Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Ghost and the Femme Fatale by Alice Kimberly

I liked Alice Kimberly's last book so much I thought I would read the next one in the Haunted Bookshop series. This book starts out with our female-sleuth Penelope Thornton-McClure attending a Film Noir festival at the newly opened and lavishly restored Movie Town Theater in Quindicott Rhode Island.

Penelope's friend and local college professor of English, J. Brainert Parker is a part owner of the new theater. He has worked hard to set up the weekend's activities with films, guest speakers and a former movie femme fatale, Hedda Geist.

I've heard of the term 'Film Noir', but didn't really know what it meant. Author Alice Kimberly says that films of this genre shared the same dark style. In French, Film Noir means 'Black Film'. By this the French movie critics meant the themes dealt with crime, detectives and murder.

According to wikipedia, "Film Noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize moral ambiguity and sexual motivation. Hollywood's classic Film Noir period is generally regarded as stretching from the early 1940s to the late 1950s."

When Penelope explains the term to her resident ghost, Jack Shepard, he says that he lived that life when he was still alive.

Artwork courtesy stock.xchng