Friday, February 6, 2009

The Ghost and the Femme Fatale

Here's the fourth installment of A Haunted Bookshop Mystery by Alice Kimberley, The Ghost and the Femme Fatale:
Haunted by her past...

The Movie Town Theater is holding its first ever Film Noir Festival, with Penelope Thornton-McClure handling book sales for the guest speakers, including screen actress Hedda Geist. The legendary femme fatale has been out of the spotlight for decades. Unfortunately, the moment she steps back into it, she's nearly killed. Then other guests start to die, and Penelope wants to know why her little town's film noir weekend has taken a truly dark turn.

With local police on the wrong track, Penelope enlists the help of Jack Shepard, PI. Okay, so Jack hasn't had a heartbeat since 1949, when he was gunned down in what is now Pen's store. But the hard-boiled ghost actually remembers Hedda's dark past and Penelope is sure he can help solve this case--even if he and his license did expire more than fifty years ago.

The reason I come back to this series for more is Jack, the ghost. I love his character. He has a great sense of humor, a comedic flare and the banter between Jack and Pen is hilarious. I love the way that Pen tries to bring up to speed with the twenty-first century, and the way Jack tries to "doll" Pen up. And I just love the way that Jack takes Pen back to his time through her dreams. The usual "helpers" are in the story, we see alot of Seymour and Brainert, but not too much of Spencer, Pen's son, which I found strange. I like the kid and his fascination with old mysteries, especially P.I.'s. And one of the town's favorite business owner has had enough of the evil councilwoman.

But getting to the crime(s), I didn't figure out. Surprising, I thought all along that it had been Hedda, or even Dr. Pepper (yes, that's his name!), but no way did I think it was who it was. It was interesting how the author intertwined the crime that Pen was investigating with the one Jack was investigating back in 1948.

Needless to say I enjoyed this book. It was a wonderfully written cosy mystery, and I can tell you that I'll be coming back for more.

The Ghost and the Femme Fatale by Alice Kimberley (4.5/5) Contemporary Mystery; Paranormal: Ghost; Published: Berkley Prime Crime (6/08); Series: # 4, A Haunted Bookshop Mystery; 2009 100 + Reading Challenge (17); 2009 Support Your Local Library (13);

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