Let’s start by saying this is a fun book to read.
The major character Kiran is unique. Although she was raised in Ireland, her parents are from India, where they now live. From her father she has inherited the ability to be a vision painter. A person can pay Kiran to paint what he or she most desires and it will come true. Since she is the only vision painter in Ireland, Kiran has plenty of work, but it’s not easy. The effort is draining and she must live by the restrictions imposed by the painters in India. The most serious of those is that she is not supposed to bring anyone back from the dead.
Of course, that is exactly what happens when Kiran meets Ron, who is devastated by the suicide of his wife Marge. She was a terrible woman to everyone else, but he loved her and can’t understand why she killed herself. All he wants is a chance to talk to her again. Kiran has no idea what she is about to unleash. Marge comes back just as dominating as she was in life and totally tuned out to what other people need. Ron is thrilled, their daughter Ashley is appalled and Kiran has to fix this mess. In the process, she falls in love with Ashley and finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery.
Samuel may not have intended this book to be so funny, but Marge takes it in a direction that can’t avoid it. Once she makes it clear that she was murdered and did not commit suicide, Marge won’t give up until the mystery is solved. The fact that she is a ghost and really shouldn’t be appearing in front of people doesn’t impress her in the least. She exasperates Ashley and drives Kiran to a near nervous breakdown, but nothing will stop her on her quest.
RJ Samuel has used the theme of a person caught between two cultures before, but Kiran has a comic twist that makes her fun while revealing the struggle she goes through. The book is a slapstick mystery in the best tradition of the old 1930s movies. It would be great to have a sequel to this book to see where Samuels could take the characters, but Kiran would have to bring Marge back again. That might be too much for any of them to take.
Read Falling Colours. It’s fresh; it’s different; it’s worth it.