November 17, 2021

ARC REVIEW: Sheltering Spirits (Mallory McGrath #1) by Lori Allison

Sheltering Spirits (A Mallory McGrath Mystery #1)
by Lori Allison

Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 6 October 2020
Orphaned at a young age, all Mallory McGrath wants is a place to call home, the companionship of friends who have become her family and to keep her Basset Hound, Elmer, from wrecking everything she owns.

A simple life.

And things are going her way until a sudden encounter with the bumper of a car driven by the intriguing new coroner in town leaves her with a head injury that unlocks a strange new talent.

Now Mallory is dealing with ghostly roommates, a dead body on her property and finding herself under suspicion of murdering the town’s matriarch. Not to mention the angry poltergeist trashing her attic!

To save all she holds dear, Mallory must catch a killer who has her in his sights … and to make sure her supply of peanut butter doesn’t run out.
REVIEW of Sheltering Spirits (Mallory McGrath #1) by Lori Allison
Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date: October 6, 2020
Format: eARC

If a Hallmark murder mystery and a story about a haunted house got together and had a brain child, Lori Allison’s Sheltering Spirits would be it. The story follows Mallory McGrath, a dog groomer living in a small town. Her life is fairly normal, until one day she is hit by a car and starts seeing ghosts. Things get even more complicated when the body of one of her nosy neighbors is found on her property, and Mal becomes the prime suspect. Can Mallory solve the mystery, find the killer and learn to deal with her ghostly roommates? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out. 

Poltergeists are always fun. Sure, kindly old ghosts are nice. Poltergeists though, you never know what they are going to do next and how their mood will shift so they end up adding an element of suspense and surprise to the story. I think the first book I read that featured one was Harry Potter (enter Peeves the Poltergeist), and Peeves really set the standard. The poltergeist in this book is very mercurial; he can go from helping Mallory in one scene to annoying her and making all kinds of ruckus in his attic domain the next. I loved it! 

Sheltering Spirits does include romance and the discovery of a dead body, but it’s a “clean” read so to speak. Ms. Allison did not include any graphic detail or gorey scenes. I would rate the intimacy level as sweet - no descriptive makeout scenes and no physical intimacy.    

I’m a big fan of stories where the main characters gradually grow into a relationship; “insta-love” always comes across as shallow and boring to me. Mallory did not fall head over heels the second she met Jack, or once he took in Luther (a very timid dog who was recovering from abuse by past owners). Her interest was piqued, the attraction steadily grew, and it left the door open to explore their relationship further over the course of future books in the series. It was interesting how the animals were incorporated into the relationship - it’s said that dogs are great judges of character, and Luther warmed up to Jack fairly quickly. 

I would recommend this book to readers who are looking for fun, cozy mysteries that are perfect for curling up with on a rainy day. It’s also a good choice for those looking for a quicker read, as the book is on the shorter side at 151 pages. Thank you to Lola’s Blog Tours for allowing me the opportunity to review this book! I voluntarily read and reviewed Sheltering Spirits; all opinions are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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About the Author:
Lori Allison has had a life-long love affair with books, both as a reader and a writer. Lori is the mother of 3 grown children and has a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of New Mexico. She managed the construction company her family owned for 17 years before retiring to pursue writing full time.

Lori lives in a small town in New Mexico with her husband, Jeffery, and their three dogs.

Author links:
- Website
- Facebook
- Goodreads
- Amazon
- Instagram

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