Double Vision (Vista De Lirio Mysteries Book 1) by Elizabeth Hunter
Elizabeth Hunter introduces us to a new cast of characters and a wonderfully entertaining paranormal series with the release of Double Vision. Vista De Lirio, the eccentric community in Palm Desert, is Julia Brooks’ new home after a “cardiac event” at the age of 51 sidelined her successful real estate career in Los Angles. Her ex-husband and business partner, Dean, and his husband, Sergio, have insisted Julia move into their pool house as she transitions to the slower stress housing market in this desert community. Her first showing is for the storied Casa de Lirio (House of the Lilies), on the market due to the pending divorce of the wealthy Lily and Dean Putnam, and should bring her a good commission. What it shouldn’t bring is the paranormal ability to see and communicate with ghosts. But that’s exactly what happens when she finds the murdered body of Justin, Lily’s boyfriend/chef/trainer/pool guy, and his perturbed ghost. Neither Julia or Justin are happy about their new close relationship, but as she tries to unravel her new found “gift” and solve Justin’s murder she finds unexpected help and friendship with Evy and Vivian, two newly christened paranormals.
“Now she was sharing margaritas with two strangers who were unexpectedly tied to her by psychic phenomena that none of them could explain, a murder they needed to solve, and a town with way more secrets that it revealed on the glossy surface.”
Julia, Evy, and Vivian are totally different women whose lives become paranormal and intertwined following Julia’s discovery of a murder and the victim’s ghost. An annoying ghost with his “carefully coiffed and highlighted hair, white polo shirt, and pouting face” that refuses to leave her alone until she helps solve his murder. But, Justin is not the only ghost Julia can now see as Palm Desert’s history of unconventional residents make their appearance as well. Between ghosts with quirky personalities and Sergio’s attack alpaca, Paco, the ladies “normal” lives are turned on their heads as they try to not only get a handle on their new found abilities but use them to help solve this murder mystery and send Justin off into the light. Dubbed “Sergio’s Angels” these ladies find themselves in the middle of all sorts of craziness.
What’s even crazier is Julia’s new interest in the famous director, Michael O’Connor. Ever since her divorce from Dean, Julia has found that she feels smothered by long term relationships and their constant demands. But, with Michael there is something more that she doesn’t need a paranormal sense to realize.
You’re undressing me with your eyes,” Michael whispered. “My plan is working.”
She couldn’t stop the smile. “I was. Sorry about that.”
“Only apologize if you don’t plan on following through.” He looked up from the menu. “At some point, I mean. They frown on public fornication a Cristo’s.”
“Well that spoils my post-mimosa plan,” Julia said. “I guess we’ll have to go to the gardens then.”
“I’d say you’d have to passionately make out with me pressed against a tree instead, but most of the trees over there are cactus and that could only end badly.”
He put down the menu. “More and more, I think we need to hiking in a very deserted forest, and not for any serial killer reasons.”
The corner of her mouth turned up. “And you said I was the spicy one.”
“I’m not the one making up scenarios where I have to pull cactus spike out of your bare ass,” Michael said. “That’s all you.”
Their lighthearted banter as their attraction grows is one of my favorite parts of Double Vision.
EH’s addition of contemporary paranormal mysteries to her basket of book genres has really shown her fun side. The unique friendships forged by paranormal gifts and the mysteries they solve through a combination of smarts, sass, psychic ability (and a little alcohol on top) makes for a highly engaging and entertaining read. Double Vision has many great one-liners and comical interactions that keep you grinning and giggling from beginning to end. The friendship that Julia, Evy, and Vivian develop in a short time lays the groundwork for future adventures that are shaping up for book two, Mirror Obscure.