by G. Jay
published by Publish Green
Why Read?: Review
Challenges: eBook, Paranormal Fiction, 100 Books in a Year
With his first Ryan Kincaid mystery, Summer Spirit, G. Jay has given us a ghostly mystery with a realistic gay protagonist.
Antiques dealer Ryan Kincaid is feeling rather lonely and unsatisfied with his life, so he decides to leave his store in the hands of an assistant and spend the summer on a buying trip in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He and his friend Laura rent a three-story brownstone for the summer and settle into life away from New York City. However, their luxuriousness summer home comes with a secret: the ghost of Nicholas, the handsome son of a former owner. Ryan knows he needs to help Nicholas, but the big question is how.
Ryan Kincaid is a very realistic character and he is a gay man, which is a big part of the story. Jay's very first sentence might startle more sensitive readers who are expecting a simple cozy or paranormal mystery. At it's heart, Summer Spirit is a gay paranormal mystery, but Jay takes a tad too long to get there, especially for a relatively short novel. The mystery does not start until almost halfway in, with the first part being overrun by mundane routine. Yes, this does give us insight into Ryan's character, but it makes the story drag more than a mystery should...and it is billed on the front cover as a mystery.
Despite its pacing problems, Summer Spirit shows a lot of promise. Hopefully G. Jay will skip the extensive exposition in further installments of the Ryan Kincaid mysteries, which would actually help to bring this interesting character more to the forefront.