Book Review: Bump in the Night by Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb, Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langan and Mary Kay McComas

From the title one might assume this is a collection of horror stories and although there are strong ghostly influences, do not look for anything scary here. These four novellas are smoothly written, rather charming forays into worlds where dreams come true and all things are possible. 

Set in the not too distant future, Lieutenant Eve Dallas investigates a stranger then usual murder in Nora Roberts “Haunted in Death.” Eve is a street tough character who has seen enough of humanity’s underbelly to know murderers are inventive and gruesome enough on their own without ghostly interference. When she begins investigating the murder of property developer Radcliff C. Hopkins III it was easy enough to laugh off the whole idea of the building being haunted. The plot thickens when Eve discovers the remains of a mystery woman revealed within the broken remnants of a false wall in Hopkins’ residence. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Eve refuses to accept the possibility of an otherworldly presence, a presence not above using whatever or whoever is handy to achieve its goal.

In “Poppy’s Coin”, a young woman’s life is transformed during a museum tour that wraps her in the tale of a very special coin and the lives it touched in 1016 London. What’s more, this same coin may hold the key to her future happiness if she will but reach out and grasp it.

Josh Cramer is an extreme athlete who spends much of his time in front of the camera providing vicarious thrills to couch potatoes the world over. He is also in desperate need of a vacation but thanks to the work of his busy agent that’s not going to happen, or is it? Just prior to landing on Spirit Lake a mysterious passenger appears in the seat next to him and Josh finds himself beginning a very different kind of expedition in Ryan’s “The Passenger.”

Charlotte can’t help but notice the appearance of an oddly dressed man attending her father’s funeral service. The stranger looks vaguely familiar and she is soon convinced he is a stalker in McComas’s “Mellow Lemon Yellow.” It’s not long before Charlotte must come to terms with this hunky male who is determined to transform her life and oh yeah, did we mention he’s a figure of her imagination?


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