Lee Bartholomew is not your typical, everyday woman. She shies away from the general public and has anxiety if she is away too long from her home, which is actually a house owned by her parents who now reside in France. Lee likes living in London, and fortunately her job permits her to indulge her hermit-like tendencies. She is a ghostwriter of autobiographies; her agent finds work for her among celebrities and other notables.
Lee does have human contact outside of her agent, though even has a boyfriend. Tommy and Lee have been dating for awhile now, but Lee seems to be pulling away from the relationship – or at least putting a bit of distance between herself and Tommy. Fortunately, Tommy is the patient sort and seems to be willing to wait until Lee comes around and agrees to a deeper commitment.
All of that provides a backdrop to the grisly murders occurring in Lee’s Notting Hill neighborhood. When a fire breaks out at the home of Lee’s neighbor, a famous children’s performer named Astrid McKenzie, Astrid is left dead, the victim of arson. Although Lee was not close to Astrid, she is understandably shaken by these events. The case is under investigation, and everyone hopes that the culprit will be found soon.
Meanwhile, Lee receives an assignment to ghostwrite the autobiography of soap star Selma Walker. Selma’s husband, Buzz, is also her manager, and before Lee realizes the two are married, Lee entangles herself in an affair with this captivating yet dangerous man. Lee realizes that she is being unfaithful to Tommy but does not stop the affair, even when she learns that Buzz is married to Selma. She begins leading a double life, meeting with Selma regularly regarding the book and sleeping with her husband at the same time.
Lee’s life is further complicated when she takes on a new tenant in the small cottage behind her house and the tenant’s boyfriend is killed in a fire similar to the one that killed Astrid. Lee cannot return to her preferred life of solitude until a lot of things are settled. The murders need to be solved, she has to deal with some explosive confidences that Selma has entrusted her with for the book, and she must deal with Tommy and a pending marriage proposal.
How to Seduce a Ghost wins with several interesting characters, especially Lee. At times I liked Lee, but disliked her at other times, such as when she was sleeping with Selma’s husband, Buzz. Still, her actions make her a complex and unique character. Action moves the plot constantly forward and changing, but not to the point where it gets confusing. This enjoyable, intricate plot will appeal to fans of mystery and contemporary fiction.