Thrill of HauntFirst of all, I’m not a ghost. You may think I’m a ghost, or a spirit, or whatever, but I’m not. Seriously. I’m not.

I am a young woman who is formerly alive. That’s all.

It’s a long story how I got this way, and I don’t have time to tell it all now. But suffice it to say it wasn’t my fault. You can read about it all elsewhere (Night of the Living Deed by E.J. Copperman). After all this time, it’s not important anymore.

What is important now is that I stay in this house—my house, really—on the Jersey Shore, taken over by another girl (editor’s note: Alison Kerby) after I became… like this. And she runs it as a guesthouse, which isn’t the worst idea ever, but not what I would do. Luckily, her daughter Melissa is a sweetie, and she and I share a room up in the attic.

For reasons I couldn’t begin to explain, I have to help Paul, the other deceased person in the house, put on “spook shows” once in the morning and once at night, to keep the guests in the house entertained. At first, I wasn’t going to go along with the gag—it’s so lame—but Melissa asked me to help her mom keep guests coming in, and what could I do?

My typical day? Well, what’s typical when you’re formerly alive and hanging around the Jersey Shore?

We don’t sleep, people like me. We sort of recharge our batteries mentally sometimes, but I like to spend time on the roof of the house, looking out at the ocean or the Dunkin Donuts on Rt. 35; they’re both pretty. But when the sun comes up I’m usually a little bored, a little underappreciated—I mean, nobody ever asks how I’m doing, just because I was murdered a couple of years ago—and a little, understandably, cranky.

I didn’t ask to be stuck in this place, you know.

Of course, I’m not as stuck as I used to be. When Paul and I first found ourselves in this disgusting predicament, I couldn’t move past the property line of the house—my house—from the street to the beach. But since then, I’ve managed to break free of the place and now I get to move around (Paul still can’t). It’s not fast, but I can hop in someone’s car or a passing truck or something, and get to explore.

But there are these stupid “spook shows” to put on, and I did promise Melissa, so I show up pretty much every day to move things around and have the guests ooh and aah over the “flying” objects in the room. Live people are so easy to fool.

After that’s over, my time is my own until the afternoon show. Sometimes the girl who owns the place now (ed.: Alison Kerby) plays private eye. That was part of the deal when we started this spook show thing—Paul the PI wanted to have something to investigate, but almost nobody can see us, so he got Melissa’s mom to get an investigator’s license and now he talks her into detecting stuff once in a while. Now that I can get out of the house, sometimes I go along just for laughs. It’s fun to watch her screw up.

Like lately, there was this homeless dude who got himself killed in the men’s room at the local gas station. So I had to go along when Melissa’s mom (ed.: Alison Kerby) went to check the place out. A guy’s bathroom. I mean, really. Gross!

Frankly, I don’t think anybody would have ever even begun to figure out what happened if I hadn’t been there, but you know me: I don’t blow my own horn. So I do the work and let others take the credit; it’s just the kind of person I am. Was. Whatever.

Maxie Malone appears (alongside Alison Kerby) in the fifth Haunted Guesthouse mystery, The Thrill of the Haunt, released November 5. Find out more at

Thanks to Penguin, I have one (1) copy of “THE THRILL OF THE HAUNT” to give away. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Contest ends November 15; US entries only per publisher’s request.

Meet the author
E.J. Copperman is either someone’s pseudonym or the sick mind behind the Haunted Guesthouse mystery series, in which two resident ghosts help a single mom/innkeeper/private investigator solve crimes and entertain guests, or both. E.J. is a screenwriter, freelance reporter, teacher and bon vivant from New Jersey, if such a thing is possible.

The Thrill of the Haunt is the fifth in the Haunted Guesthouse mystery series, following Night of the Living Deed, An Uninvited Ghost, Old Haunts and Chance of a Ghost. Two e-book novellas in the series, A Wild Ghost Chase and An Open Spook, are also available.

You can see a personal message from E.J. below:

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