Review: Homicide at the Haunted House by Beth Dolgner

Posted April 19, 2024 by Lola in Fantasy, Mystery, Review / 4 Comments

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Homicide at the Haunted HouseHomicide at the Haunted House (Nightmare, Arizona #1)
by Beth Dolgner
narrated Petrea Burchard

My Rating: 4 stars

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: m/f

Murder, monsters, and a midlife crisis in Nightmare, Arizona

Divorced, broke, and broken down in the old mining town of Nightmare, Arizona, Olivia Kendrick is desperate for a job. At forty-two years old, she never thought she would be starting over like this, let alone in a tucked-away town filled with tourists, offbeat residents, and an outspoken UFO hunter. Olivia takes a job at a year-round haunted house, but when she arrives for her first day, she faces real horror: a local man’s body has been dumped at the front entrance.

Olivia is an immediate suspect. After all, she’s a stranger in town. As Olivia tries to find the real killer, she begins to realize her co-workers aren’t just putting on a show every night at Nightmare Sanctuary Haunted House. And why does the “dog” running around have such long fangs?

Things only get worse when Damien Shackleford, the son of the haunted house’s missing owner, shows up. He might be handsome, but his arrogant attitude makes everyone miserable. Olivia must forge a new life, solve a murder, and decide who’s more of a monster: Damien or the actual monsters she works with…

Homicide at the Haunted House is book 1 in the Nightmare, Arizona paranormal cozy mystery series. This lighthearted series is about starting over, found family, and solving murders in a quirky old mining town with a secret supernatural community.

My Review

I received a free audio copy from Tantor Audio and voluntarily reviewed it.

Homicide at the Haunted House sounded like a fun paranormal cozy and that’s exactly what I got when I picked this one up. I had so much fun listening to this one. It grabbed my attention from the first chapter and once Olivia arrived in nightmare it got even better.

Olivia just got divorced and is driving to San Diego for a new start there, when her car breaks down and she has to stay in Nightmare Arizona to get it repaired. She doesn’t have money for repairs as her ex spend everything they had, so she goes looking for a job to pay the repairs and gets a job at the haunted house. Then there is a dead body that gets dumped at the haunted house and Olivia gets involved in solving the mystery. She also slowly figures out there is more to the people who work at the haunted house.

This was just such a fun read. The setting really came alive with the old mining town that is now a tourist town and the haunted house filled with people who consider it their home and the people who work there family. I loved the found family theme in this book with the people who live and work at the haunted house and the supernatural aspect to it. I liked reading about Olivia getting stranded in this town and getting to know the people who live there. It was a great read! I liked Olivia as well as the interesting side character that all came alive. I do admit to struggling a bit with the large cast of side characters and had some troubles remembering who was who or what at times, but everyone had their own personality and the further I got the easier it went.

I liked the mystery. It kept me invested and curious to find out who had done it. I was pretty sure about some people that they weren’t the killer, but wasn’t quite sure who had done it and why. I think this would be a difficult one to figure out as a reader as a vital clue doesn’t come to light till the very end, but I did like the twist and reveal. It gets nicely wrapped up and left me eager for the next book in the series.

I liked the narrator, this was a new to me narrator, but I immediately liked her style. I liked the different voices she did and how she added some flavor to the characters with how she narrated them.

To summarize: This was such an enjoyable paranormal cozy mystery. I had so much fun listening to this book and flew through it. This book quickly pulled me in and the author really brought the setting and characters to life. I liked getting a feel for the old mining town that’s now a tourist town as well as all the interesting characters Olivia meets there. The mystery was also well done and kept me invested. I think this is a difficult one to figure out as the reader as an important clue doesn’t come to light till the end, but I liked the twist and reveal. I listened to the audio version and liked the narrator and how she voiced the different characters. I really enjoyed this one and look forward to the next book in this series!

4 Stars


You can also read my review on Goodreads and Bookbub.

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4 responses to “Review: Homicide at the Haunted House by Beth Dolgner

    • Cozy paranormals might be a good place to start. I hope you give them a try! I can definitely recommend this series, it has plenty of paranormal stuff going on as well as the mystery.

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