Review: Soul in Present Condition by Mary E. Merrell

The Real Estate Paranormal Mystery Series
By Mary E. Merrell

Publisher: Morningglory

SiPC front_cover



In book three of the Real Estate Paranormal Mystery series, real estate agent Rosemary Fernandes faces a number of daunting tasks: she must serve her vampire master Marcus; lay to rest Benny, a ghost with a dangerous history; arrange the sale of a house to Marcus’ maker Lucila; and work to keep her day job going. In addition, she is trying to maintain her connection to her boyfriend Frank and show properties to an elderly Hispanic couple whose son may or may not actually be willing to buy the home he’s promised them.

This third book draws fairly heavily on the first two installments of the series — readers unfamiliar with Rosemary might want to start with House Haunting and Curve Appeal in order to keep up with all of the characters’ histories. However, even those readers who haven’t encountered Rosemary before will be charmed by the way Merrell weaves together the threads of the story; the author gives enough back-story to explain most (if not all) of the connections. The characters are, for the most part, nicely rounded, and the plot comes to a satisfying conclusion.

The text itself is occasionally marred by the sorts of errors that can jar a reader out of the world the author builds and that a careful proofreading should have caught (“their” in place of “they’re,” for example), along with a narrative tendency to over-explain information previously given in dialogue. However, Merrell’s entertaining take on what happens when the daytime world of real estate collides with the nighttime world of vampires is enough to make up for these kinds of problems — this is another enjoyable entry in an engaging series.

Score: 8/10 (4 stars)

~Margo Bond Collins


Book One: House Haunting

Rosemary Fernandes is a divorced, naïve woman, determined to make it in the tough world of real estate. Keith Laumer is a ghost, eager to leave his earthly haunt. As a real estate agent and a womanizer in life, Keith is the perfect partner to teach Rosemary the ins and outs of the real estate business, and he’s perfectly willing to teach her anything else she wants to know.

Frank Perez is a tough guy tattoo artist with ah-so-wide shoulders, and a chest Rosemary can’t wait to get her hands on. He thinks she’s a tease, jerking him around with this ghost story. And it won’t bother the ghost if the tattoo artist just disappears.

Can there be a love triangle between a goodie two-shoes, a tough guy, and a ghost? And how long will Rosemary remain naïve and alive when her less-than-subtle sleuthing drops her and her friends into a sinister years-old plot?


Book Two: Curve Appeal

Vampires are creatures of legend.

That’s what real estate agent Rosemary Fernandes thought until the day she started hearing them…the voices of lost souls. When Rosemary encounters the ghost of a murdered stripper, she feels compelled to help, but what happens when the ghost’s secret brings Rosemary to the attention of a serial killer?

The dead are drawn to Rosemary like magnets, but must it attract all the kooks as well? Marcus Lyon’s thinks he’s a vampire, and he wants Rosemary to be his personal assistant, his human servant. Rosemary ignores his crazy proposition until Marcus gives her an offer she can’t refuse. Can she work her business, run errands for the vampire and help the lost souls while staying ahead of a killer out for revenge?


Book Three: Soul in Present Condition

Divorced. Check. Ghost Whisperer. Check. Human Servant. Check. Great. Check.

Real estate agent Rosemary Fernandes never expected to inherit the ability to communicate with spirits, and she certainly didn’t expect her gift to attract the undead as well. Now Rosemary finds herself ghost whisperer to the lost souls stuck at their haunts and human servant to a gorgeous but aloof vampire Marcus Lyons.

Benito Cruz died with a dangerous secret, a secret that connects the ghost to Rosemary. Can Rosemary send the spirit to his final resting place before his past catches up with them, and can she convince the vampire helping spirits like Benito is her destiny?

When real estate and the supernatural come together it is murder.


About the Author
Mary E. Merrell writes Paranormal Mysteries and Young Adult Urban Fantasy. She has worked many jobs, but always had stories in her head. It wasn’t until she went into real estate and walked into that old, vacant home that The Real Estate Paranormal Mystery Series came to life. Fortunately, nothing spooky happened at the furniture store, or the first book might have been, “The Haunted Sofa.”

Mary E. Merrell’s plots are smooth and slightly dark, and her characters sinfully sweet. Try a little guilty pleasure with House Haunting, the first book in The Real Estate Paranormal Mystery Series. One reviewer called it “A good start to a new series.”

Her Young Adult series, Affinity, is also humorous but deals with very real life themes. A reviewer said, “Love it. So different. A fun read.”

Mary E. Merrell lives in the Central Valley of California with her husband, two dogs, and five cats. She has two grown sons. When she’s not writing, she’s gardening or playing soccer.

Twitter: @MaryMerrell7
Website: Mary E. Merrell