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Book Review of The Ghost and Mrs. McClure (Haunted Bookshop, Bk 1)

The Ghost and Mrs. McClure (Haunted Bookshop, Bk 1)
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This was a fun cozy paranormal, a bit sketchy in places dialogue-wise, but once it got the ball rolling the story moved along nicely. Young widow Penelope Thornton-McClure has gone into a partnership with her Aunt Sadie running a bookshop in Rhode Island. For their first publicity promotion they have booked mystery writer Timothy Brennan for a book signing. The audience is surprised when he reveals that the bookstore is the site of the unsolved 1940s murder of PI Jack Shepard, on whom his thriller character is based, and who is rumored to haunt the place. They are even more shocked when the obnoxious author suddenly drops dead in the middle of his speech. Though it appears to be a natural death at first, the police suspect poisoning and there are many suspects - including Penelope herself, whose book sales have taken off with the sensational publicity. It will take some investigating of her own to clear her name, but Penny has some unexpected help in the ethereal form of the ghost of Jack Shepard, who it seems can only communicate with her.

It took some getting used to the noir-type language of the ghost, and the premise seemed a little corny in places at first, but once I settled into the story I found myself enjoying it. I will be looking for the second book, where Penny is determined to solve Jack's murder herself. It's a good start to a series which I hope will get better.