Saturday, January 31, 2009

Done with The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion by Alice Kimberly

I finished this book today. It was good to spend time with Penelope, Ghost PI Jack Shepard and Penelope's friends again.

In this book there is a lot of action, a lot of suspects and a lot of mystery - plus a few ghosts! A bit of a romantic encounter develops between Penelope and her bad-boy ghost Jack as he takes her back into his life while she sleeps.

And Penelope gets asked out by a living breathing local hunk named Jim Wolfe, who owns his own construction company. However his invite doesn't do a thing for her: she feels her heart belongs to Jack Shepard. It doesn't matter to her that he is dead - she feels that love can transcend death. Very thought-provoking and I think she's right.

I hope to read more about their romance in the next Haunted Bookshop Mystery.

You can buy the book here:

Friday, January 30, 2009

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Re: The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion by Alice Kimberly

Seymour holds a wake for Miss Todd in his new home, Miss Todd's former mansion. Later Penelope stays to help Seymour clean up and look for clues as to why the mansion is haunted. But she has had one too many Long Island Ice Teas at the wake so she decides to stay overnight at the mansion. Since she and Seymour and just friends, they sleep in separate bedrooms.

However they are both rudely awakened by sounds of a woman crying and a ghostly specter appears to them in the form of a man. They both high-tail it out of there as fast as they can. Seymour decides to stay at a local bed and breakfast.

Seymour buys his own ghost-detecting equipment since Spirit Zappers can't come out to his mansion for several months. However Penelope thinks there is a more logical explanation for all of this. She feels someone is trying to harm Seymour so they can take control of the old mansion for their own profit.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Re: The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion by Alice Kimberly

To his utter astonishment, Penelope's friend Seymour Tarnish has inherited Miss Timothea Todd's mansion and all the furnishings in it. The mansion has a reputation of being haunted. In fact before Miss Todd died she called the police several times to report hearing strange noises. Nothing was ever found.

Upon hearing this news, Seymour says he is going to call the "Spirit Zappers" and make an appointment. They have a cable TV reality show on the Alternative Universe network. (LOL!)

Seymour says the Spirit Zappers zaps spirits like exterminators zap bugs. They 'de-haunt' a house.
Personally I think I'd call Ghostbusters!

Seymour says while he is at it, he will have the Spirit Zappers rid the entire town of Quindicott including Penelope's haunted bookstore. Watch out Jack Shepard, Ghost PI - Penelope is none too pleased to hear this.

Photo courtesy stock.xchng

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion by Alice Kimberly

This is the latest book in the Haunted Bookshop series featuring female-sleuth Penelope Thornton-McClure. The opening chapters find Penelope on her way to Miss Timothea Todd's mansion home on Larchmont Avenue. Larchmont Avenue is home to many of the wealthy in Penelope's hometown of Quindicott, Rhode Island.

Penelope is co-owner of the local bookstore "Buy the Book" which specializes in mysteries. They have recently started to sell books on the occult.

Penelope is going to deliver several occult-related books to Miss Todd, who is a shut-in. On the way there Penelope is startled to see her friend and postal worker Seymour Tarnish dashing through the neighborhood with a red spot on his shirt. When Penelope arrives at Miss Todd's home she finds the door wide open and the foyer table upended with mail scattered all over the foyer floor. She enters the home to find Miss Todd dead with a terrified expression on her face as if she had been frightened to death.

Penelope calls the local police and upon questioning, she mentions seeing Seymour. They pick him up for questioning and think he has killed Miss Todd because of the red spot on his shirt. It turns out the red spot is not blood, it's pizza sauce! Seymour had become friendly with Miss Todd and had bought some pizza slices to share with her for lunch that day. But they never had lunch since Miss Todd did not answer the door when Seymour rang it - she had unlocked the door, so he just set the mail on the foyer table and left. He explains he went out to the yard and sat under a tree, ate his pizza and spilled some on himself. He must have dozed off because when he woke up he was late for his mail route and that's why Penelope found him dashing through the neighborhood. He also thinks he forgot to close the front door tightly and it blew open from the wind.

All very plausible explanations but the police still suspect him, especially when they find out Miss Todd left him something in her recently-revised will!

Friday, January 23, 2009

T is for Thrilling

Re: T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton

I finished this book today and I thought it was quite the thriller. I must admit to skimming over the descriptive pages to get to the action. It was quite a page-turner.

Kinsey must stay one step ahead of the psychopath who has stolen the identity of Solana Rojas. Kinsey must use all her wits to save the lives of elderly neighbor Gus Vronsky, Kinsey's landlord Henry Pitts and even herself.

I absolutely loved the last paragraph of the book because it echos the way I feel about humanity. That is, every day we hear about how nasty, mean and evil some people can be, but that most people are good, kind and compassionate. Kinsey says she refuses to feel discouraged, and I'm with her 100% of the way. We can all make a difference. Amen Sister!

You can buy the book here:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Close to Home

Re: T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton

This book has been hard for me to read as it's about elder abuse. It's hitting close to home as my father lived with a woman who was guilty of behavior like that. Thankfully not to the extent the thief in this book is, but none the less the behaviors are similar. He is now at peace and we don't have to deal with her anymore.

But the book is well written and it's good to spend time with Kinsey again. She is convinced that the woman proclaiming to be Solana is taking advantage of elderly neighbor Gus. Kinsey manages to get in Gus' house and view Gus' passbook account and checkbook. She discovers a a lot of money has been withdrawn and checks have been made out to cash. Kinsey is now very alarmed and calls the local social services office to file a complaint. They have a social worker go to check on Gus. Solana is good at deceit and she convinces the social worker of her goodwill toward Gus. Kinsey argues with the social worker but can't get her to understand that Solana is lying. So Kinsey being the great private investigator she is, will continue looking into this.

This is the main storyline but there are also a couple of other minor storylines in the book relating to Kinsey's day-to-day private-eye work. She's got to earn a living somehow! I think the movies and TV have glamorized this profession but Sue Grafton (through Kinsey's eyes) tells it like it is. Alternately boring and dangerous, depending on the job and who the client is.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Elder Abuse

Re: T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton

Female-sleuth Kinsey Millhone's elderly neighbor Gus Vronsky is back in his own home after a short stay in the hospital. Gus' niece has hired a private-duty nurse by the name of Solana Rojas. Kinsey stops in to see Gus and is taken aback at Solana's response to her questions about Gus' health. Kinsey decides there is something definitely 'off' about Solana.

Kinsey is right to trust her instincts, as Solana Rojas is the name of a woman whose identity was stolen. The thief is evidently adept at practicing elder abuse and even murder to get what she wants: which is money.

The thief is drugging Gus and while he is sleeping, she searches his home for money, jewelry and assets she can steal. When he claims to see her doing it, she lies and twists the truth to confuse him. The thief is about to give up and quit seeing that Gus has only a few thousand dollars, when a local real estate agent shows up to discuss the value of his property. The realtor admits to the thief that she has a buyer who may offer Gus close to a million dollars for his property. That's when the thief decides to stay with Gus and figure out a way to get this money for herself.

How sad. This book is fiction, but there are many instances of this kind of elder abuse in reality.

Friday, January 9, 2009

T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton

T is for Trespass. This is the latest Sue Grafton novel about female-sleuth Kinsey Millhone. I've read all the books in the alphabet mystery series. I didn't like the "S" book too much, but I will have to read it again someday to see if I like it better.

Kinsey is a former cop turned private investigator living in California. She is 37 years old in this book. She loves to eat McDonald's quarter-pounders with cheese but decides that she should try to cut back on them out of concern for her health. She does what some of us do, and that is to cheat on our daily servings of fruits and vegetables. She counts french fries as a vegetable, and also thinks that a bread and butter pickle could be classified as a vegetable. Gotta love her!

This book starts out with Kinsey's cranky elderly neighbor, Gus Vronsky falling and having to go to the hospital. His home is a total mess and his doctor feels that Gus can no longer take care of himself. Gus' only living relative, a great niece from out east, wants to hire a private-duty companion/nurse to help take care of Gus. So she places a classified ad in the local paper.

We will see who turns up to take care of Gus. Early chapters indicate it's a woman who steals another woman's identity.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Done with The Ghost and the Femme Fatale by Alice Kimberly

New Year's Day of 2009 found me reading this book. And reading. And reading. I couldn't put it down! The ending was very suspenseful.

I really like this series (The Haunted Bookshop by Alice Kimberly) and plan to read more.

You can buy the book here:

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Re: The Ghost and the Femme Fatale by Alice Kimberly

There are many songs about dreams. One song I like is called: “Daydreams About Night Things”. The guy singing the song (Ronnie Milsap) is daydreaming in the middle of the afternoon while he’s at work. He’s thinking about how he is going to make love to his wife when he gets home that night. His daydreams help get him through his day.

Daydreams are so appealing because we can choose what to dream about. We pick the setting and the people in our dreams. We are in control, and dreams often provide an escape from a life in which we have little control over anything.

Jack the Ghost appears to Penelope in her dreams and they share a certain ‘reality’. In this book she feels more comfortable around him and starts to enjoy their encounters. They are definitely attracted to each other and even share a kiss or two. For a moment she feels a little guilty about wanting to live in her dream world with Jack, but then she realizes what she does for a living - that is to sell fiction books to people who like to escape from reality.

Unfortunately the alarm always goes off and she has to wake up and face reality once again. But it’s a little easier knowing Jack is always nearby.