I really liked this book. What could be better than a mystery set in a bookshop with a ghost to help solve it? I liked the heroine once she started standing up for herself, and while some of the 40's slang was a bit over the top at first, I found myself getting into it. As a native New Englander, I loved the descriptions of summer and autumn and small town life, and I really got a kick out of the heroine explaining that while she's telling us Fiona said "parking the car", she really said "pahkin the cah"! It was a book I could here in my head, and they all spoke like me! A quick entertaining read. I'll be looking for others by this author.
I really liked this book. It's the first in the series, and I've already bought the rest in the series. It's not your conventional characters that are included which really grabbed my attention. It's a book I'd recommend if you like cozies.
A take-off on the Ghost and Mrs. Muir novel and movie. Widowed with a young son, Pen McClure moves to Maine to assist her Aunt Sadie with the family bookstore. Jack Shepard, hard-boiled private eye, has haunted the bookstore for 50 years since his unsolved murder. Only Pen can hear Jack, though son Spence occasionally drops 50's "lingo" suspiciously. Cozy, fun characters.
Not a bad read, but not great either. The mystery part was pretty good, but the interaction between the ghost and Mrs McClure was a bit too unrealistic. I really liked the ghost's personality though. He was a real, hard-boiled 1940's P.I. One of those tough talking, mean city streets kind of guys that you use to find in all the old mystery novels.
A very quick and fun book to read. Also the first in the series were the ghost(Jack) and Mrs. McClure(Pen) meet and solve a murder that takes place in the bookshop.I will be looking for more of this series.
Jamie E. (jmee) reviewed The Ghost and Mrs. McClure (Haunted Bookshop, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
The Ghost and Mrs. McClure is a very cozy, light read. I thought it was a great introduction to the series. The characters are both charming and fascinating. Jack's character is particularly interesting. I'm curious to see where the series goes and am looking forward to the second book. A fair warning: The mystery itself, isn't all that intricate and I figured out who the murderer was fairly early on. Didn't bother me, but I'm sure it could ruin it for others.
I was surprised at how this book held my interest as I'd never read a book before with a ghost as a principal character. But, it was a page turner and I read it in one evening. The characters are likable, well drawn. The plot was good too, and the setting, well all readers love bookstores, so that was a hit with me too.
The in the Haunted Bookshop Mystery Series. I plan to read the rest.
The Ghost of a Rhode Island bookshop is featured in:
The Ghost and Mrs. McClure (2004)
The Ghost And the Dead Deb (2005)
The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library (2006) (From FantasticFiction.com)
Penelope Thornton-McClure manages a Rhode Island bookshop rumored to be haunted. When a bestselling author drops dead signing books, the first clue of foul play comes from the store's full-time ghost-a PI murdered on the very spot more than fifty years ago.
Is he a figment of Pen's overactive imagination? Or is the likable, fedora-wearing specter the only hope Pen has to solve the crime?
I loved how this story began the 1940s feel with dames, Doll Face, and gams. The cozy genre rarely gives this type of atmosphere and the hard-boiled detective flare is a refreshing start to a new-to-me series.
Penelope Thorton-McClure (Pen to her friends) decides to move to Qunidicott, Rhode Island to help her aunt keep open a small and not very profitable family bookstore. With the small inheritance from her recently deceased husband, Pen and her young son move to this out of the way hamlet in hopes of starting over and getting as far away from the wealthy and annoying McClure family as she can.
Deciding that her money would be best used by expanding the bookshop into the area next door, Penelope does not realize that she has awoken a local ghost. Actually, this spirit is Jack Sheppard a 1940s detective that newly murdered author Timothy Brennan has been using as his inspiration for a fading book series.
After the mysterious death of Mr. Brennan, Pen starts to hear voices, not just any voice, the voice of Jack Sheppard. It would be so nice if others could hear him, but of course it is only Pen and with Jacks help, they set off to find the killer of the annoying Mr. Brennan.
Now, Buy the Book, is overwhelmed with the rabid fans of the recently departed author and all the weirdos and crackpot are filling the store with their own illusions of the dead and if they can make a buck or two in doing so, then let the fun times begin.
With the help of the disembodied voice, Pen puts together the wherefores of the mystery that surrounds them and with a small cast brings the events leading up to the murder to focus and therefore solving the crime in the brink of time to save her bookstore and to sell out all remaining copies of the dead mans books.
The why of the mystery was easy to figure out, the how was unique, but the humor of 1940s Jack is what makes this book and will bring me back to the subsequent books in the series.
This was a pleasant read. I liked the ghost, a hardbolied detective caught dead in a bookshop. The shopowner was not to my taste, a cliche in the mystery world, a smart, beautiful without knowing it woman, but she wasn't annoying enough for me to give up on the book, and I enjoyed it enough to hope you will read it too.
What a great series! This author is Cleo Coyle who also writes the Coffee House Mystery series. Penelope Thornton-McClure is a widow with a young son who returns to the small Rhode Island town that was her home town. She joins with her Aunt Sadie in ownership of a mystery/rare books bookshop. She also begins to "talk" to the ghost of Jack Shepard, a private investigator who died in the store in 1949. Jack is "stuck" in the store but when an author is murdered there, Jack and Penelope join to solve the murder. It turns out the author of the "Jack Shield, Private Investigator" series wrote his books based on Jack Shepard's own cases! I'm usually not a fan of the Mickey Spillane/Mike Hammer type book but this is modern day with a splash of Jack's experiences in the 1940's and the mystery of a murder in a bookstore in our modern world.
This was an enjoyable first book in series. The characters seem believable and not over-written. It wasn't the most baffling of mysteries, but it wasn't glaringly obvious, either. All-in-all, a good read. I look forward to my next visit with Pen and Jack!
Nice little beginning to a ghost/cozy series. I loved the visualization of the book store that the main character, Mrs. McClure owns and operates. I love the ghost who is becoming her right hand detective towards the end. I look forward to other books in the series to see more of the ghost in her life. Using his intelligence, his wit and humor, his old time dialect like, "Sheatheart" and "Dame" ect.. Love it!
Young widow Penelope Thornton-McClure and her old Aunt Sadie are making ends meet by managing a mystery bookshop-a quaint Rhode Island landmark rumored to be haunted. Pen may not believe in ghosts, but she does believe in good publicity, like nabbing Timothy Brennan for a book signing. But soon after the bestselling thriller writer reveals a secret about the store's link to a 1940s murder, he keels over dead and right in the middle of the store's new Community Events space. Who gives Mrs. McClure the first clue that it was murder? The bookstore's full-time ghost, a PI murdered on the very spot more than fifty years ago. Is he a figment of Pen's overactive imagination? Or is the oddly likeable fedora-wearing specter the only hope Pen has to solve the crime? You can bet your everlasting life on it...
This was a fun cozy paranormal, a bit sketchy in places dialogue-wise, but once it got the ball rolling the story moved along nicely. Young widow Penelope Thornton-McClure has gone into a partnership with her Aunt Sadie running a bookshop in Rhode Island. For their first publicity promotion they have booked mystery writer Timothy Brennan for a book signing. The audience is surprised when he reveals that the bookstore is the site of the unsolved 1940s murder of PI Jack Shepard, on whom his thriller character is based, and who is rumored to haunt the place. They are even more shocked when the obnoxious author suddenly drops dead in the middle of his speech. Though it appears to be a natural death at first, the police suspect poisoning and there are many suspects - including Penelope herself, whose book sales have taken off with the sensational publicity. It will take some investigating of her own to clear her name, but Penny has some unexpected help in the ethereal form of the ghost of Jack Shepard, who it seems can only communicate with her.
It took some getting used to the noir-type language of the ghost, and the premise seemed a little corny in places at first, but once I settled into the story I found myself enjoying it. I will be looking for the second book, where Penny is determined to solve Jack's murder herself. It's a good start to a series which I hope will get better.
Penelope Thornton-McClure and her elderly aunt Sadie run a mystery bookshop in Rhode Island that is rumored to be haunted. This rumor turns out to be true when a guest author at a book signing keels over dead. Pen suddenly is confronted by the ghost who turns out to be that of a Private Eye who disappeared 50 years ago. He was murdered in that very shop. When it turns out the author was also murdered, the ghost helps Pen solve the crime.
This series is by the same author of the Coffeehouse Mysteries Cleo Coyle.
I say this book should have been better because it is obvious to me that the author has talent. I've never read any other work by Alice Kimberly or her books written as Cleo Coyle. I really liked the premise of the book and expected to sit back and enjoy watching the story unfold. I'm sorry, the unfolding didn't work very well for me.
I enjoy the ghost, Jack Shepard. I quickly tired of the overuse of the words "doll" and "gam" in his vocabulary. I can only hope that the more time Jack spends with Penelope, the less need for the gangster-style words.
I will think hard about going on to the next book in the series. The first is such a trial and gets all the mistakes and errors. Usually the author learns from these and the series gets better. I put this author in my reminder list to check back at a later date.
I originally got this book because I have hopes of opening a used bookstore some day (I have all the ideas and books, just not the money!!!) so I try to read anything that takes place in a bookstore... I was very happy that I read this one, the mystery isn't there for me, but the rest of the book soars, I love Jack... I will be looking for the rest in the series!!
I tried this book because others were wanting it on PBS Wish Lists. I enjoyed it. I enjoy cozies and with this one, the "secondary protagonist," a ghost, has a great personality. I enjoyed him - Jack - very much. They storyline had a bit of a twist. Reading was pretty quick and fun. Not sure if I will read more in this series, but there is a good possibility I will.
Young widow Penelope McClure and her old Aunt Sadie are making ends meet by managing a mystery bookstore-a quaint Rhode Island landmark rumored to be haunted. Pen may not believe in ghosts, but she does believe in good publicity-like nabbing Timothy Brennan for a book signing. But soon after the author reveals a secret about the store's link to a 1940's murder, he keels over dead.
Who give Mrs. McCkure the first clue that it was a murder? The bookstore's full time ghost-a PI murdered on the very spot more than fifty years ago.