4 stars, Book Review, Chicago, clairvoyant, ghosts, historical, New Orleans, old west, Omaha, paranormal, Phoebe Darqueling, Sacramento, train ride
About No Rest for the Wicked by Phoebe Darqueling
Other people just think they’re “haunted by the past.” In Vi’s case, it’s true.
Clairvoyant Viola Thorne wants to forget about her days of grifting and running errands for ghosts. The problem? Playing it safe is dull. So when a dead stranger begs for her help, Vi jumps at the chance to dust off her hustling skills. The unlikely companions are soon tangling with bandits, cheating at cards, and loving every minute.
Then she finds out who referred him, and Vi has to face both a past and ex-partner that refuse to stay buried. Though she betrayed Peter, his spirit warns her of the plot that cost him his life. Vi’s guilty conscience won’t let her rest until she solves his murder. Though she’s spent her whole life fighting the pull of the paranormal, it holds the key to atoning for the only deception she’s ever regretted—breaking Peter’s heart.
Review of No Rest for the Wicked
A page or two into chapter 1 and I knew this would be a very entertaining book. Clairvoyance aside, heroine Viola Thorne is a larger-than-life character. As one would need to be to survive as an unattached woman in 1871 Sacremento. Vi is the owner of a bar and takes no crap from any of her customers. She is smart and brave, brazen and impulsive, and she has a heart of gold.
This does not mean she is completely in charge of her life. Her clairvoyant abilities tend to overtake her, as happens in the very first chapter when a ghost shows up asking for help. Vi really does not want to help. Really, all she wants to do is live a normal ghostless life. That is not to be.
No Rest for the Wicked has some truly great characters. In addition to Vi, there is Bonnie, the widow, who has the same adventurous streak as Vi, but has a bit more common sense. Peter is a ghost with issues. And George, the young boy that Vi has sort of adopted, is sweet and maybe a bit ornery.
The story line, although it took a while to get to it, revolves around Vi, Peter, George and Bonnie going back to New Orleans to help Peter resolve his ghostly issues so he can move on. They got sidetracked a few times, dealing with a rich, snooty, bigoted woman, a ghost on the train, and also explaining the great Chicago fire of 1871. While the fire was tied to more closely to the story, I thought it unnecessary.
The bad guys remained named throughout the story. There is a ghost who wants to haunt in a really big, bad way and manages to bring a trainload full of trouble to Vi and her friends. The ghost is under the control (sort of) of someone who seems to be even more wicked than the ghost.
Vi has the help of her Aunt Prudence, the wise relative whose advice will likely save Vi’s life. And Vi will have to grudgingly admit it. The dynamic between Aunt Pru and Viola was delightful, shedding some light on Vi’s past, present and probably her future.
After No Rest For the Wicked, there is a lot more of the paranormal coming. The story ends on a cliffhanger. In fact, they never even get close to the bad guys. The unnamed evil one does his “MwaHaHa” at the end. Which a great portent of things to come, but also irritating. Cliffhangers – don’t need them! Of course, not everyone has the same opinion of cliffhangers. And, with any luck, the next installment will not be too many months down the line.
This old west adenture/ghost story is PG rated. So no excessive violence and no sex. No Rest for the Wicked will entertain and delight readers who enjoy paranormal and historical fiction.
Thanks to the publisher who provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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