“Bookshop owner Penelope Thornton-McClure did not believe
in ghosts until she was haunted by the hard-boiled spirit
of 1940s private investigator Jack Shepard. Now Jack is back
on the job, and Pen is eternally grateful...”
When I first picked up this new book, I vaguely
remembered the series and thought that it must have been quite
some time since I'd read one, and that I seem to have missed
several books. Then I read the Acknowledgements page and discovered
that the series had been on hiatus for the better part of
a decade! I had not missed a single book. I wasn't sure what
to make of that and I didn't recall if I'd enjoyed the series
Then, I read the Prologue. I was hooked. There
went everything else on my to-do list for the day. The phraseology
was perfect for the 1947 setting, and there was a definitive
noir feeling about it. In Chapter One, we are brought to the
present time and the intrigue begins.
Folks in Quindicott, Rhode Island, are dying
to read the newest bestseller, and as bodies actually do start
to turn up, Pen and her ghost-detective, Jack, team up to
solve a cold case and ensure that Pen keeps on breathing.
And selling books.
So, by now you may realize that I fell in
love with this book, written by a real-life husband and wife
under the pseudonym Cleo Coyle. A bit of research told me
that readers have been waiting and clamoring for this book
for years. I expect that there are multitudes of happy readers,
and I am indeed one of them.
I highly, very highly, recommend this book.
I'm going to go back and read the entire series in order,
but you don't need to. It's fine as a stand-alone. When you've
got a bookseller, a small town bookshop, murders, and a ghost
of a 1940's private detective, it's the perfect recipe for
a cozy mystery that's ripe for the reading.
I will now scurry off to my bookcases to find
every book I own by Cleo Coyle, because I believe an addiction
has just taken root in me! Oh - and I love the contents pages
and chapter titles! That is the kind of detail you don't often
find in mystery novels these days.
Bravo, Cleo Coyle, and kudos to editor Michelle
Vega and Berkley Prime Crime for a job well done!
Note: Author also writes the Coffeehouse Mysteries