By Simone St. James
New American Library, $14.00, 318 pages

Sarah Piper lives an isolated life – working temporary jobs and living in a boarding house, she is mostly alone without any contact from others. Things change, however, when she is hired as an assistant to a handsome ghost hunter, Alistair Gellis. He needs a female assistant to help him research a ghost named Maddy Clare, as Maddy hates men and attacks them. Sarah soon realizes that they are both in over their head as the ghost begins haunting the team in different ways, but they must resolve her death before it is too late for everyone.

The Haunting of Maddy Clare is a solidly written ghost story. The author nicely evokes the era between the two world wars in England as the setting. The characters are nicely written, all having their own damage from their past and the recent war. The plot unfolds typically, and there aren’t many surprises about the mystery behind Maddy’s death or the subplots between the team members. Despite that, this book is very entertaining and worthy of reading. A note to the squeamish: the book does have some parts that are quite scary, so it’s best not to read it alone at night.

Reviewed by Barbara Cothern