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The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller By Cleo Coyle: Review/Giveaway/Guest Post

IN THE October 13 ISSUE

FROM THE 2018 Articles,
andLorie Lewis Ham,
andMysteryrat's Maze

by Lorie Lewis Ham
& Cleo Coyle

This week we are reviewing the new Haunted Bookshop Mystery by Cleo Coyle The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller. We also have a fun guest post by Cleo. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a signed copy of The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller and a “JACK IS BACK” tote bag (PERFECT FOR ALL YOUR TRICK OR TREATING NEEDS), along with a link to purchase the book from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.

The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller by Cleo Coyle
Review by Lorie Ham

The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller is the new Haunted Bookshop Mystery by Cleo Coyle. This series started several years ago and stopped after five books. Now it’s finally back with book 6. The series features widowed bookstore owner Penelope Thornton-McClure and the ghost that haunts her bookshop, 1940s P.I. Jack Shepard.

In this book, an elegant older woman named Emma Hudson enters Penelope’s store looking for a book with “Girl” in the title. When Pen can’t figure out what she’s looking for she hands her a copy of the latest bestseller, Shades of Leather. When the woman looks at the author photo on the book, she becomes very upset and ends up rushing out of the shop with the book. Pen sets out to find the woman so she can get paid, but ends up finding her dead, an apparent suicide. However, Pen isn’t so sure it was suicide. As Jack helps her find out what really happened, and unravel the mystery behind this bestselling book, the mysterious woman isn’t the only one who ends up dead. mystery

I had never read this series before but I had no trouble picking it up with this book–there’s just enough back-story to understand the characters. Penelope owns the store with her Aunt Sadie, and she has a young son named Spencer. There are also a lot of other delightful characters in this book–some are regulars that I look forward to seeing more of, like the mailman Seymour. Spencer has created an adventure of his own by helping his young friend Amy come home for her father’s funeral-another recent mysterious death. Then there’s also Emma’s very interesting ex husband.

The mystery is filled with twists and turns that kept me guessing all the way through. I loved when Jack would take Pen back to one of his past cases in her dreams-Coyle did a wonderful job of bringing that time period to life. This book is a delightful mix of cozy and old style detective stories. The characters are fun, likeable, and interesting. Coyle has managed to write books in my two favorite settings-a bookstore and a coffeehouse (her other series is the Coffeehouse Mysteries-a long time favorite of mine). I can’t wait to go back and read the books that came before this one! If you love a good mystery, with great characters, don’t miss The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller.

If you would like a taste of the first book in the series, The Ghost and Mrs. McClure, an excerpt from that book was recently featured on our new mystery podcast, Mysteryrat’s Maze–you can hear Jack come to life!

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and a contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet.

5 Reasons Why Readers Asked To Be Haunted Again
by Cleo Coyle

Some characters haunt you long after the book is done. That’s what fans of our Haunted Bookshop Mysteries told us after we stopped writing them. For nearly ten years their emails, notes, and posts implored us to revive the series. With this month’s publication of The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller, we finally did. We even dedicated the book to our readers, who wouldn’t rest until we brought Jack back. And who is Jack? He’s the ghostly star of our mystery series, and the first of five reasons (so readers tell us) why they have been so loyal to our series.


haunted bookshopA tough PI from the mean streets of New York, Jack Shepard lived on the seamier side of life. His death (in 1949) was no picnic, either, leaving him with a hardened outlook, especially when it comes to judging people and their motives. Despite his troubled spirit, Jack has a wicked sense of humor, and he can’t help cracking wise about the absurdities of modern life—from bottled water and “smart” phones to television cop shows.


haunted bookshopA young widow with a little boy, Penelope Thornton-McClure once believed in spirits, until a succession of tragic losses took her faith away. Slowly, Jack Shepard is restoring that faith, and though Pen bristles at his retro male attitude, she’s encouraged by the strangest irony of all—the ghost’s belief in her.


Readers love spending time in Penelope’s charming hometown. Quindicott may be smaller and less posh than nearby Newport, but its residents are proud of its revived Cranberry Street business district and renowned Victorian B&B. Fresh ocean air, amazing seafood, and a neighborly community make it one of the area’s most pleasant places to live—even if you happen to be dead.


The “Quibblers” are a colorful cast of quirky characters who make up the local Quindicott Business Owners Association. They meet regularly in Penelope’s charming old bookshop, guarded by mouse-hunter Bookmark, the cat. There’s Fiona Finch, the fastidious co-owner of Finch Inn, who has a penchant for True Crime books and “happening to overhear” conversations between guests. Seymour, the outspoken mailman who moonlights as an ice cream truck driver, collects vintage pulp fiction, and lives in a haunted mansion. And there’s a crew of equally entertaining characters who Pen dearly loves—and the ghost barely tolerates.haunted bookshop

Reason # 5 – THE MURDER MYSTERIES: Fun Plots to Die For

The fun, twisty murder mystery storylines of our Haunted Bookshop series have kept readers entertained for years. Each book can be read as a standalone or in order. The six titles are…

The Ghost and Mrs. McClure

The Ghost and the Dead Deb

The Ghost and the Dead Man’s Library

The Ghost and the Femme Fatale

The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion

And our newest release…

The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller

Happy reading, everyone. We hope you all have a “Haunted” Halloween! ~ Cleo


Cleo Coyle aka Alice Alfonsi & husband Marc Cerasini

To enter to win A SIGNED COPY OF THE GHOST AND THE BOGUS BESTSELLER AND A “JACK IS BACK” TOTE BAG (PERFECT FOR ALL YOUR TRICK OR TREATING NEEDS), simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “bogus,” or comment on this article. The deadline to enter is October 31, 2018 at midnight. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on iTunes and Google Play.

Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:

You can also use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

CLEO COYLE is a pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Both are New York Times bestselling authors of the Coffeehouse Mysteries, now celebrating fifteen years in print and three starred reviews. Alice and Marc are also bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for Lucasfilm, NBC, Fox, Disney, Imagine, and MGM. They live and work in New York City, where they write independently and together, including the beloved Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, now celebrating the publication of the first new entry in nearly ten years: The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller. Visit Cleo Coyle’s website at HauntedBookshopMysteries.com and follow Cleo on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.

{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

1 JoAn V October 13, 2018 at 10:08am

I am so excited that this series is back. I waited impatiently for each release of the previous books before the series disappeared. Thanks for the giveaway! jmvarner50@hotmail.com


2 Faith Creech October 13, 2018 at 10:48am

Thanks so very much for the chance to win. I have several of your books and this one looks just as good as the rest.
Thanks for the review.


3 Debbie Price October 13, 2018 at 3:55pm

Thank you for a chance to win this new book in a great series!


4 Amanda L October 13, 2018 at 7:29pm

Great series and I’m really looking forward to reading The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller! I can’t wait to see what Pen and Jack are up to now. Thanks for the great review and giveaway!


5 Nora-Adrienne Deret
Twitter: @Nora-Adrienne
October 13, 2018 at 10:15pm

I’ve been a fan of these authors for YEARSSSSS! I’ve been nagging Alice it seems like since the day she announced that this book was NOT gonna be coming out. Whenever Id “talk” to her online I’d ask for updates on the book.

Now it’s finally here and I want it! So must put my name in the contest lists and elts see if I get lucky!
A recent post from Nora-Adrienne Deret: Leaves Falling and New Titles to Keep You Warm and Entertained!My Profile


6 Paula Adams
Twitter: @qnofdnile
October 14, 2018 at 6:08am

I don’t know how I missed this series. Looks like one that I would enjoy. Thank you so much for a chance at this giveaway. pgenest57(at)aol(dot)com


7 Kathleen Kendler
Twitter: @Kathleen
October 14, 2018 at 6:57am

This series is new to me. Thanks.
kckendler at gmail dot com


8 Sandy
Twitter: @Sandy Hemsher
October 14, 2018 at 9:11am

Read all Coffeehouse but new to this one


9 Amy Donahue October 14, 2018 at 12:39pm

I have been hearing a lot about this series!
donah42 at aol dot com


10 Taylor R. Williams October 14, 2018 at 2:23pm

sure do love these contests – thank you


11 Robin L. Coxon October 14, 2018 at 2:40pm

I enjoy Cleo Coyle and this series. Thanks for including on your blog and also for the opportunity to enter your giveaway. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com


12 Barbara Cameron
Twitter: @mitzisSlave
October 14, 2018 at 3:01pm

I’ve never read a paranormal cozy before, but this sounds so good, is he a ghost, or is he her conscience? – that I signed up for your newsletter.
Thanks for the chance to win!


13 Renee
Twitter: @DrReneeCCo
October 14, 2018 at 5:38pm

Like everyone else, I’m happy we’ll now see more of this series…love this characters!


14 Matt D. October 14, 2018 at 9:45pm

This looks like a good mystery to read. I like mysteries filled with twists and turns. Thanks


15 susie shively October 16, 2018 at 10:44am

never heard of this series..will have to start..would love to win book..tks….susie


16 DOWARD WILSON October 16, 2018 at 4:57pm

So glad to see this series back again, & can’t wait to read this one.


17 Dianne Casey October 17, 2018 at 5:24pm

Love Cleo Coyle! Looking forward to reading the book.


18 Mary Holshouser October 18, 2018 at 8:22am

I’ve followed all of Cleo’s series and
look forward to each new addition.
Glad to see this one back.
thanks for the chance to win it.


19 Alicia Kozak October 18, 2018 at 1:23pm

Sounds like an interesting book. I’ve read some others by this author that I enjoyed.


20 Linda October 21, 2018 at 3:47pm

Enjoying the first book of this series..The Ghost and Mrs McClure.


21 Meg Gustafson
Twitter: @meg85242
October 21, 2018 at 3:48pm

I am so excited for this series. I can’t wait to get the first book in order to get an understanding of the characters. This mystery series definitely intrigues me. Thank you for the giveaway! Meg85242 (at) gmail ( dot) com


22 Heather Langdon October 21, 2018 at 5:43pm

I can’t wait to read this series!


23 Nancy Hallenbeck October 21, 2018 at 7:19pm

Love both your series . Just keep them coming .


24 Lisa Rhae October 22, 2018 at 12:09am

Recently discovered — and devoured — this series! Would love to win the latest book (and whistle-bait-appropriate bag)!


25 Lisa Rhae October 22, 2018 at 12:13am

Recently discovered — and devoured — this series! Would love to win the latest book (and whistle-bait-appropriate bag)!



26 Nola Nottingham October 22, 2018 at 7:40am

I really would love to win a signed hard copy of the book. I love this series and have all the books on my e-reader.


27 Sharo Rizzo October 22, 2018 at 12:56pm

Such a cool series!! I don’t believe Jack left us. He deep undercover in serious in cognitio mode!


28 GB October 23, 2018 at 6:27am

This is a new to me series but I have been hearing wonderful things about it. I am a fan of this author’s Coffeehouse mystery series and was surprised there was a series with a bookshop setting, too. little lamb lst at yahoo dot com


29 Anne
Twitter: @anne
October 23, 2018 at 7:54am

Thanks for this wonderful feature and giveaway. What a great series. So special and captivating.


30 Kathi Morrison October 23, 2018 at 8:50am

I was so thrilled when I learned Book #6 was on it’s way. I’ve been Facebook friends with Jack Shepard for years. Cleo was spot on as to why we love this series. Can’t wait for Book #7.

Actually, the Coffee House mysteries were my first cozy mystery series and they “hooked” me to be a staunch cozy mystery reader.


31 Kay Garrett
Twitter: @arkieclown
October 23, 2018 at 10:59am

Thank you for your review on “The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller” By Cleo Coyle. Really enjoyed reading about both the book and the guest post by Cleo on the 5 reasons why readers asked to be haunted again. Can’t wait for the opportunity to read this book which is on my TBR list.


32 Donamae
Twitter: @donamaekutska
October 23, 2018 at 5:03pm

Thanks for the feature and giveaway. The series sounds awesome.


33 Linda October 23, 2018 at 6:24pm

Would absolutely LOVE signed copy of latest book AND tote bag. Looking forward to all Cleo’s books?


34 kim hansen October 24, 2018 at 5:08am

New to the series.


35 peggy clayton October 24, 2018 at 8:42am

Wow I can’t believe i have another chance I copied the last recipe the pumpkin bread and we are going to make it tomorrow and take to my sons in Ca. I love your books and would love to read this one in print and review on a few sites. Ptclayton2 (at) aol(dot) com


36 Kara Vaughan Marks October 24, 2018 at 2:30pm

I would love to win this–I can’t believe I almost missed this giveaway! legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com


37 Linda Herold
Twitter: @Linda
October 24, 2018 at 4:35pm

I enjoy books by this author! I would be thrilled to win!! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com


38 Dawn Kramer October 26, 2018 at 1:50pm

I love this series and have been waiting for Jack’s return. I love the era Jack is from and how we get a glimpse of him and his last cases in Penn’s dreams and how she is in them with him. Thanks for the opportunity of winning these items.


39 Jess D October 30, 2018 at 6:23pm

I can’t wait for Jack to return. Thanks for the chance. Maceoindo(at)yahoo(dot)com


40 Barbara Hackel
Twitter: @BarbaraHackel
October 30, 2018 at 6:37pm

I have kept this book in my cart on my saved list for lo these many years! Now Jack and Penn are back finally! Thank you for the chance to win an autographed copy and the other goodies! I believed in you since The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion!


41 Cynthia Bliss October 30, 2018 at 6:42pm

Jack is terrific and the series is GREAT!


42 Antonette Nyman
Twitter: @antonette_nyman
October 30, 2018 at 6:43pm

Thank you for bringing Jack back. You teased us for a time, but it was so worth the wait. Great plot and fun characters. Thank you both so much


43 Carol Lee Edwards
Twitter: @centraleast2
October 30, 2018 at 7:05pm

I have enjoyed their coffee shop books and am on the waiting list for the library for the first two books in this series. Can’t wait centraleast2 at gmail dot com


44 Deb Day October 30, 2018 at 7:46pm

Thank-you for continuing the series! Bookstore or Coffeehouse, can’t get enough. Plus you have the best newsletter ever! adayadaya@yahoo.com


45 Beth Weinreb October 30, 2018 at 8:25pm

I am sooooo happy to see another installment in this series! I can’t wait to read it! Yeah!


46 Jackie Callanan October 30, 2018 at 8:30pm

I love this series and realize Im parroting many of the other comments, but it is what is it. I was thrilled when I saw the new one, having thought maybe it had ended. The writing duo is unbeatable as far as I’m concerned. May they ever live on! On a more direct note…. Thank you, you two! You’re great!


47 Rhonda Leonard October 30, 2018 at 9:19pm

This article is five reasons this series is a must read!


48 Judith Hindelang October 30, 2018 at 9:48pm

I’ve read all the Coffeehouse mysteries. Now i’m Looking forward to Ckeo’s Ghost series.


49 Kathi Dugas October 31, 2018 at 12:33am

Wow, thanks for the wonderful giveaway! Love the Coffeehouse Mysteries; but am new to this series…can’t wait to get started!


50 patricia longley October 31, 2018 at 3:30am

i love all your books would love to win this


51 SANDRA ANN MADDUX October 31, 2018 at 6:12am

So happy you brought Pen and Jack back! I have all of their other books and love the coffeehouse series – those too are on my library shelf. Thank you both. mfarmer@pldi.net


52 Rosie G October 31, 2018 at 6:32am

I must be the only one who hasn’t read any of these books and would love to read the new one as well as the old ones. They sound fun. Thank you for a chance to win one.


53 Carol Phillips
Twitter: @Carol
October 31, 2018 at 6:34am

I really enjoy reading these mysteries, and have enjoyed several of the recipes. As someone who loves to cook, I find exploring the recipes as much fun as reading the books. Keep them coming please.


54 eva b wong October 31, 2018 at 6:58am

can’t seem to find a copy anywhere.


55 Vicki N October 31, 2018 at 7:04am

So very glad that Jack and Pen are back!! I found the other books via the library and am currently waiting on the newest one.


56 Kelsey N Bueno October 31, 2018 at 7:05am

Thanks for the chance


57 Dorothy Ann Bruce October 31, 2018 at 7:06am

Been going nuts for years waiting for this to come out. Don’t care why you decided to do it now but I’m glad you did.


58 Bonnie October 31, 2018 at 7:30am

I love your coffee house series with recipes and hope you continue it for a very long time. I have only read 1 book in your ghost mystery series but look forward to more.
Happy Halloween and thank you for the giveaway


59 Tari Hann
Twitter: @kittsdollclothes
October 31, 2018 at 7:46am

I’d love to be entered. Not only does a signed book sound awesome but I love tote bags 😉 barbie17(at)gmail(dot)com Congrats on being bestseller for so long!


60 Nancy O'Brien October 31, 2018 at 9:03am

Love the Coffeehouse mysteries – thanks for the chance to win a book


61 Steffanie October 31, 2018 at 11:11am

I am so glad Jack is back! He and Pen are wonderful together and the “wise” cracks are seriously IRL chuckle and LOL worthy! (Jack would absolutely crack wise about these abbreviations!) Thanks for bringing my favorite spooktacular private eye back!


62 Julie McDonough October 31, 2018 at 12:09pm

I can’t wait for the return of this series, I love the stories.


63 Shari Dunlap October 31, 2018 at 12:10pm

I am glad Jack is back, I just started reading it last year. Love the recipes and your coffeehouse mysteries. Happy Halloween.


64 Mary McCoy October 31, 2018 at 12:36pm

Love the fact that Jack is back, thanks for another great story!
emmasmom69 AT gmail DOT com


65 Jennifer
Twitter: @Jennifer
October 31, 2018 at 1:20pm

Great article! I didn’t need those five reasons, I just wanted to know what happened next! I always hate to see a mystery series come to an end.


66 Patty C October 31, 2018 at 2:08pm

LOVE These Mystery Books! Be it CoffeeHouse or Bookshop they leaving you satisfied yet wanting more! The gift that keeps on giving – drama, crime, family, business, entertainment, coffee, dessert, chef skills, recipes & more! Sincere appreciation to Alice & Marc aka @CleoCoyle! patdkfl@comcast.net


67 Carol Baker October 31, 2018 at 3:13pm

Haven’t read this series yet – can’t wait to start it.


68 Emily Goehner
Twitter: @EMpTyG66
October 31, 2018 at 9:32pm

I would love the chance to win!!


69 Elizabeth November 2, 2018 at 1:29pm

The whole series is very imaginative. The idea of having your own personal ghost and being involved with him in mysteries leads to an amusing and lighthearted read.


70 Lorie
Twitter: @mysteryrat
November 5, 2018 at 10:24am

We have a winner!


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