Sundays are a day of rest. So in honor of this one day of the week when I can legitimately loaf around in my Garfield jammies in front of the DVR, I bring you this new feature that I like to call “Short and Sweet Sundays.” This is a fun way for me to write up a quick and dirty book blog without getting too overambitious.
Summary (from the publisher): Bookshop owner Penelope Thornton-McClure has just received a rare collection of Poe’s complete works. Rumor has it a secret code, trapped within the pages, leads to buried treasure. But it seems everyone who buys…dies. Now Pen will need resident ghost P.I. Jack Shepard to help crack the case.
Why I picked it up: I found this book at a haunted used book store in a small little college town outside of Dallas, which used to be a grand old opera house. When I came across this fun little mystery series among the rubble of old paperbacks, I knew it had to be mine! How could I go wrong with a whodunit set in a haunted bookstore?
Why I liked it: Do you remember that old series on the Hallmark channel called Mystery Woman? Well, I’m obsessed with that show, probably because I’ve always fantasized about owning a cute little bookstore while solving mysteries on the side. This series, along with Carolyn Hart’s Death on Demand mysteries, is tailor-made for book nerds, such as myself, who love the quaint, cozy setting of a mystery bookstore.
Favorite scene: I just loved the opening chapter, where Penelope and her quirky Aunt Sadie drove through a thunderstorm to old Mr. Chesley’s haunted mansion on the hill. I kind of wish I saved this book for Halloween because it’s super campy and atmospheric. Scooby Doo fans, eat your heart out!
The mystery: Since I’m a fan of Alice Kimberly’s works, I knew this would be a quality read. And, of course, I was right. I had a lot of fun solving the “Poe Code” and tearing through the pages until the fearless protagonist found the hidden treasure. With a wealth of eclectic characters and fascinating trivia facts about Edgar Allen Poe, it’s a real winner for fans of jigsaw puzzle mysteries.
In addition to solving the “Poe Code” murder mystery, readers are also taken back in time to the events leading up to Jack Shepard’s death. Of course, we only get a little glimpses here and there, and we probably won’t find out whodunit until the end of the series.
Favorite character: This series is full of loveable characters, but I have to say that Jack is the most intriguing. For some inexplicable reason, he’s bound to Penelope and the bookshop. I got a lot of chuckles out of his old-timey wisecracks and detective banter. It’s a mystery to me how he and Penelope are ever going to make something out of their budding romance. What’s going to happen when he crosses over into the white light? Will he and Pen ever find each other again? The suspense is killing me!
This book is best pared with: A frothy vanilla latte, a pudgy cat and a plush wingback chair.
If you like this book, you’ll also enjoy titles by: Carolyn Hart, Jen McKinlay, Carolyn Haines – and last but not least – Agatha Christie.