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.
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!
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.
Reason #1 – THE HARDBOILED GHOST
A 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.
Reason #2 – THE PRIM BOOKSELLER
A 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.
Reason #3 – THE QUAINT RHODE ISLAND TOWN
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.
Reason #4 – THE QUIBBLERS AND THE BOOKSHOP
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.
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
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.
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