Sunday, 1 October 2017

September Review: The Ghost and Mrs McClure - Alice Kimberley

Good Evening Bookworms

Wow, it's the first of October!!!  Almost time to start some festive reads, which makes me very happy.  First though I like to spend a little time picking out some haunting reads, I'll read a spooky book any time but I can't deny I love a good ghost story around Halloween.
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This evening I am sharing my review of The Ghost and Mrs McClure by Alice Kimberley (Haunted Bookshop Mystery #1).  I bought this book from the library as ex-stock for just 40p.  It's in large print format but that doesn't bother me. I bought it for three reasons; Firstly it had me at "Haunted Bookshop Mystery" - three words from my list of favourite words (yes, I really do have a list of favourite words but that's for another post).  Next I was drawn to the cover - I know you should never pick a book by it's cover but when I spotted the old-fashioned book store front and the fedora hat, well what can I say I'm a sucker for a vintage era.  The last reason is a happy coincidence.  Just inside the book is a quote from The Ghost and Mrs Muir, a book originally published in 1945 (which is now on my TBR list), made into a movie in 1947 (which I saw a long time ago and fell head over heels in love with) and later in 1968 it was made into a sitcom (which I have never seen).  

Public Domain Clipart Image

Penelope Thornton-McClure and her elderly Aunt Sadie are just managing to make ends meet at their little bookstore in Rhode Island so when top author Timothy Brennan asks to hold a book signing at this quaint little shop it seems like an excellent publicity opportunity.  The evening though doesn't go according to plan when the author drops dead, it looks like murder and Penelope is on the suspect list.  All this and she has to deal with Jack - a ghost of a hard-boiled PI who met his end in the bookshop or just a delusion of Penelope's stressed-out mind? 

Firstly I have to get one irritating point off my chest that should have been picked up before publishing.  The narration slips from first person to third person and then back to first person, on more than one occasion.  I'm not going to linger on this point but it was off putting and threw me off the thread of the story for a while.

There were a couple of moments in the book which I felt were out of context.  It didn't spoilt my enjoyment but it felt almost as if the author changed their mind on what direction they wanted a particular scene to take.

Photo courtesy of Goodreads website
Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I loved Jack's character, he is pretty much your stereotypical Private Investigator but thats exactly what I was expecting and what I wanted from this novel.  There are a few flirtatious moments between Penelope and Jack, including a rather sexy little dream sequence. The cozy mystery element alongside the 1940s Private Dective was a new genre for me.  I really enjoyed Jack's old time dialect and humour, and how he helps Penelope stand up for herself.  There were plenty of suspects and I wasn't able to figure out whodunnit! 

This is not a heavy gritty crime novel, it's a cozy murder mystery and a light-hearted story with a typical gum-shoe character as the PI and a 30-something widow trying to do the best for her son and business. If you take it as it is, it's an enjoyable easy read. 

There are 5 more novels in this series and I'm looking forward to seeing how Penelope and Jack's relationship progresses.

This was my fourteenth book this year which means I am one book away from completing my challenge of fifteen books for this year. 

Bookworm Blessings.  x

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Greetings, thank you for taking some time out to read my ramblings. I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did please leave me a comment, reading them makes me happy. If you sign in using your blog ULR I will make time to pop over to your blog too. Blessings, Tracy x