Title: Uncommonly Tidy Poltergeists
Author: Angel Martinez
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books, LLC
Release Date: January 11, 2017
Page Count: 180
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A poltergeist haunts Taro, dogging his international travels. It washes glasses, puts dishes away, and even dusts. At least he hopes it’s a cleaning-obsessed poltergeist and not his own anxieties burbling over into neat freak fits he doesn’t remember. When his property manager suggests he call paranormal expert, Jack Montrose, Taro’s skeptical but desperate enough to try even a ghost hunter.
Jack’s arrival crushes Taro’s hopes of a dashing Van Helsing-style hero. Instead of an invincible hunter, he gets Ichabod Crane. As the paranormal puzzles multiply and Jack begins to suggest the entity might not be a ghostly one, Taro adds a budding friendship with Jack to his pile of anxieties. It’s a race to see whether Taro’s poltergeist or his relationship with the obviously-not-ace Jack will reach maximum strangeness first
Premise of the book is, young Taro has come into some money and decides to do a Grand Tour of the world, staying in a house at each destination for a week at a time, then writing a book about his adventures. Halfway into his tour, he begins to suspect he’s going a bit off the rails when things are being cleaned during his sleep. Once safely back in NYC, he contacts Jack Montrose in hopes of solving this nocturnal mystery.
This is such a heartwarming read. The ghost aspect isn’t much of a mystery, so the plot’s strength lies in Jack’s and Taro’s interaction. Taro’s lonely and frustrated for reasons revealed later in the story. Jack is lonely and frustrated after years of being put down for his height, long limbs, and stork-like appearance.
It’s only when Taro begins taking Jack with him to figure out where the poltergeists are geographically, that they realize they have something special. Granted, there are the misunderstandings, the awkward dialog, and the apprehension that occurs at the start of any budding relationship – which were doubly sweet as the reader finds out why for each guy.
So while the mystery plot was just okay, I gave this 4 stars for addressing a difficult and not frequently discussed topic in a very touching way.