Editor's note: This is one of the five novels that are 2017 Whitney Award finalistsin the mystery/suspense category. The Whitney Awards recognize novels by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For the list of winners, click here.
"CLEAR EXPECTATIONS: A Mary O'Reilly Paranormal Mystery, Book 20," by Terri Reid, Createspace, $19.99, 276 pages (f)
Even though Mary O’Reilly is more than eight months pregnant in Terri Reid's “Clear Expectations,” part of the Mary O’Reilly paranormal series, she finds a mystery at a hospital that she can't resist investigating.
While visiting a family member at the local Freeport Hospital, Mary hears about a ghost child recently seen by a nurse in the old pediatric unit soon scheduled to be demolished.
When a trip to the third-floor pediatric unit results in an encounter with the ghosts of not one, but several, young and frightened children, Mary is determined to get to the bottom of what turns out to be a nasty secret that’s been hidden in the hospital for almost 30 years. Along with the help of others, including her husband, Bradley Alden, who is also the Freeport chief of police; a ghostly friend named Mike, and family members, Mary works to unravel the mystery of the “Baker’s Dozen.”
Quiet humor relieves some of the tense situations Mary and Bradley encounter in this well-written mystery with a strong dose of healthy romance. Positive family communication and interactions are modeled not only by Mary and her husband, but by other adult family members. In a very natural way, the author communicates that nurturing a family is one of the highest priorities a woman can have.
There is some kissing and implied sexual intimacy — between husband and wife — as well as a general description of a birth taking place in an elevator. Otherwise, the book contains no swearing, foul language or described violence.
“Clear Expectations” was recognized as a 2017 Whitney Awards finalist in the mystery/suspense category. The Whitney Awards recognize novels by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It’s the 20th installment in the Mary O’Reilly series, which Reid began in 2010 with the book “Loose Ends.” The ending of “Clear Expectations” implies that it might be the last book in the series for a while.
Reid lives with her family in a 100-year-old house situated on a five-acre property near Freeport, Illinois — the town where the Mary O’Reilly stories take place.