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The Ghost and Mrs. McClure

(Haunted Bookshop Mystery #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  5,178 ratings  ·  480 reviews
Penelope Thornton-McClure manages a Rhode Island bookshop rumored to be haunted. When a bestselling author drops dead signing books, the first clue of foul play comes from the store's full-time ghost - a PI murdered on the very spot more than fifty years ago. ...more
Paperback, Berkley Prime Crime, 261 pages
Published February 2004 by Penguin
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Sammy I noticed that in the first book of their coffeehouse series, but not in this one. I think they paint a really good picture in this book (Which I am r…moreI noticed that in the first book of their coffeehouse series, but not in this one. I think they paint a really good picture in this book (Which I am reading because I love the Coffeehouse series so effing much). (less)

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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,178 ratings  ·  480 reviews

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Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile
Ahhhh how I have missed cozy mysteries! It's been so long! It felt like coming home after a long, exhausting vacation.

I wanted something spooky and supernatural, because duh, Halloween, but wasn't in the mood for gore or despair, and this was my perfect answer.

Penelope is a protagonist you find yourself rooting for, even though she is flawed. Namely, she lacks much of a backbone. By the end of the book, you witness her really coming into her own, with the help of a ghostly friend. The mystery ke
I read the first five books in the Haunted Bookshop series more than 10 years ago and fell in love with the characters. I was SO happy in 2018 when the author started adding new books again! Then the audio books popped up on Audible+, so I decided to revisit the series from the start! I have the whole series in paperback on my keeper shelf, and now I can enjoy having them read to me! Woot!

The basics: Penelope McClure is recently widowed. She decides to start a new life, moving to Rhode Island t
Jennifer Tatroe
Jul 19, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2008
I started out loving this book. I mean, seriously, an unapologetic, 1940s, hard-boiled, ghost detective haunting a thirty-something bookstore owner? I'll take Jack Shepard in my head commenting on my gams any day. I'm probably a huge discredit to my women's studies minor, but there's just something about a guy in a fedora calling you a "doll" that gets me every time.

Sadly, the editing on The Ghost and Mrs. McClure was verging on horrible. The book is told in first person with occasional forays i
Jun 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Cleo Coyle, the pen name of husband-and-wife writing team Alice Alfonsi and Marc Cerasini, and is primarily known for writing "The CoffeeHouse Mystery" series, has another series written under another pseudonym of Alice Kimberly. "The Haunted Bookshop" features a bookshop owner who finds herself solving mysteries with the help of the bookshop's longtime resident: the ghost of a private eye who was murdered there in 1949.

This first book in the series shares many similarities with "The Ghost and
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
With the newest of this series coming out soon, I just had to start the series so I would know what the buzz about Jack Shepard was. I can definitely say I'm in love with that ghost, lol! What an amazing character! He and Pen worked well together as a sleuthing team...once he convinced her that she wasn't crazy and that yes, she really could hear him in her brain. Jack talked her through a very cool sting operation to get the perp to confess. It worked and the person who killed the famous author ...more
I got through the first 65 pages. That was more than enough. I'm actually going to return this to B&N. For 6.99 I should at least be able to read what I buy.

Boring, unoriginal characters who were described in each chapter, despite repeat information. Tissue-thin plot. Steroetypical sub-plot devices. I really wanted to like this, but I just couldn't. I like light reading, but this was too light for me.
Sarah Rubin
Jun 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The perfect ghost for a mystery!

We all know a small town bookstore focused on mysteries is a perfect setting for a mystery. This book pulls a past mystery into perfect connection with a new murder, ties the two inextricably together, adds a little haunting, and keeps the pages turning.

The ghost, the main character and her struggles and self doubts, and the setting were the best parts of this book. The mystery storyline was somewhat predictable, but that didn’t stop me from loving this book!
The Ghost and Mrs. McClure by Alice Kimberly is the first book in the Haunted Bookshop Mystery series. Penelope Thornton-McClure runs a mystery bookshop with her aunt Sadie and when well known author Timothy Brennan is murdered during a book signing, the resident ghost, private investigator Jack Shepard urges Penelope to solve the case. I loved this book. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and the bookstore. The mystery was intriguing and leisurely paced and I'm looking forward to reading ...more
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
Aug 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Well, I must say that I had fun reading this. The premise made me think of that movie The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

You have a newly opened bookshop, an author died at said bookshop and Penelope and her aunt along with Pen's son Spencer, running the store. All the while an investigation is going on surrounding the author's death. What happened? Any suspects? Add more to the widow's worries is ghost Jack Shepherd, haunting the bookstore.

I stayed up a little, to finish this. I had maybe a couple of cha
Jul 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy, mystery
That was so enjoyable. So cozy. I really had a fun time and enjoyed the cast of characters and that's like half the battle.

My biggest gripe is that basically (view spoiler) Which means I'll have to read book 2 and I'm not completely positive it won't get tired/old through a second novel. Also we get the good old (view spoiler)
Jul 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
I loved how this story began - the 1940's feel with dames, Doll Face, and gams. The cozy genre rarely gives this type of atmosphere and the hard-boiled detective flare is a refreshing start to a new-to-me series.

Penelope Thorton-McClure (Pen to her friends) decides to move to Qunidicott, Rhode Island to help her aunt keep open a small and not very profitable family bookstore. With the small inheritance from her recently deceased husband, Pen and her young son move to this out of the way hamlet
Well, let us just say I really WANTED to like this book. Perhaps the characters come across as less lame in print, not audio, but perhaps not. The Rhode Island accents grated on my nerves badly to start with. I love cozy mysteries and know there shouldn't be "much" to them but for some reason my hopes were high for this one, probably because of the rough basis on one of my faves, the Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

Sooo. The ghost. I hated him. The captain in Mrs. Muir was more of a gentleman ghost - and th
May 11, 2010 rated it did not like it
Even though I read every word of this paperback, I couldn't help thinking every time I picked it up that the book was definitely a waste of my time. Bluntly speaking, I conclude that it is a terrible disappointment for a cozy mystery. I wholeheartedly agree with another review listed here that Chapter 15, Penelope's dream was totally unnecessary, adding absolutely nothing to the novel. I also thought Chapter 12 -- Penelope stumbling around in a chat room -- was useless as well. It will probably ...more
Feb 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Nice little beginning to a ghost/cozy series. I loved the visualization of the book store that the main character, Mrs. McClure owns and operates. I love the ghost who is becoming her right hand detective towards the end. I look forward to other books in the series to see more of the ghost in her life. Using his intelligence, his wit and humor, his old time dialect like, "Sheatheart" and "Dame" ect.. Love it! ...more
Lauri Saplad
This was my introduction to the haunted bookshop. Very cute story about the ghost of a hardboiled detective a la 'The Maltese Falcon' helping a dame in distress not only solve a murder, but learn about life and how to stand up for herself. Can't wait to read the rest in the series! ...more
Jun 07, 2008 rated it liked it
dont get shot in a book store
Debra Belmudes
Oct 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first book in this series, but I'm a big fan of Cleo Coyle's Coffeehouse Mysteries which are set in New York.

I was drawn to this series because I was a big fan of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir television series as I was growing up. Who could forget the handsome Edward Mulhare as the sea captain haunting Hope Lange? But, back to the book...

I enjoyed the story and thought the author did a good job in crafting a mystery connecting the present and the past through the ghost of a former mystery
Anastasia Abboud
Absolutely loved it! What a fun and hilarious cozy! Cleo Coyle is an amazing author and narrators Caroline Shaffer and Traber Burns are a great team.
Kathy Davie
Aug 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, history, funny
First in the Haunted Bookshop mystery series set in a bookstore, Buy the Book, in Quindicott, Rhode Island.

The Story
The second item on the agenda is booking an author appearance with Timothy Brennan, author of that very popular detective series, Jack Shield, when his latest book, Shield of Justice comes out. With such a popular author, Pen hopes it will help put Buy the Book a bit higher up on the map not expecting that the author will drop over dead and incite a frenzy of book buying.

It takes t
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think Jack Shepard must be the world‘s sexiest ghost. A rough and tough ghost murdered in the 1940’s, he comes through to save the day and the bookstore. The writing was witty and fresh and I actually laughed out loud a few times.
This is one that you almost have to read straight through because you just keep wanting to read another chapter and then another chapter. Can’t wait to really get into this series.
Aug 10, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2005
After her husband kills himself, Penelope Thornton-McClure, moved to Rhode Island with her seven year old son, Spencer, and buys into her aunt's bookstore. She arranges an appearance in the store by Timothy Brennan, author of a series of books based on the real-life unsolved murder of private eye Jack Shepard in that very location. Brennan, who turns out to be a jerk, chokes and dies during his talk at the store. There are plenty of suspects, including Penelope herself, who handed Brennan the ta ...more
Jul 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
SUMMARY: Penelope Thornton-McClure manages a Rhode Island bookshop rumored to be haunted. When a bestselling author drops dead signing books, the first clue of foul play comes from the store's full-time ghost-a PI murdered on the very spot more than fifty years ago.
Is he a figment of Pen's overactive imagination? Or is the likable, fedora-wearing specter the only hope Pen has to solve the crime?

REVIEW: In a wonderful blend of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and Philip Marlow, the ghost of Jack Shepherd
Jan 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Ghost and Mrs McClure is the first in the paranormal cozy mystery series by Alice Kimberly.

Penelope McClure and her son are settling back in her home town after the death of her husband. She's co-owner of her aunts bookstore now, and trying to turn a profit. Unfortunately her first author on your turns up dead and the police are pointing their fingers at her and she must solve the murder before she's arrested!

I don't usually read paranormal cozy mysteries but if this book is an indication t
Aug 08, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sf-fantasy, mystery
One of the most dreary, cliched bits of chick lit mystery attempting to start a series that I've read in a long time.
It's like she got out a check list of what every chick lit mystery series is supposed to have and jammed them in. Not sure if it was done because she thought she had to or if it was to cover up the weak writing.

The idea of an amateur detective that owns a bookshop was decent, the added idea that the book shop is haunted and the ghost helps her was cute, but then to hint at a possi
A very cute story, a light mystery featuring a young female co-owner of a bookstore (Penelope) and the murdered detective who haunts the bookstore (Jack).
When a best-selling author drops dead during a book signing at the newly re-vamped bookstore Penelope thinks the bookstore will fail but the opposite happens as people now are anxious to procure a book by this author from the location in which he died. When it looks like murder rather than a heart attack the crowds go wild purchasing books. Bu
John Leasure
May 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The beginning of a series of mysteries which are essentially American cozies. Very good writing and a solid series concept make this a good read. The mystery revolves around the death/murder of a famous detective crime writer based on the files of a real detective killed in the 1940s. So happens he was killed in the building which is now a bookstore and he is haunting it. Mrs. McClure is a young widow raising her son above her aunts once failing bookstore. FIlled with great characters and twists ...more
Feb 18, 2013 marked it as did-not-finish
I gave this 40 pages and quit. The 1940's hard boiled detective dialogue was so over the top that it was ridiculous. I thought it was meant to be farcical but as I kept reading I realized it was serious. The main character, Penelope, didn't hold my interest and I decided to not waste any more time on this one. ...more
Jul 08, 2010 rated it liked it
A cute, easy read. I enjoyed the ghost helping solve the mystery in the book. I'll probably try the second in the series to see if I want to continue reading them. ...more
This series about a woman running a bookshop in a small Rhode Island town and solving mysteries with the help of the ghost of a 1940s PI starts kind of rough but improves book by book.
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2015 Reading Chal...: The Ghost and Mrs. McClure by Alice Kimberly 1 10 Jun 19, 2015 03:07AM  

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Marc Cerasini and Alice Alfonsi, a popular husband-and-wife writing team, were born and raised in Pittsburgh, met in New York City, and married in Las Vegas. Together they've authored a number of bestselling books.

As Cleo Coyle, they write The Coffeehouse Mysteries, including the number-one and number-two Independent Mystery Booksellers Association bestsellers On What Grounds and Through the Grind

Other books in the series

Haunted Bookshop Mystery (7 books)
  • The Ghost and the Dead Deb (Haunted Bookshop Mystery, #2)
  • The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library (Haunted Bookshop Mystery, #3)
  • The Ghost and the Femme Fatale (Haunted Bookshop Mystery, #4)
  • The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion (Haunted Bookshop Mystery, #5)
  • The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller (Haunted Bookshop Mystery, #6)
  • The Ghost and the Haunted Portrait (Haunted Bookshop Mystery, #7)

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