If you’ve already read the first two parts in the wickedly funny Hattie Hastings trilogy by Audrey Davis, you don’t need me to tell you The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part Three is an equal delight.
And, if you haven’t read the series openers, why not?
You’re missing a treat.
Because, despite what can only be described as an ever so slightly bonkers plot – Hattie’s dead husband, Gary keeps popping back from the after-life to ensure his darling wife is getting her life back on track – this trio of novellas are pure sunshine.
Part Two ended with Hattie heading for Edinburgh to deliver a message on behalf of husband Gary’s other-world companion, Marty, aged eight-and-a-half, who wants to tell his mum and dad…
What the blurb says:
The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part Three: A ghostly and witty romantic comedy
Some people just won’t take death lying down …
Nothing lasts forever…
Could it be that Gary’s time on earth is coming to an end? His visits are less frequent and his visibility is fading fast.
But Gary still has a mission to accomplish, which involves Hattie and her ability to pass on a heart-rending message. And there’s something else he needs to do, but spirit guide Clarence isn’t proving very helpful.
Hattie’s best friend Cat’s ex-husband is determined to prove that he deserves another chance, but do leopards really change their spots?
Times are tough for Hattie’s mother Rachel, but, where there’s life, there’s always hope …
Meanwhile, is there someone already in Hattie’s life who can help her move on when it’s finally time to say goodbye?
Get your tissues at the ready – both for laughter and tears – with the final instalment of a trilogy that has been hailed as ‘brilliant’, ‘hilarious’, and ‘a great feel-good read’.
Sorry, it would be too much of a spoiler to tell you exactly what Marty wants to say – or how his parents reacted.
But, if a strange woman turned up on your doorstep, and said your dead son had something to tell you, I’m guessing you might be a trifle discombobulated.
And that’s what makes Davis such a great read: she has an almost Roald Dahl-ish ability to take a simple, slightly wacky idea and follow it through to a logical conclusion.
Best of all, she peppers the story with witty one-liners that’ll keep a smile on your face from first page to last.
This is feel-good fiction at its frothy, funny best.
Review by Sue Featherstone.
Available to buy on Amazon.
About the author:
Audrey Davis survived secondary school on the west coast of Scotland.
Rubbish at science, but not too bad at English, she originally wanted to be an actress but was persuaded that journalism was a safer option.
She studied at Napier College in Edinburgh, the only place in Scotland at that time to offer a journalism course.
Her first foray into the hard-nosed newspaper world was as a junior reporter in Dumfriesshire. Duties included interviewing farmers about the prize-winning heifers to reporting on family tragedies.
Davis eventually persuaded her editor to let her launch an entertainment column which meant meeting the odd celebrity – or just the downright odd. From there, she moved to the loftier rank of senior reporter back in her home patch. Slightly more money, less farm animals but a higher crime rate.
As Taggart would say: ‘There’s been a murrrrder!’
After a stint in London on a video magazine – yes, she is that old – Davis moved to Singapore with her fiancé. She tried valiantly to embrace the stinking heat, humidity and lack of jobs, although she did work briefly on a magazine which was banned by the government for ‘artistic’ use of naked men’s bottoms.
Next on her adventures was a land Down Under where her main focus was raising Cost Centre One (aka firstborn) and coming to terms with the imminent arrival of Number Two.
Still, she loved the Aussie way of life – BBQs, beaches and bring your own booze to restaurants – so it came as a blow when OH announced a move back to the UK.
Not a job between them, the climate a possible deal breaker and an Exorcist-style vomiting infant on the flight home didn’t bode well …
Always a survivor, Audrey sought out similar-minded friends (i.e. slightly bonkers), got the children into a good school and thought about taking up writing again.
Sadly, thinking about it was as far as she got, unless you count shopping lists. Then, hubby drops another bombshell.
Switzerland. As in – it’s packing time again. Off to the land of cheese, chocolate, scarily efficient trains and a couple of teeny, tiny issues. Like driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road and speaking a foreign language (French).
The former was conquered fairly quickly (we’ll skip over the wall demolition in week two), the latter remains an ongoing battle of the hopeful against the hopeless.
At least she provides amusement for the local workforce.
It wasn’t until 2016 that Audrey rediscovered her writing mojo with an online Writing Fiction course. From there, her first novel – A Clean Sweep – was born, although it took a bit longer than nine months from conception.
A short, darker prequel – A Clean Break – followed, and in November 2017 she published the first in a novella trilogy, The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part One. Part Two followed in March 2018 and Part Three is published today (July 30).
And now Davis may have a wee lie down…