I am super-excited today to provide a review at my blog stop for The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller by Cleo Coyle on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Please scroll down to sign up for this very special Giveaway!
The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller (Haunted Bookshop Mystery)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Berkley (September 25, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Digital ASIN: B078VX9SNF
Penelope Thornton-McClure and her bookshop’s ghost-in-residence Jack Shepard are back on a new case in this delightful paranormal mystery from New York Times bestselling author Cleo Coyle.
A big bestseller leads to small town trouble.
Bookshop owner Penelope Thornton-McClure didn’t believe in ghosts, until she was haunted by the hard-boiled spirit of 1940s private investigator Jack Shepard. Now Jack is back on the job, and Pen is eternally grateful…
After an elegant new customer has a breakdown in her shop, Penelope suspects there is something bogus behind the biggest bestseller of the year. This popular potboiler is so hot that folks in her tiny Rhode Island town are dying to read it–literally. First one customer turns up dead, followed by another mysterious fatality connected to the book, which Pen discovers is more than just fiction. Now, with the help of her gumshoe ghost, Pen must solve the real-life cold case behind the bogus bestseller before the killer closes the book on her.
What a delightful and unique cozy mystery! Of course, I always enjoy a paranormal twist to the plot and this one proved a distinctive one at that. Apparently a 1940’s PI Jack Shepard was killed in the very bookstore in which the widowed protagonist Penelope Thornton-McClure joined her Aunt Sadie as co-owner. Jack Shepard totally exudes the part of a “hard-boiled” private investigator replete with period vernacular. I’ve discussed the “hard-boiled” genre previously that incorporates the noir element to novels popular in the late forties and fifties. It’s easy to conjure Humphrey Bogart in the part, though perhaps Jack has been tempered just a tad by Penelope (Pen) as she introduces her modern-day sensitivities to Jack.
A customer abruptly gasps at the back jacket of their current bestseller and flees the store with the book but without paying. Pen later finds her gloves and with the help of Jack secures the lady’s name and address. She was able to track down the lady but discovers her body, an apparent suicide. Pen doesn’t think so. She and Jack appear to have frequent conversations and this distracted me at first but not for long, as it is disclosed how Jack manifests himself; an interesting idea that!
I particularly enjoyed the appropriately named chapter titles and the little quotes to kick off the chapter. Not all from authors, the quotes ranged from George Burns to Marilyn Monroe and set a tone for the chapter, increasing expectation.
“Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip. Will Rogers”
“Sincerity. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made. George Burns”
“Today’s gossip is tomorrow’s headline. Walter Winchell”
“We didn’t lose the game; we just ran out of time. Vince Lombardi”
Besides well-known name quotes, the author(s) manages a few pearls of their own, several of which produced a chuckle. I also enjoyed the knowledge (or the thorough and effective research) imparted regarding classic books and authors, some of which I’d forgotten but produced an “oh, yeah…” There were also a couple racy innuendos and tongue-in-cheek puns, intended.
The setting is a little town in Rhode Island and although this is #6 in the series has no problem standing alone. It’s apparently been ten years since the last. The main characters from the previous series entries are back along with popular support members and each provide a rich component to the well-plotted mystery. The writing style is fun and the pace steady. The flashback dreams where Jack takes Pen back to 1947 with him to experience one of his cases has you wondering briefly about the interruption to the storyline until you see how it’s incorporated into the main plot. You may think you know who is behind the deed, but you won’t guess the entire story or motive. The story has a lot of personality and delivers a satisfying conclusion.
I was given the download by the publisher and NetGalley for this book tour and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. I’ll be looking forward to #7 in the series! Recommended for readers who enjoy a different and intelligent cozy mystery with a super-natural bent in their amateur sleuths.
Sign up for your chance to win one (1) signed copy of The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller (A Haunted Bookshop Mystery) by Cleo Coyle + Ghost Tote Bag and $15 gift card! Rafflecopter giveaway
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five of Five Stars
Cleo Coyle is a pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Both are New York Times bestselling authors of the Coffeehouse Mysteries–now celebrating nearly fifteen years in print. They also write the nationally bestselling Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, which were originally published under their second pseudonym, Alice Kimberly (The Ghost and Mrs. McClure, The Ghost and the Dead Deb, The Ghost and the Dead Man’s Library, The Ghost and the Femme Fatale, The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion). Alice has worked as a journalist in Washington, DC, and New York, and has written popular fiction for adults and children. A former magazine editor, Marc has authored espionage thrillers and nonfiction for adults and children. Alice and Marc are also bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for Lucasfilm, NBC, Fox, Disney, Imagine, and MGM. They live and work in New York City, where they write independently and together. You can learn more about Cleo, her husband, and the books they write by visiting www.CoffeehouseMystery.com.
Visit Cleo online: www.coffeehousemystery.com
Friend Cleo on Facebook:www.Facebook.com/CleoCoyle
Follow Cleo on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cleocoyle/
Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!
October 1 – Babs Book Bistro
October 1 – Community Bookstop
October 2 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies
October 2 – The Montana Bookaholic
October 3 – Socrates’ Book Reviews
October 3 – MJB Reviewers
October 4 – The Avid Reader
October 4 – Mysteries with Character
October 5 – Teresa Trent Author Blog
October 5 – Reading Authors
October 6 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews
October 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy
October 8 – Laura’s Interests
October 8 – My Reading Journeys
October 9 – Rosepoint Publishing
October 9 – A Holland Reads
October 10 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews
October 10 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews
October 11 – The Book’s the Thing
October 12 – Brooke Blogs
October 13 – Bookworm Cafe
October 13 – The Editing Pen
October 14 – Moonlight Rendezvous
October 15 – Curling Up by the Fire
Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!
©2018 V Williams