Leigh Howard and the Ghosts of Simmons-Pierce Manor

I picked up “Leigh Howard and the Ghosts of Simmons-Pierce Manor” by Shawn M. Warner after seeing a national news story on how the book made it on the Amazon best-seller’s list. Warner was a debut author doing a book-signing when a tik-tok user walked by his table and felt sorry for the lack of interested patrons. That tik-tok user posted online offering a ‘giveaway’ of the book. That post got 17 million views and turned “Leigh Howard . . .” into an Amazon best-seller! (It currently has a 92% ‘5-star’ rating on Amazon and a 4.6 rating on Goodreads.)
This novel appeals to both YA and Adult audiences. The main character, Leigh Howard, has lost her parents to a brutal murder. She has had difficulty dealing with the loss, even attempting suicide at one point. Now, Leigh has been placed with a wealthy family of relatives that she doesn’t know and is determined to solve her parents’ murder. To complicate her life – she discovers that she is also living with two ghosts! There are twists and turns in this light-hearted mystery and Leigh is a very likable character.
There are a few editing issues in this novel, but I really enjoyed the plot and imagine there might be a sequel with Leigh’s character. I am not usually a reader of ‘ghost’ novels, but Bodie and Little Bodie (the mansion’s resident ghosts) were both interesting and contributed to the story. I especially liked the way Warner explored Leigh’s grief over losing her parents and linked it to Little Bodie’s story. Pleasantly surprised at this debut novel!

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