Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Ghost and the Femme Fatale by Alice Kimberly

The Ghost and the Femme Fatale
Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, No. 4
Alice Kimberly
Berkley Prime Crime
May 6, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-425-21838-9

Penelope Thornton-McClure is a widow, single mother and owns a bookshop with her Aunt Sadie. Having completed restorations, the new owners of the Movie Town Theater are holding a Film Noir Festival with special guest speakers and book signings to be held at Pen’s shop. One of the big stars from the period is Hedda Geist whose career ended abruptly back in the day when she was involved in a murder. Hedda’s boyfriend, Pierce Armstrong, went to jail for the stabbing and Hedda disappeared. Now that she’s willing to be seen again it seems that someone may not want that to happen. What others are calling accidents, Pen believes are premeditated murders and she’s quick to begin investigating.

Jack Shepard was a private investigator when he was killed back in 1949, but his ghost remained in the area that is now the bookshop. Pen is the only one who can hear him, and while he’s usually stuck in the store she can also take him with her as long as she has Jack’s lucky buffalo nickel along. Actors and authors are turning up dead and while it looks like accidents, Jack and Pen are convinced it’s far from simply bad luck. Along with several of her local friends they plan to get to the bottom of the case without Pen meeting with a deadly accident of her own.

With a mystery that began with stars from 1940’s film, this fourth book in the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries is sure to please fans of both the mystery and paranormal genres. Ms. Kimberly weaves a decades old murder around a current deadly mystery and puts her headstrong heroine and ghostly hero on the case. In the midst of it all Jack pulls Pen into his time through dreams, and the chemistry they share draws them closer together as more than investigative partners. With a fast-paced storyline, detailed scenery and fabulous characters, The Ghost and the Femme Fatale comes together with a twist, making for a fun mystery that readers can get lost in.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

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