Lee Bartholomew is having relationship troubles so she jumps at the chance to leave London and travel to the Hamptons to attend her mother’s commitment ceremony to the Phillionaire. It also gives her the opportunity to interview for the job to ghostwrite rock legend Shotgun Marriott’s autobiography. The aging rocker is more renowned for waking up beside a dead groupie in the ‘60s than for his music but has always refused to talk about it until now. Lee isn’t pleased to discover that her ghostwriting competition, Bettina Santa Cruz, has been in New York for two weeks and appears to have won the ghostwriting job.
A Miss Havisham-like woman briefly interrupts her mother’s beachside commitment ceremony, but it doesn’t seem to bother the happy couple. Unfortunately, the body of Shotgun Marriott’s son washing up on the beach dressed in a wedding dress marks the end of festivities. When Bettina is also murdered, Lee suddenly finds herself filling her rival’s shoes investigating Shotgun’s past. Faced with a bevy of suspects, none of whom she wants to believe is guilty, Lee undertakes her own investigation. Since Shotgun is also the prime suspect in his son’s murder, should Lee worry about ending up in the same state as Bettina?
How to Marry a Ghost is the second mystery book by Hope McIntyre featuring neurotic ghostwriter Lee Bartholomew. McIntyre has taken an acerbic recluse with minimal social graces and turned her into a winning heroine. As Lee slowly learns to know the residents of the East End of Long Island and their secrets, readers uncover details of her turbulent relationship with Tommy.
McIntyre has woven together not only an interesting cast of characters but several fascinating plot lines. Lee’s search for a new family circle, Franny’s secret past and possible relationship with Rufus, “Miss Havisham’s” story and, of course, Shotgun Marriott’s history all intertwine with the central mystery to create a complex and satisfying novel.
At times readers may become frustrated with Lee’s obsessive nature and “undercover polar bear” nature (the males and females don’t live together, coming together only to mate - her picture of the ideal marriage), but in this cast of eccentrics she becomes a shining star. Long before Bettina’s body is found, readers will be firmly in Lee’s corner.
Hope McIntyre is the pseudonym of well-known author and editor Caroline Upcher. She is perhaps best known for her work as ghostwriter on Naomi Campbell’s novel Swan.