Alice Kimberly writes a very good series of woo-woo mysteries, but The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library is the best yet. Woo-woo mysteries, as used by readers on DorothyL, are mysteries involving supernatural elements. Kimberly's protagonist is Penelope Thornton-McClure, the owner of a small bookshop in Rhode Island. But the other main character is Jack Shepard, the ghost of a private investigator who was killed in Penelope's bookshop in 1949. He still haunts the bookshop, assisting Penelope when she's involved with murder.
Penelope and her aunt collected a set of rare volumes about Edgar Allan Poe just before the owner died. Circumstances around the death made Penelope suspicious, and she was even more uneasy when the first person to buy a volume died in car crash. When Penelope and a friend are both attacked, she and Jack decide to take the investigation into their own hands.
Kimberly's mysteries are more than cozies. As Penelope and Jack investigate current crimes, Jack inspires Penelope's dreams about his old cases. Somewhere in those dreams is a link to the current case. Jack, a character out of the 1940s, uses the slang of a PI from that period. The stories combine the atmosphere of both periods, which make them fun. The combination of a detective ghost, current murders, and the Poe angle make this mystery very interesting.
The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library by Alice Kimberly. Berkley Publishing Group, c2006. ISBN 0425212653 (paperback), 254p.
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