Bev Irwin


Ghostly Justice by Bev Irwin is one of those books that can easily span the bridge between YA and adult fiction. Though the characters are teenagers and still in high school, like Harry Potter and Twilight, the story is fascinating enough to appeal to much broader audiences. Our heroine, Daria, is young, but she’s also spunky, creative, clever, and reluctantly courageous—my favorite kind of gal. And she is most definitely not pleased when she discovers that she is psychic and can talk to ghosts. Well, one ghost, at least…Irwin has added a well-rounded cast of secondary characters to help Daria in her quest, and together with a strong plot, excellent dialogue and a few surprises along the way, they all combine to make this book a very enjoyable read. – Taylor, Reviewer

Ghostly Justice was not quite what I expected when I learned it was YA. Even though the characters are teens, the subject matter—some of it anyway—was very adult. However, Bev Irwin seems to be a talented author and handled the sensitive issues with the same aplomb with which she did the scenes where her teenage characters break into an abandoned house. Daria, our very reluctant heroine, doesn’t want to be special. She especially doesn’t want to talk to dead people or to hear her best friend’s thoughts. She wants to keep clear of her mom’s creepy boyfriend, snag a hot, sexy boyfriend of her own—who doesn’t—and to be left in peace…The other characters in the book are equally well-developed and three-dimensional, the plot has some very nice twists and turns, and Irwin’s writing is superb. – Regan, Reviewer

Cindy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Ghostly Justice is an excellent story that has ghosts and a long ago murder mystery set in a YA novel. The author has such a way with words, you can feel the rain on rainy days! And you will feel as if you know the characters.
It's a fast paced suspense novel that will have you not wanting to put it down. Yet you will also hate to see it come to the end! Don't let the YA label stop you from reading this book because it has lots of substance and is not a typical teen book.
Highly recommend!!

 Martha A. Cheves
Ghostly Justice was a really enjoyable mystery. I had no problem coming up with who murdered Amanda but I had a problem guessing how he would be caught. I also had a problem guessing why Daria and Amanda looked so much alike. Daria was born 40 years after Amanda's death but their birthdays were the same month and day. Had to be a connection but what? I really enjoyed this book and there are a couple cuss words, not really bad ones, but I can see this being an enjoyable read for ages teen to 90. I loved it and hope to hear there will be other chapters in Daria's life that will be put to words.

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Story! 
By Cynthia H.
Ghostly Justice is an excellent story that has ghosts and a long ago murder mystery set in a YA novel. The author has such a way with words, you can feel the rain on rainy days! And you will feel as if you know the characters.
It's a fast paced suspense novel that will have you not wanting to put it down. Yet you will also hate to see it come to the end! Don't let the YA label stop you from reading this book because it has lots of substance and is not a typical teen book.
Highly recommend!!

Review from Melissa G
One of the many awesome things about being a writer is connecting with other writers. It’s amazing how one thing can bring so many different people together. I know that sounds hokey but hey, it’s the simple truth. So with that in mind and through the miracle of technology, I’ve had the honor and privilege of connecting with a terrific writer from London, Ontario. Her name is Bev Irwin and did I mention that she’s terrific? No? Well, she is. She let me read and review her new young-adult novel, Ghostly Justice, which is coming out tomorrow!

This book, as you can probably guess by the title is a paranormal story and told from fifteen-year-old Daria’s point of view. Daria is smart, self-efficient and suddenly blessed (or is it cursed?) with the ability to see and talk to ghosts. I liked her right-off-the-bat because she wasn’t some weepy, superficial snob that a lot of teenage girls seem to be nowadays (both in real life and in stories, books, etc.). So Daria is a refreshing change. She has to deal with many grown-up issues such as her mother’s problems which range from drinking too much to man troubles. In fact, her mother’s current boyfriend is such a creep that I felt a little ill whenever he made an appearance. But all of that becomes secondary when Daria meets Amanda, who has a little bit of a transparency problem. Amanda is the snarkiest ghost I’ve ever met and after a bit of coaxing, manages to enlist Daria’s help her find out how she died. I don’t want to spoil it for you but let’s just say that Amanda’s death was not accidental.

Ghostly Justice is an adventurous read. Irwin flawlessly captures the frustration that any ghost probably feels when trapped on this planet with no one to talk to. Daria’s reluctance to get involved with a ghost is palpable through-out the entire story but as it is with most humans, her curiosity gets the best of her. I should also mention that the scenes between Daria and Amanda are pretty hilarious especially when Amanda tries out her persuasion techniques.
I had such a great time with Ghostly Justice and I hope you will too!
Melissa G

Ghostly Justice     CM Magazine review

I held my breath and watched in amazement as the form evolved from white to shades of gray, to black and white, to varying shades of colours, until finally, a woman stood in front of me. She looked so real, so human.

Was I still sleeping? Having some crazy dream? … I was definitely awake. there she was, standing in front of me, big as life. I wanted to reach out and touch her but I was afraid my hand would go straight through her…

The young girl, standing five feet away, looked to be in her late teens. Her long black hair, held back from her pale face with ornate combs, cascaded around her thin shoulders. Around her neck hung a gold, heart shaped locket. She was the vision I’d seen in the window, and again in the mirror…

“I need you to help me. You’re the first person I’ve been able to communicate with.”

“It had been worth all the crazy feelings, the chills, the headaches. Without this gift I wouldn’t have been able to help them… I’d changed. I felt more sure of myself, surer of what I wanted out of life and even surer of what I didn’t want.”

In Ghostly Justice, Bev Irwin successfully blends three popular genres: the ghost story, the detective story and the teen problem novel. She opens with the voice of a ghost, Amanda, looking out a window at two teenage girls. One looks up and shudders. This is the sign Amanda has been waiting for. Here is someone with the capacity to see and hear her.

Following this prologue, Daria Brennan takes over the story as first person narrator. The 15-year-old student, daughter of a needy, boozy mother, feels sad, overburdened, unattractive and unpopular. Worse, she has a special sensitivity to vibes and atmospheres; indeed, she can often read people’s minds and sense their feelings. In Alex, a classmate, she senses a sadness as profound as her own.

Passing the old Morrison mansion on her way to and from school, Daria sees a face in the window, though she knows that the only occupant, an elderly woman, is in hospital for a long term stay. Near the house she feels chills, hears whispers, and smells lilacs in September!

At school, Daria and her best friend, Tracy, win the friendship of Alex and Bryce. One afternoon, when they have no place to hang out, Tracy, Alex and Bryce decide to break into the Morrison house. Daria objects, then reluctantly goes along. Inside, while exploring the rooms of expensive, old-fashioned furniture, she feels weak and cold, then perceives the image of a girl in a mirror a girl who is neither herself nor Tracy. Later, at home, a voice inside Daria’s head says, “You’re the only one who can help me.”

In Daria, Irwin has created a distinctive, admirable character. Daria’s sense of humour is shown in a scene with the school guidance counselor where she blurts, “I can talk to dead people.” Quickly she amends it to: “I can talk to people.” Later, she scolds herself: “I can talk to dead people. Do they offer a degree in that? Oh, yes, dear, they… have a Theatre of the Insane Arts.”

When Amanda fully materializes, she asks that Daria bring to justice the person who murdered her in 1972. Using internet research and legwork to supplement her psychic powers, Daria finds evidence to convict the perpetrator. A trip to the cemetery, exploration of the creepy basement in the hold house, and a flight through the woods are just some of the events filled with tension and terror which culminate in hand to hand combat with a killer. Irwin’s tension loaded sentences make readers bite their nails.

Daria’s home life is a “teen problem novel” as compelling as the ghost and detective plots. In the guidance office, Daria tells the counselor that she wouldn’t make a good nurse, but doesn’t elaborate.

I thought about Mom and how many times I’d looked after her during one of her migraines or after drinking too much or deep in depression… And how many times had I cleaned up her vomit.

Daria’s mother is susceptible to smooth charmers, such as mayoralty candidate Richard Gilbert on TV. While Mom drools over him, Daria sees him as a “viper.” Mom’s latest boyfriend, Arlen, smells like “decay” to Daria. “His soul was dark and I felt repelled by him,” she says. Events prove that her impressions are accurate.

Two interesting elements in the novel are not fully developed. Daria’s encounters with Selena, the school beauty, serve the plot, but the potentially gripping story of her romance with Alex’s brother in “juvie” is mentioned but not presented. Similarly, Daria mentions her “crazy” aunt who runs an antique shop, but the aunt is not used in the novel. Perhaps these elements were cut for length reasons. Will they blossom in future novels with Daria as narrator and psychic sleuth? Let’s hope so.

Highly Recommended.

My favourite review of GHOSTLY JUSTICE




After all these years, I could finally feel something. It was as if a jolt of electricity surged through me, and my heart almost began to beat again.

At first, I didn’t know what caused it. I only knew an undeniable force drew me to my bedroom window. With each step, the tingle of fingernails tracking down my spine increased. The thought passed through me, maybe I should be afraid. But really, what was there to be afraid of? It couldn’t get worse. What’s worse than being dead?

I floated toward the window. Two girls were walking in front of the house. They looked about my age, maybe younger – fifteen, sixteen. I was drawn to the one with the dark curly hair. Her friend called her Daria. I reached out my hand, called her name. She looked up at the window. She sensed me. I knew it. I saw her shudder, but she kept walking.

I watched until they turned the corner at Colburn Street. Then the energy vanished and a profound sadness filled me. Even playing the piano held no joy that day.

I have to talk to her. But how?

I gave up trying to contact the living years ago. It became so tiresome – appearing in front of them, touching them, talking to them, yet never being noticed.

Until now.

Every day, I watch for her. Every day, I try to make contact. Every day I plead for her to look up at my window again. Two weeks have passed now. And every day, she hurries past; her gaze focused on the street ahead.

I must talk to her.

Daria is the first person I’ve been able to communicate with since the day I was murdered.

Fifteen-year-old Daria Brennan doesn’t want to hear people’s
thoughts. She doesn’t want to see ghosts—or talk to dead
people. And she definitely doesn’t want to help solve a fortyyear
old murder.

But Amanda wants revenge, and Daria is the first human
contact she’s had since the day she died. Now the killer is after
Daria and her friends. Can they solve Amanda’s murder before
becoming his next victims?