The Ghost on the Stairs

Purple lavender filed in Valensole at sunset. France.

Crystal Cove Mystery Number 1


Sally O’Brian didn’t always see ghosts. But when she and her husband were murdered, she discovered that she wasn’t allowed to pass on through the Pearly Gates. She miraculously recovered but her husband is only with her as a ghost.


She has to find out who had killed her husband…and may still be attempting to kill her.


Sally also wants to help her young assistant Melody realize that her “fake” boyfriend Alan might have “real” feelings for her. Ghosts aren’t the only thing that Sally notices even when most of those around her are oblivious!


But then Sally’s neighbor and new best friend, Marybeth Baker,  “accidentally” falls down the stairs. Sally discovers that Marybeth hasn’t passed, but like her husband, has returned to the mortal plane as a ghost. The talkative ghost can’t remember exactly what happened, but Sally is convinced that it was no accident.


Now Sally has to solve not just the murder of her husband, but the murder of her friend.

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Author's Notes

After living most of my adult life in Colorado, I recently moved back to California.  I had grown up in Southern California, but I have always loved California’s coastal towns more than its LA suburban communities. I decided to celebrate that love by writing stories set in my own version of a small coastal town, Crystal Cove, on the Pacific Coast of Northern California. I knew the stories would be mysteries, more cozy than the Hot Dog Detective series. I also knew that the hero in these stories would be based on a character closer to my own self.


Thus was Sally O’Brian conceived and born. Sally is a fifty-five year old woman, a former teacher, married thirty-five years to a man, Matthew O’Brian, who had been independent and successful enough to allow Sally to be everything she wanted to be.


At first I was going to write about a husband and wife team, but something happened. The loving couple was involved in a terrible automobile accident. When Sally is rejected by Heaven and sent back to the mortal realm, her loving husband refuses to abandon her, and becomes her ghostly companion.


Together, they have a mission. She wants to find out who killed her husband; and he wants to make sure whoever killed him doesn’t kill Sally.


The Crystal Cove Paranormal Cozy Mystery series will consist of at least ten stories. If the series proves popular, it might expand, but that is a decision for a later day.