My Rating: 3.5/5
Author: Maggie Toussaint
Title: Gone and Done It
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
While planting a cherry tree, landscaper Baxley Powell’s shovel strikes something solid. Intrigued, she clears the sand away and reveals a human skull. After calling the sheriff, Baxley use her dreamwalking abilities to get a jump-start on identifying the victim.
The deputies arrive to secure the scene. They believe she’s tampering with evidence and taser her. Emotions flare, but the sheriff agrees to hire her as a consultant, if she closes cases. With a daughter to support and bills she can’t pay, Baxley is motivated to succeed.
Things get dicey when she unearths a murder victim on the same jobsite, planting Baxley in the suspect pool. For calling unwanted attention to her private retreat, Baxley’s landscaping client fires her, stiffing her for the plants and labor.
Meanwhile, her father retires as county dreamwalker, passing the community service responsibility along to her.
Baxley’s dreamwalking sideline competes for her time with her day jobs of landscaping and pet-sitting. Folks show up on her doorstep at all hours to pass messages to the departed. Though her money problems persist, food randomly appears at her door, and her hair develops a telltale white streak in the forelock overnight.
Just what every young woman wants, a permanent bad hair day.
Threats to her safety mount as Baxley delves into the victim’s life–in both worlds. With a killer dogging her heels and spirits nipping at her mind, Baxley follows her dreams to find the truth.
First person – Baxley
At the beginning of the novel, the reader discovers that Baxley is having come financial problems as well as some paranormal problems. Her husband is declared dead from the army but no body has been found. While on a landscaping job, she discovers dead bodies. Her father is not well and she might have to take over his dreamwalking business so her daughter, Larissa, doesn’t have to. She has a lot on her plate. Baxley isn’t the type of person that jumps right into murder mysteries or dead bodies. She feels vulnerable. However, her strength comes in looking out for her daughter. She relies on her parents – her father being a dreamwalker for the county – for advice and a place of refuge. Despite her lack of faith in her abilities as a dreamwalker, Baxley understands what’s at stake and forges ahead. I would have liked to see a little more background on some other characters – especially her family. It could have added more to the story and clarify the paranormal parts.
The story moves fast. With old and new dead bodies being found, her job(s) in the balance upon solving the mysteries, a watcher in her woods, and being threatened, Baxley doesn’t have much time. Besides solving the mysteries, she must also learn about her own abilities and help her father while looking out for her daughter who is also sensitive to what’s going on around her. For me, I wasn’t too surprised about the “who done it” part. There were some surprises in the plot though.
Standalone or Part of a Series:
First in a series