Friday, March 20, 2009

Sleuth Nevermore?

Bookshop owner Penelope Thornton-McClure has just received an extremely rare collection of Edgar Allan Poe's complete works. Rumor has it a secret code, trapped within the books' leather-bound pages, leads to buried treasure. Well, it looks like they got the buried part right, because as Pen sells off the valuable volumes, everyone who buys... dies.

Once these books go missing from their owners' cold hands, Pen will need resident ghost and hard-boiled PI Jack Shepard to help crack the case. The police are skeptical that the deaths involved foul play- so it's up to Pen and Jack to unravel these shocking endings...

Title: The Ghost and the Dead Man’s Library
Author: Alice Kimberly
Series: The Haunted Bookshop, Book 3
Start & Finished: 12/12/08- 12/15/08
Published: 2006
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Pages: 272
Genre: Cozy Mystery

The first two books in the Haunted Bookshop series by husband and wife Marc Cerasini and Alice Alfonsi writing team under the pen name Alice Kimberly had Penelope Thornton-McClure and her resident ghost Jack Shepard PI solving the murders of two very unlikable true crime authors. In the third book The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library, find them trying to solve not only murders but clues left by an author has been dead for over a century and a half.

Edgar Allan Poe is famous now for his poems and stories but everyone knows that he died impoverished right? Well it is also been known that he had a “keen interest in the field of cryptography” when he invited people from newspapers and magazines to submit ciphers which he would proceed to solve. He even put them in his story The Gold-Bug which is probably what inspired authors Alice Kimberly to write this story.

With two solved murders under her belt, amateur sleuth Penelope seems to be getting in more trouble than less in The Ghost and the Dead Man’s Library, even if she now has a way for Jack to come with her when she leaves the shop! Fellow Poe lovers will recognize many references to him and his works throughout the story (especially the gorgeous clock) but be advised as Jack says, “There’s more than one fruitcake in this nut house,” so it gets a little difficult to discover just which fruitcake is the most dangerous!

Haunted Bookshop Mystery Series:
1. The Ghost and Mrs. McClure (2004)
2. The Ghost and the Dead Deb (2005)
3. The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library (2006)
4. The Ghost and the Femme Fatale (2008)
5. The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion (2009)

Picture Explanations
Edgar Allan Poe: The whole book is partly about him and his works
Safety Deposit Box Key: An old case of Jack’s which he solved by finding this key (he can pull Penelope into his memories through her dreams)
Ambulance: Two of the repeat characters in the series are rushed to the hospital in this book.


  1. This sounds like such a fun cozy series. I've got it on my list!

  2. Sounds like another fun one. I'm embarrassed to admit I've never read any of Edgar Allan Poe's work, even though my son keeps insisting that I have to.

  3. This sounds like a fun series. I love how you included some history on Poe. I love his works. In 5th grade I used to have a teacher who would read his stories to us with the lights dimmed in the classroom. He was a great teacher. He used to read us Shakespeare too.

  4. Wow, how inventive. I really love Poe, and what fun to see his work and history in a novel in this way! He was such a fascinating figure!!

  5. All right already! I just put a hold on #1 at my library. :-D

  6. Iliana: Can't wait to hear what you think of it!

    Bermudaonion: On my other blog I have a video up of Vincent Prince reciting The Raven. I don't really adore him like I did when I was younger but his poetry is still nice.

    The Chick Geek: Sounds like a very memorable teacher! I bet he would be tickled that you still remember him :) This is a great series!

    SciFiGuy: I'm glad I had seen The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and read one of the Phillippe Marlowe books before I started this series. I believe I got much more out of them.

    Carolyn Jean: I agree! I remember watching this cartoon called Histeria! as a kid where he was a minor character. Loved him ever since!

    Darla D: Lol, good! I hope you like them :o)

  7. Oh this looks like a wonderful mystery series, I will definitely be checking it out. Thanks for the great review :)

  8. I love the sound of this series. I'll have to give it a try. Thanks for the great review, Jen.

  9. Wow, this really looks like an interesting and creative premise for a mystery series. I don't know how I missed your first review back in Feb, but I put Ghost and Mrs McClure on my wish list at

    Great review.

    FYI...the title for the first one is odd for me because an old girlfriend of mine had the last name of McClure.



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