The Ghost and the Dead Deb is the second in the Haunted Bookshop Mystery series by Alice Kimberly. I read this book last week for the Cozy Mystery Challenge.
The author’s website has the following information about this book. Description: Don’t haunt the customers! This was the only rule bookshop owner had given her resident ghost, hard-boiled private eye Jack Shepard. But when the hot young author Angel Stark arrives at the store to promote her latest—a book of true crime—Jack can hardly contain himself. After all, crime is his specialty. Angel’s books is an unsolved mystery about a debutante found strangled to death. And it’s filled with juicy details that point a finger at a number of people in the deb’s high society circle. But when the author winds up dead too—in precisely the same way—Pen is fast on the case…which means Jack is too. After all, a ghost detective never rests in peace.
Excerpt: “In my day, dames with money from well-heeled families hired me to help them duck scandal on the QT. The last thing they’d ever do was write a book about it and tart it up in front of a ham-handed audience for applause.” The booming, masculine voice in my head was either the ghost of PI Jack Shepard or a delusion of my half-demented mind. Which was true? Take your pick. “It’s a different world than the ’40’s, Jack,” I silently replied. “I liked my world better,” Jack said. “The uptown crowd kept their trashy messes in the back alley, not on their bookshelf.”
The Cozy Library site says that Alice Kimberly / Cleo Coyle is really wife and husband team Alice Alfonsi and Marc Cerasini. The site continues, “Together and separately they’ve authored a number of bestselling books. As Alice Kimberly they co-author The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, including The Ghost and Mrs. McClure, The Ghost and the Dead Deb, and The Ghost and the Dead Man’s Library, with more titles under way. As Cleo Coyle they co-author The Coffeehouse Mysteries, including On What Grounds, Through the Grinder, Latte Trouble, and Murder Most Frothy, with more books in the works.” I haven’t read the Coffee House Mysteries, but since I am liking this series, I will probably add it to my list.
This particular book was fun to read. It was upbeat and fast. And, I didn’t figure out whodunit too early! I like that the main character continues to question her sanity for hearing Jack’s voice and that she doesn’t make it commonplace to hear ghosts (like in Ghost Whisperer). In this book, Pen also finds that Jack’s spirit is attached to a nickel and that if she takes that nickel with her, he can travel too. I hope the author(s) develop that line a bit more (like how did it happen, etc.). I did find it a bit disconcerting that Jack keeps flirting with Pen, and their / her erotic dream of intimacy with him was a little over the top. But, the book was enjoyable, and I also learned a new word that I cannot wait to use in conversation: debutramp. What a great descriptor! (Yeah, Yeah, I know what that says about me that I like this word.)
Happy Reading this week!