Ghosts of Painting Past (An Aurora Anderson Mystery) by Sybil Johnson #Review / #Giveaway @HeneryPress – Great Escapes Book Tour

Ghosts of Painting Past (An Aurora Anderson Mystery)
by Sybil Johnson

About Ghosts of Painting Past

Ghosts of Painting Past (An Aurora Anderson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Henery Press (November 19, 2019)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115590
ISBN-13: 978-1635115598
Digital ASIN: B07XC3DXGN


It’s Christmastime in the quiet Los Angeles County city of Vista Beach, home of computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The magic of the season fills the air as residents enjoy school concerts, a pier lighting ceremony and the annual sand-snowman contest.

During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Rory plans on painting ornaments to sell at the local craft fair and joining in on the holiday fun. But she finds the season anything but jolly after the house across the street is torn down, revealing a decades old crime. Past meets present when her father is implicated in the murder.

Fearing for her father’s future, Rory launches her own investigation, intent on discovering the truth and clearing his name.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Christmas in California should be bliss for Rory Anderson but all the holiday magic is sucked out of the atmosphere when a skeleton is found on the property across the street from her house and another is found on the beach. It appears the deaths are connected and Rory’s father is right in the middle of it. Rory is bound and determined to show her father is not involved. Clearing his name means digging up his past which he has always painted with a pretty broad brush. She learns a lot about her parents but knows her father is no killer.


This time Rory’s family, friends, and neighbors all get in on the investigation. There were a few funny moments as Rory and the rest of the nosy neighbors tried to see what the big discovery was on their street. When they found out it was a skeleton and again when the skeleton was identified the story took a more somber tone. The situation really tugged on this mother’s heartstrings.

Ms. Johnson has created a wonderful cast of characters. The recurring characters continue to grow while the new characters bring new energy to the story. I really enjoyed reading about how Rory’s parents met and their love story. Rory has the perfect job for an amateur sleuth, working from home, in charge of her own time, allowing her to drop everything at a moment’s notice to follow a lead.

The story was filled with twists and moved along nicely. I loved that the past and present were tied together in a top-notch mystery.

Celebrating Christmas without any snow would be hard for me but it was fun to read about all the festivities. The author does an excellent job of bringing the various scenes to life. The lighted trees lining the pier, the snowman contest on the beach and even the craft sale.

Ghosts of Painting Past is a great addition to this series. It checks all my cozy boxes and left me excited for the next book in the series.

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About Sybil Johnson

Sybil Johnson’s love affair with reading began in kindergarten with “The Three Little Pigs.” Visits to the library introduced her to Encyclopedia Brown, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and a host of other characters. Fast forward to college where she continued reading while studying Computer Science. After a rewarding career in the computer industry, Sybil decided to try her hand at writing mysteries. Her short fiction has appeared in Mysterical-E and Spinetingler Magazine, among others. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Southern California where she enjoys tole painting, studying ancient languages and spending time with friends and family.

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
November 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
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November 20 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
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November 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
November 22 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 23 – My Reading Journeys – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 24 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
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December 2 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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