Review: Only the Good Die Young by Chris Marie Green

August 4, 2014 3.5 stars, Book Review 11 ★★★½

Review: Only the Good Die Young by Chris Marie GreenOnly the Good Die Young by Chris Marie Green
Series: Ghost for Hire, Jensen Murphy
Published by Roc on February 4, 2014
Genres: Adult SFF, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

You know the theory that ghosts are energy trapped when someone dies violently? It’s true. I know it for a fact...

My name is Jensen Murphy, and thirty years ago I was just an ordinary California girl. I had friends, family, a guy who might be The One. Ordinary—until I became a statistic, one of the unsolved murders of the year. Afterwards, I didn’t go anywhere in pursuit of any bright light—I stayed under the oak tree where my body was found, and relived my death, over an over. So when a psychic named Amanda Lee Minter pulled me out of that loop into the real world, I was very grateful.

So I’m now a ghost-at-large—rescued by Amanda (I found out) to be a supernatural snoop. I’m helping her uncover a killer (not mine—she promises me we’ll get to that) which should be easy for a spirit. Except that I’ve found out that even ghosts have enemies, human—and otherwise…


Only the Good Die Young is the first in a new series, Jensen Murphy, Ghost for Hire. The series and idea sound pretty interesting. The cover and title for the first book…not so interesting. When I started Only the Good Die Young I almost gave up and called it a DNF a few times. I had a hard time connecting with Jensen, the ghost of a murdered girl from the 1980’s. I don’t care for the wide-eyed “What is the internet,” “What is a smart phone” type deal. Seeing today’s technology and fashions through the eyes of someone from 1980 is pretty boring.  I was born in the 80’s, so most of the references to the 80’s were understood but not re-lived for me. I have a vague idea of what she is talking about most of the time. But I was definitely more interested in the ghost stuff.

When Jensen Murphy is brought out of her time loop to become an interactive ghost by Amanda Lee in the hopes of making a murderer confess and bring closure, she starts getting her ghostly legs and learning a little about how her new reality functions. There are good ghosts, bad ghosts, demons, reapers and an unknown and powerful entity called a keeper. When Jensen starts meeting other ghosts and learning about how to function as a spirit the story moved from a 1 to 3.5 star story. It was good. Not fantastic, but hopefully the next novel, maybe where Jensen starts investigating her own murder will pick up the pace and excitement. I also like that this series is a mystery series first and foremost. I like the idea of ghost avengers trying to solve crimes with their special talents. The writing was solid, and the dialogue very good. The pace was too slow, and the time warp element too short to be interesting for me. Dying in the 80’s and waking up in 2014? Not to confusing, really.

Jensen was a normal girl in life, and after her murder she was stuck in a time loop for roughly 30 years. When she realized that she had a second go-round she decided to not become a washout again. I appreciate that thinking, and I hope that her gumption sticks! Here is my favorite line summarizing her new point of view:

As a person, I hadn’t done much of anything in life.  Who knew that dying would bring such opportunity? -p.58

I will read the next book in this series, and hopefully it will push up into in the 4 or 5 star realm. It just needs to hit it’s stride. If you start Only the Good Die Young make sure you finish it, as the pace and interest grow with each chapter!


When not taking care of my two children, husband and mini doxy, rushing here and there on the go, I can always be found reading. Fantasy of course being my favorite genre, but not the only I'll read. Oh yes, and I throw bad books.

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11 Responses to “Review: Only the Good Die Young by Chris Marie Green”

  1. Danya @ Fine Print

    This sounds like a series with potential, but I’ll definitely wait to jump in until the second book is published. Ghosts can be pretty hit or miss with me, and there are too many great books out there to waste time on a miss! Plus, that cover…it’s just sad. At least she isn’t wearing the ubiquitous leather jacket.
    Danya @ Fine Print recently posted…Review: The Demon King by Cinda Williams ChimaMy Profile

  2. Kel (Booked til Tuesday)

    I like the sound of an Urban Fantasy series with the emphasis on mysteries. The beginning of this book does sound a little hard to get through. Maybe I’ll wait for Book 2 and see whether you guys think I can skip the first without being too lost? Thanks for the great review! 🙂
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