Thursday, April 1, 2010

“The Ghost and Mrs. McClure” by Alice Kimberly

I’ve been neglecting my reading and my blogging, which is unusual because I’ve started re-reading the first book in one of my favorite series. It’s called “The Ghost and Mrs. McClure”. The book is about a widow with a young son who, after the death of her husband, moves to a small town to buy a bookstore over the protests of her husband’s family.

What she soon finds out is that the bookstore is haunted by the ghost of a murdered private investigator from the 1940's.  He's like a character out of an old film noir movie.  Over the course of the series (five books so far) they become a crime-solving team and find themselves attracted to each other.  When she sleeps, he enters her dreams and pulls her into his world.  Of course that's from a time when men did all the talking - and she's a modern woman who has some talking of her own to do!

This series is inspired by the 1947 movie “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” starring Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison. (The movie was based on a 1945 novel of the same name). I watched this movie recently and having done so, it puts The Haunted Bookshop series into perspective. The movie is about a strong-willed widow who moves herself and her young daughter (played by Natalie Wood) into a sea-side cottage over the protests of her husband’s family. She soon finds out the cottage is haunted by the ghost of it’s former owner, a rough and rowdy sea captain. He respects her because she isn’t afraid of him, and eventually they too become attracted to each other. The movie received an Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography and I can see why. It's very stylish.

In the preface to Alice Kimberly’s book, there is a quote from the novel where the ghostly sea captain says: “There’s a dimension that some spirits have to wait in till they realize and admit the truth about themselves”.

I imagine that’s what the Ghost in “The Ghost and Mrs. McClure” has to do too.

(Stay tuned for more posts about this book).


Librarian said...

I am usually not one for ghost stories (I loved them when I was a kid, though), but this book sounds as if I'd like it, too. And thank you for the background info - don't you just love it when you find out more about the what, why, where and when?

LadyPI said...

To me, this ghost isn't scary. But I'm sure that Penelope had some frightening moments when she first 'met' him!