Dying to KnowDying to Know, a Gumshoe Ghost Mystery

TJ O’Connor

Published by Midnight Ink, Imprint of Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD

ISBN  978-0-7387-3950-2

368 pages

Reviewed by Laura Hartman

Genre: Mystery

We have all heard that “Dead men tell no tales” (author unknown) but in TJ O’Connor’s breakout novel Dying to Know a dead man does tell a tale. A very entertaining tale to be exact.

The novel starts out with the bang. That bang is the gun that kills Detective Oliver Tucker (known as Tuck) when he gets up during the night to investigate a noise he hears downstairs. When he wakes up to see his dead body and crying wife, he knows that life – now death – will never be the same. His faithful black Lab Hercule can see him and hear him, but is confused when Tuck cannot play ball or pet him.

Once he gets more accustom to his new state, he is determined to find his killer. However, he needs help from his partner, known as Bear, who is acting very suspicious. Bear is hiding evidence, meeting with unsavory characters and seems to be excessively close to Tuck’s wife, Angel.  On the road to finding his killer, will Tuck see, hear and find out things that he might not want to know about those that are closest to him?

Tuck’s problems are compounded when he is swept away to watch scenes that include murders and abductions. He is not sure if he is going back in time or watching an event that could be prevented. While he tries to figure out how to help, Doc, his spirit guide visits him, but doesn’t give him answers, only suggestions.

The quest to find his killer becomes part of a tangled plot that is ensnaring Angel and Bear.

He reaches out desperately to Angel. But at what cost? He may be putting this professor in more danger than she bargains for by asking her to be his investigator. Soon a retired mobster, hired killer and maybe one of Angel’s closest friends are all looking suspicious to Tuck. He is no longer just looking for his murderer; he is trying to protect those he loves from joining him in death.

Don’t let all of this murder and mayhem stop you from enjoying the humor and fun in this mystery. It is a fun, fast read. I like the short chapters that call for me to read “just one more” until I realize it is past midnight. O’Connor pays homage to one of my all-time favorite authors, Dame Agatha Christie but naming the delightful Lab Hercule and including an archaeological dig as part of the main storyline.

Kudos to O’Connor on his debut novel. I cannot wait to hear more tales from the dead man in this series.

Copyright © 2014 Laura Hartman

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.