Saturday, May 9, 2015

Two for the Show - Boats and Ghosts

Maybe I'm just old.  I can't remember where I read about this book.  I do remember the author as a television newsman.  Do you?  I also keep my eyes open for books about the sea and sailing, always hoping to turn my husband of forty years into a reader.  So I bought this and read it and now it's in the bag of books to take to The Book Trader.

Douglas Kiker was a newspaper and television reporter.  He worked for NBC for quite a while.  He looks oldish to me in his book photo, so I was shocked to learn that he'd died of a heart attack at the age of 61 (a bit younger than I am right now).  This was in Chatham, MA, on Cape Cod.  The location of this book was also the Cape, another attraction for me.

In this mystery, an old friend and ex-lover of newspaperman Mac McFarland invites him to her family estate on the Cape for drinks.  He's living on the Cape and his girlfriend has just broken up with him because his wife has reappeared.  Seems he can't quite get a divorce and his girlfriend has run out of patience.  He goes to his friend's house and she leads him down to the boat at the dock and shows him the dead body of her son-in-law.  It appears that he's committed suicide.  Mac's not quite so sure.

Before the killer is revealed, several people have confessed to the murder.  There's also another murder and a suicide.  Good grief!  I'd hardly consider this a quiet Cape Cod summer!

When I was a teenager, I decided I wanted to be an archeologist or a parapsychologist - a ghost hunter.  This from a kid who got homesick after spending a night away from home!  Did I think the ancient treasures and ghosts were going to come to me?  I even looked into attending Duke University, which had a parapsychology department.  As it was, I enrolled at a local college to major in what was then called Library Science, but I dropped out after three boring and inane weeks to experience 'real life'.

But before then, I read everything I could get my hands on about parapsychology and haunted houses.  Tops on my list was Borley Rectory, The Most Haunted House in England.  What a place!  If only I could have gone there!  Or maybe I'm glad I didn't.

The Ghost Hunters is a fictionalized version of the story of Borley Rectory and Harry Price, who was a famous English ghost hunter in the 1920s and 1930s.  The book certainly put a different slant on poor old Harry than what I had picked up by reading about him and reading his books.  Even so, the thrill was still there.  I was on the edge of my seat at several points.  I mean, what's better than a good ghost story?


  1. Joan, I read the first of the 3 books in this series. Loved it. I have the other two on the shelf to read still.

    1. I was really curious about a mystery written by Douglas Kiker, who I remember from the news, but I'm not sure I liked it enough to read the others. I did like the Cape Cod setting.