Friday, August 13, 2010

"The Ghost and the Dead Deb" by Alice Kimberly

This is the second book in the Haunted Bookshop mystery series. I just re-read this book, but I wanted to comment on it since I've read all the other books in the series.

You could say I'm a bit obsessive-compulsive. Well, maybe more than just a bit!

Our female-sleuth of the series, Penelope Thornton-McClure (Pen for short) is the owner of the Quindicott, Rhode Island bookstore named "Buy the Book". She has a resident ghost, Jack Shepard, who is a former private investigator from New York City. He was gunned down in 1949 at the exact spot of Pen's bookstore, and now his spirit - while very willing- has never left.

This book finds Pen sponsoring another book signing, this one of an up and coming young author named Angel Stark. Angel has written a tell-all book about a debutante named Bethany Banks who was strangled to death.

Evidently Angel was a part of that crowd and had inside information about the murder, so she decided to capitalize on it by writing a book. Needless to say, the Banks family was not pleased.

Along the way a couple more murders are committed, and the young nephew of a friend is arrested. Pen decides to help him, but she knows she needs to improve her detecting skills. She asks Jack the Ghost for help, but he says she should let the police handle it.

But as we know, one of the traits of the amateur female-sleuth is stubbornness. So Jack reluctantly decides to help her. What choice does he have?

One of the more interesting characters in the book is named Fiona Finch. Fiona, along with her husband, runs the local Finch Inn. It's Quindicott's only bed & breakfast. Fiona loves to collect pins and brooches with bird designs. She often goes to several garage and yard sales to add to her collection. (Me, I just go to eBay or Bonanzle). Jack the Ghost calls Fiona the 'Bird Lady'. Fiona likes to help Pen solve her 'cases'.

The romance between Pen and Jack deepens. She can now see him, thanks to an old buffalo-head nickel of his that she found in her store. When she leaves the store, and takes the 5-cent piece with her, he can come along too. I like this part of the plot. It makes for an interesting read since Pen and Jack are becoming more of a sleuthing team.

You can buy the book here:


Librarian said...

The setting sounds good - bookstore and B&B! When I have the odd moment of wanting to chuck it all when it comes to my current job, I sometimes think of wanting to open a book shop or a B&B or a cosy café. But I think I could do well without a ghost :-)

LadyPI said...

I know exactly what you mean. I've spent many hours sitting at my desk at a job I didn't really like dreaming of doing something different.

But then I come back down to earth and realize that owning one's own business is a LOT of work.