Elvis and the Dearly Departed is a wonderful first novel to a series I am going to continue reading, I enjoyed this one that much I have the second one waiting to be read now. I love mysteries and crime novels and this one sounded to good to resist. I have to admit I do have a soft spot for Basset Hounds.
In this novel we meet the Valentine's who all have their own part to play in the running of Eternal Rest funeral home, and you come to realise that it just wouldn't work if one of them wasn't there each has an important role to the development of the story. I loved the character of Callie, she isn't perfect and she has her problems, mostly her soon to be ex Jack Jones who she is drawn to like a magnet and her Basset Hound Elvis who does as he pleases, whenever he wants, including running off for a few days with a French Poodle and catching flees. Callie is such a likeable character and I feel she is one who will appeal to a lot of people. Lovie, Callie's cousin and partner in crime, lives up to her name with having a lot of love to share around. Lovie is a good character and I enjoyed reading about her and I hope that we find out more in the following two books in the series.
The novel centers on Dr Leonard Laton's funeral and the disappearance of his body from the Eternal Rest funeral home. I know how does a corpse manage to disappear? Who would do such a thing and yes for the entire book I was guessing as to who could of done this. After the controversy of Dr Laton's will who would steal his body? There are many with motives. With Callie and Lovie heading to Vegas to see if they can find the body at Bubbles Malone's house chaos ensues when trying to recover Dr Laton they find a different surprise. With Callie and Lovie mixed up in a murder investigation they are going to have to find out who the real killer is before they get framed.
I enjoyed the breaks between some of the chapters with Elvis' thoughts and comments, that is Callie's basset hound Elvis. I loved how I could learn more about the other characters this way, as the novel is written from Callie's perspective, and learning things we would not find out otherwise.
I would recommend this book, it was one that I wanted to read till the end and I am now in possession of book 2 which will be read next and I am sure will be closely followed by book 3. I can maybe obsess over book series sometimes. I do understand that it won't be everybody's cup of tea being centred round a funeral home and and dealing with a disappearing corpse but for people who love mysteries I'm sure that will be a novel you will enjoy.
My rating for Elvis and the Dearly Departed is 4 out of 5