Monday, October 19, 2015

Uncharted Territory by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson - #review

Suburban housewife Angela Panther didn’t want to communicate with the dead, but the universe had other plans…

When an unidentified fourteen-year-old boy takes a dive off an interstate overpass, to solve the case, Atlanta area detective Aaron Banner calls on some unlikely help–from psychic medium Angela Panther. Banner knows she’s legit, and knows she’ll get to the truth about his junior John Doe–was the boy’s death suicide, or murder? The problem is, the spirit can’t remember who he was or the night he died, and to make matters worse, he doesn’t care.

Instead, he convinces Angela to focus on another spirit, one different from Angela’s usual, garden-variety ghost.

To complicate matters, Angela’s best friend Mel, newly single and on the prowl, has her sights set on the sexy Detective Banner, and Angela’s mother drives her even more crazy dead than alive.

To solve the dead duo’s dilemmas, armed with little more than their double lattés and a tiny pink bottle of wannabe pepper spray, Angela and her sex-starved sidekick Mel must venture into the dark underbelly of Atlanta and come face-to-face with a gang of saggy-pantsed hoodlums ready to take them out. Will they make it out alive, or end up pushing up daisies alongside the spirits they’re trying to help?



Oh, that old pesky universe, randomly handing us experience and issues to bring variety to our lives.  As if the ability to see and communicate with the dearly departed was not enough, they seem drawn to Angela - who can apparently help them cross over into the light when this world doesn't want to let go.  (Or is it the spirit that doesn't want to let go of this world.)

I read a lot of cozy mysteries, and the heroine usually winds up in some kind of romantic relationship with a local LEO (Law Enforcement Officer).  That's not the way it works in Uncharted Territory.  First, Angela is happily married.  Secondly, Angela's bestie Mel, straight off a failed marriage to a cheater, is having trouble finding a 'good man' on dating websites.  She and Aaron meet through Angela, and the sparks start flying before the hello's are over.

But Mel is a good friend to Angela, not letting her go into the less savory areas of Atlanta alone.  Angela is there, trying to help out the John Doe spirit, whom she identified through a mug shot, and talking to the boy's mother.  I do give kudos to Aaron in the 'I got your back' department as well.  As a police officer, he is a natural sceptic when it comes to psychic phenomena, but he is willing to put that aside in order to get his job done.

And it's not just the living that help (and are helped) by Angela.  Her mother has what seems like the same 'job' as Angela, but from the other side of the veil.  With some of the rules different on the other side, they make a good team, no matter how aggravating they find each other.  (I just hope George Straight doesn't feel badly that Angela's mother states, more than once, that she cannot wait for him to die, so her good friend Johnny Cash can have someone new to jam with.)

Uncharted Territory is about as funny as it gets with gangs and ghosts.  The humor in Aspenson's book provides a good counterpoint to the more serious aspects of crime and death.  Sometimes the living can be more frightening than the dead.



Carolyn Ridder Aspenson is a freelance writer and the Amazon and Barnes & Noble best-selling author of Unfinished Business, An Angela Panther Novel, Unbreakable Bonds, An Angela Panther Novel, Uncharted Territory, An Angela Panther Novel, the contemporary romance novella The Inn At Laurel Creek and Santa's Gift, a Cumming Christmas Novella.

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(Disclosure:  I received an e-copy of this book from the author and publishers via Sage's Blog Tours in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.)


  1. Gangs and ghosts and spirit who doesnt care... sounds so very interesting! Have added in my TBR list. Thanks for sharing, LuAnn :)

    1. YW, Shilpa. I know, most ghosts would be like "Who got me this way? Let's get revenge!" But the young boy was all about 'help her first, she needs it more than me.' That says something to me about his character, despite his language and 'tude. :O)