions also evoke each encounter with a ghost, whether in the “Murder House” or elsewhere in the city, with a visceral dimension that leaped off the page.
In contrast with Levi, Blue was a slightly more difficult character for me. His portrayal seemed to shift as the book went on: from world-weary young man to delightful twink. These things are not mutually exclusive, but the back-and-forth occasionally jarred me from the story. And while I appreciate a lot of the non-relationship success he gains throughout the story, I have a hard time believing Tom, the bookshop owner, would not have connected with Blue earlier in the course of their acquaintance.
All that being said, this book is a fun and occasionally creepy ghost story, featuring a charming romance and a great murder mystery. The dramatic ending was just scary enough to have me genuinely worried for the characters’ fates, despite the book’s billing as a romance novel. I look forward to both reading more by this author and enjoying the further adventures of Black and Blue, comic artist and reluctant psychic.