The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion
Berkley, 304 pages
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I don’t know what the prices of homes for sale in Alice Kimberly’s fictional Quindicott, RI are like, but considering the number of murders in that town, I bet they’re falling. The most recent death occurs in the most recent – to date – novel in the Haunted Bookshop series, and involves an old woman who lives as a recluse being literally scared to death. Local mailmain Seymour Tarnish inherits the woman’s mansion – in the toniest part of town, of course – and that’s when the real hijinks begin.
Pen and her ghostly partner, private investigator Jack Shepard are back on the case of course, though their relationship is a bit cooler than it was in the previous novel. Maybe the author figured out she’d painted herself into a corner with these two, or maybe she merely wanted to focus on plot, but I like them better as a mismatched pair who fight crime, than lovers separated by death…mostly. Of course, some of that coolness may be due to the fact that one of the other characters can SEE and HEAR Jack.
Speaking of Jack, can you believe it’s taken me this long to figure out he’s got the same name as the ersatz leader of the LOSTaways? I wonder if that’s intentional, or mere coincidence – of course there is a spelling difference.
In any case, this was, as always, an enjoyable, entertaining read, if not exactly great literature.
My only complaint? There’s no more of this series…yet.