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The Ghost and Mrs. McClure (Haunted Bookshop Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – February 3, 2004

109 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"A deliciously charming mystery with a haunted twist!"
-- Laura Childs --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Alice Kimberly is the pen name for a multi-published author who collaborates with her husband to write the national bestselling Haunted Bookshop Mysteries. They also write the bestselling Coffeehouse Mysteries under the pen name Cleo Coyle. They live in Queens, New York.

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Product Details

  • Series: Haunted Bookshop Mystery (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (February 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425194612
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425194614
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #627,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

114 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Dawn Dowdle VINE VOICE on April 14, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was a fabulous first mystery. I read it in one day! I can't wait for another in this series!
Penelope Thornton-McClure has returned to Quindicott, Rhode Island, to become co-owner of Buy the Book bookstore with her Aunt Sadie. Penelope brought her seven year old son Spencer with her. Penelope's husband Calvin recently killed himself.
To help increase business, Penelope sets up an author appearance by Timothy Brennan, renowned author of the Detective Jack Shield story. Unfortunately Timothy chokes during his talk and dies.
The next morning when Penelope wakes with a hangover, she figures his death will be the end of Buy the Book. Boy was she wrong.
Apparently they sold every copy of his new book and all of his previous books as well. The next day more copies arrive. She doesn't know how they will sell them until they open and are mobbed once again.
Then the State Police determine he was killed and arrest Brennan's daughter, Diedre. She and her husband Kenneth had arrived with Brennan and Shelby Cabot from the publisher's the night of Brennan's talk.
About 50 years ago P.I. Jack Shepard had been shot in a bookstore in this same location. Apparently Brennan's Jack Shield character was built off of Jack Shepard.
Penelope starts conversing with Jack Shepard in her head. Most of the time she is trying to stop hearing him, but he is very persistent.
I like the interaction of Penelope and Jack, even though he's a ghost. This is such a well-written cozy. She has created likeable characters, including a ghost, but it isn't scary in the least. Matter of fact, I found it funny!
The interaction between the other characters is well written as well. I also like the setting of a small Rhode Island town. The bookstore setting gives it charm.
She has a real winner! I highly recommend this! You won't want to put it down.
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful By tregatt on February 3, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mix in a young mystery store owner, the ghost of a private detective (circa the late 1940s and very Philip Marlowe-like), and the murder of a rather unlikable mystery novelist, and you'll get the wonderfully engaging and engrossing "The Ghost and Mrs. McClure," the first installment in the Haunted Bookshop mystery series.
Following the death of her husband, Penelope Thornton-McClure, decides to pack up her bags and son (Spenser) and move back home to Quindicott, Rhode Island. Using the insurance money from her husband's policy, Penelope buys half ownership of her aunt's bookstore, renames it (BUY THE BOOK) and starts remodeling the whole place. But Penelope ideas don't just end with the extensions, new furniture and lighting, she's also decided to start featuring authour events at the sore. And in a coup, has actually nabbed the famous mystery novelist, Timothy Brennan, to talk about and sign his latest book. What Penelope did not count on was that Brennan would turn out to be such a rotter or that he would keel over and die in the middle of his talk, right in front of his audience, or that the police would actually start eyeing her as a viable suspect when it turns out that Brennan's death was a suspicious one. Fortunately for Penelope she has her very own private investigator working on the case: the store's own resident ghost, private detective Jack Shepard. With Jack's help, things are bound to be cleared up soon -- that is once Penelope gets used to the notion that her store is being haunted by Jack, and that she's about the only person around who can hear him...
Even though this was a rather straight forward read, I practically stayed up till late in order to finish the book -- it was that enjoyable a read.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By E Rice on September 27, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
i'm another fan of the film, 'the ghost and mrs. muir,' and thought it might be worthwhile to try this mystery. the last few cozies i've read have been very disappointing--ranging from badly written and embarrassingly plotted to just plain boring--so i didn't have high expectations for this one.

i was so glad to be wrong! this is a delightful read--the characters are well drawn, the english is not just grammatical (what a shock these days) but also well written and enjoyable, the plot is very good, with no more red herrings than absolutely necessary. the author manages the 40s slang pretty well. and while the heroine starts out as one of those unbelievably obnoxious doormats who seem to be so popular with cozy readers, she does develop some spine by the end of the book.

i'm looking forward to the next book with these characters, and i hope there are many more after that.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By drebbles VINE VOICE on January 24, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After her husband kills himself, Penelope Thornton-McClure, moved to Rhode Island with her seven year old son, Spencer, and buys into her aunt's bookstore. She arranges an appearance in the store by Timothy Brennan, author of a series of books based on the real-life unsolved murder of private eye Jack Shepard in that very location. Brennan, who turns out to be a jerk, chokes and dies during his talk at the store. There are plenty of suspects, including Penelope herself, who handed Brennan the tainted water bottle that ended up killing him. Penelope plays detective to clear her name, with unexpected help from the ghost of Jack Shepard.

This was a fun book to read. Having a ghost as one of the detectives is a clever idea and works well. Author Alice Kimberly does a great job of switching from Penelope's viewpoint (first person) to Jack's (third person). Also done well is Jack's dialogue. Since he died 50 years ago, he still sounds like a hard boiled detective from the 1950's and he is amazed at the current technology, such as computers, that Penelope uses to help solve the murder.

Alice Kimberly knows and cares a lot about books and bookstores and it shows. The mystery itself was good, although I guessed a major plot twist fairly early. Still, this was an excellent first book in what promises to be an interesting series.
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