No Ghouls Allowed by Victoria Laurie
I could almost feel the evil seeping from the inky black demonic spooks found in the pages of this mystery.
On a trip to Georgia to see her father, M. J. Holliday finds herself trapped in a haunted mansion and discovers… The South will rise again – from the dead.
M. J. has had a distant relationship with her father since her mother died more than two decades ago. But when M. J.; her boyfriend, Heath; and her BFF, Gilley, take a break from their show, Ghoul Getters, and visit her family home in Valdosta, Georgia, they find Montgomery Holliday a changed man. The source of his happiness seems to be his new fiancée, the charming Christine Bigelow. But despite the blush of new love, Montgomery and Christine are dealing with a big problem in the form of the antebellum mansion she is having renovated.
After a series of strange accidents, the work crew is convinced the place is cursed, and the contractor has walked off the job. At Christine’s request, M. J. and her pals agree to find out if they’re really dealing with some spirited saboteurs and a possessed plantation home.
Review by Megan Wagner:
I have had the problem with other series where I read the latest installment and I put the book aside with a shrug. It’s still the characters I love, but I’m not “in love” with them anymore. With Victoria Laurie’s latest installment of her ghost hunter series featuring the Ghoul Getters crew of MJ, Gilley, and Heath though, I will say that the magic is still there!
In No Ghouls Allowed, MJ and Gilley take Heath back to their hometown just in time for MJ’s daddy’s wedding. MJ has a bit of a strained relationship with her dad who has been emotionally distant since MJ’s mother died when MJ was a child. MJ finds her childhood home infused with warmth and love that her daddy has found with fiancee Christine.
Christine is having trouble of a spiritual nature with the renovations on a grand old house. MJ, Gilley, and Heath investigate and find ghoulish activity that “recognizes” MJ as her mother’s daughter. As MJ and Heath delve deeper into the activity at the house and beyond while Gilley researches from a safe distance, MJ finds out things about her mother’s past she never expects.
I am continually impressed by the wide variety of emotions that these books express. As one would expect in a ghost hunter book, this book does evoke fear and a sense of tension. There were a few parts where I tried to read faster to see how and if they would make it out okay! This book has made me want to steer clear of Ouija boards for good (to be fair, I was already a wee bit wary!). I loved the little details such as MJ being called Mary Jane in her hometown and the Southern sayings and manners. No Ghouls Allowed also offered a glimpse into the familial relationships with Gilley and his mom and MJ and both of her parents. I loved how MJ had to look at how her relationship with her living parent and deceased parents affected the other. Gilley continues to add lightness and humor as he eats his feelings and scurries for cover, but you also see how much he cares for his family/friends and can cut through the BS and get to the heart of the matter.
Great book and I would highly recommend it. I laughed, teared up a little (ok, maybe a few tears leaked out), and chewed off several fingernails.
Review by Darkand:
Two words ~ Wicked! Fun! This is the 9th installment for the M.J. Holliday “Ghost Hunter Mysteries” and it was one of the most exciting and emotional adventures yet! M.J.’s daddy is getting hitched again so, at long last, we get to meet some of M.J. and Gilley’s ‘family’ & by family, I don’t just mean by blood. It was wonderful to finally be able to see some of what made M.J. into the incredibly strong and amazing character that she is, especially getting to see her close relationship with her mother who had passed on – the feelings of warmth that embraced M.J. whenever she was around had me reaching for the kleenex and meeting Gilley’s mother was also a nice peek at Gilley’s inner flame! Character development is one of Ms. Laurie’s many fine talents, along with how she beautifully handles some pretty dark subject matter that resonated with me on a very personal level.
I will tell you that while I am not a huge fan of horror movies, I have, of course, seen some of the classics and the one that scared me the most just happened to be ‘The Exorcist’- specifically because it was supposedly based on true events. At this point in my life, I truly believe that there is evil in this world and that most of it is man made. Some things, however, cannot always be so easily explained so the more I read about M.J.’s spooks, the more I wonder…should I invest in some industrial sized magnets myself -*nervous laughter.”
Either way, this author gives me actual goosebumps and major chills honestly running down my spine. I will even admit to sleeping with the lights on (cuz you know that the ghosties & monsters under the bed can’t get you if you have the covers pulled up over your head and the lights shinning brightly all night long, right?)during the three nights it took me to devour this book. I could almost feel the evil seeping from the inky black demonic spooks found in the pages of this mystery and the twists & turns in this one definitely had me guessing till the very end. Each book in this series just gets better and better. I totally adore this author and if you don’t have her on your auto-buy list, you absolutely SHOULD!: