Angry Ghost: The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St James

Mousy Sarah Piper, a temp for an agency, gets an offer for an intriguing assignment. Ghost hunter, Allistair Gellis, needs a woman to make contact with a misandrous ghost.

Not you, boys.
Maddy Clare was a maid who hung herself in her employer's barn and now noisily haunts the premises. She distrusted men in life, and the feeling hasn't abated in death. The lady of the house is at her wits end and asks for Alastair's help. Sarah reluctantly agrees to the job. It's not typing or dictation, her usual assignments, but she needs the cash. For Alistair, documenting this haunting will make him a Big Deal in the ghost hunting biz.

Sarah and Alastair head off to an English backwater, where all the locals eye them suspiciously. The pair seem like a couple of charlatans out to steal Lady Clare's money. During the investigation, Sarah and Alastair learn more about the mysterious Maddy. She's a girl with no past, having shown up on the Clare's doorstep seven years earlier, beaten and bloody, with no memory of what happened to her. She lived with the Clares for years, until the afternoon when she ended her life. Whatever demons Maddy kept inside herself, they were let loose after her death.

After an harrowing first meeting with Maddy, Sarah is shaken. She's introduced to Alastair's other assistant, and is shaken in another way- if you know what I mean. He's hunky Matthew Ryder, an old friend of Alastair's from the war. He's got demons of his own. But that and Maddy's relentless haunting, doesn't stop Sarah and Matthew from rattling their own chains- if you catch my drift.

Things get out of hand when Maddy goes rogue, threatening to destroy all that Sarah cares about. Can Sarah find Maddy peace before it's too late?

For a book about ghost hunters, you'd think this would be a lot more fun. Everyone in The Haunting of Maddy Clare has Issues. The men have PTSD from the Great War, and Sarah has self-esteem issues. I don't think I've ever read a heroine so hard on herself. She's got a bad case of the "I'm too ugly to love" blues. There are three scenes where she looks in a mirror and goes over why she's so unattractive. "Ugh, my boobs are so big! And my curvy bottom is so unfashionable! Men hate that!" For real? I know it's the 1920s but when has a hetero man said no to boobs? There is no explanation to why she feels this way. In fact, she's had lovers before, obviously someone found her attractive, so why the self-loathing?

Maddy's ghost was more appealing to me. Maddy was unable to channel her rage in life, but once she is dead- look out! She will have her vengeance! There was no justice for Maddy while she was alive. When her plan for those that did her wrong is revealed, I wished Sarah could have been a lot more supportive. Hoes before bros!

Should have been her reaction, really.

If Sarah wasn't such a drag, The Haunting of Maddy Clare could have been a much more entertaining book. I liked that the ghost was real, and there wasn't some Scooby-Doo ending (it was the housekeeper all along! nonsense). Matthew seemed real sexy, but their romance was too dark and tortured for me. Everyone was bumming me out.

So, a mixed review: Maddy's plot: good, Sarah: boo.

Please note: The plot revolves around the sexual assault of a young person. It's not graphic, but it's pretty dark.

About the Audio: Pamela Garelick is the narrator. I wasn't a fan of her Matthew voice. Granted, it's hard for a lady to do gruff and sexy bearded dude.

The Haunting of Maddy Clare


  1. Hahahaha! It's always the janitor / maintenance guy / distant nephew on Scooby-Doo!

  2. I wonder what sort of temp agency works with ghost hunters. That seems like the type of work that a temp agency wouldn't find placements for.

    Too bad Sarah seemed so lame, messing up all the cool ghost bits.

  3. You've had a chance to use Rvenge gifs a lot recently! I read this one and thought it was okay. I agree that the ghost part of the story was way more successful than the romance

  4. I guess I liked this book more than your other readers. I thought Sarah was pretty brave to go off with a strange man in order to pursue her passion. The PTSD of WWI aka "battle fatigue" seems particularly horrendous. Have you tried the series from Charles Todd? In that case, the protagonist is a WWI veteran, and the ghost is a fellow soldier who follows him around.


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