Cozy Mystery Week Day Two: The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries by Alice Kimberly (Cleo Coyle)

December 2, 2012 Berkley Prime Crime, Cozy Mystery Week 7


After her husband commits suicide, young widow Penelope Thornton-McClure returns to her hometown of Quindicott, Rhode Island with her son. There, she finds her aunt Sadie in financial trouble, about to lose the family’s old bookshop. Refusing to allow the bookshop to close, Penelope uses the insurance money from her husband’s death to renovate the bookshop. Unfortunately, the construction awakens the spirit of a private investigator, Jack
Shepard, gunned down on the premises half a century ago. Jack isn’t exactly thrilled with his situation yet can’t help but want to watch over Penelope and her family.  He has his hands full, for Pen & the bookstore seem to be a magnet for mysterious deaths.

One of my favorite things about this series is the chemistry Pen and Jack have with one another. She’s a strong woman forced in the role of single-mother, struggling to help keep her family’s bookshop alive. He’s a suave P.I. with an outdated outlook on life. Their connection is an interesting one; Pen is capable of experiencing Jack’s past cases through her dreams. This “skill” is an important one, especially when his past cases help her solve more current ones.

The setting is another thing I love about this series. Hello, mystery bookstore? My idea of a dream, right? The bookstore’s name? Buy The Book! Genius I tell you!

While there are several books in this series and I highly recommend you starting from the beginning, it is possible to pick up this series at any point. Looking for a fantastic cozy mystery series with a touch of the supernatural? The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries are for you!

7 Responses to “Cozy Mystery Week Day Two: The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries by Alice Kimberly (Cleo Coyle)”

  1. harvee
    Twitter: BookDilettante

    I’ve read a few in the series and they are entertaining. Just a question I had from your post today – thought that insurance doesn’t go to survivors of a suicide, as in the background of this series.

    • Jenn
      Twitter: jennbookshelves

      Ah yes, that is technically the case. I thought I had my facts crossed but verified on author’s web site. Confirmed my facts were correct. I’m not an expert on life insurance but perhaps it’s possible in some cases?

  2. Anita
    Twitter: anitalovesbooks

    I added this one to my list…I am such a nerd, like to start at the beginning. I am considering jumping into a holiday cozy from Sara Rosett, Mistletoe, Merriment and Murder. Like a holiday read!

  3. Alice Kimberly (aka Cleo Coyle)
    Twitter: CleoCoyle

    Thanks for the nice shout-out, Jenn, I appreciate it. When the new Haunted Bookshop book is ready for publication next year, I’ll put you on the list for an early read copy!

    Life insurance policies do vary, but in general, if the policy is at least two years old, the company will pay the family if the person insured commits suicide. If the policy is less than two years old, the company will not pay. Yes, Pen’s husband had the policy longer than two years and therefore Pen received the benefit. 🙂

    Cheers and thanks again for the lovely mention.

    ~ Alice Kimberly/Cleo Coyle

  4. Lisa Gillette-Martin
    Twitter: lgm_pr

    This is one series of which I haven’t yet read any entries. I’m not generally a huge fan of ongoing haunted themes in mysteries, but I should at least check these out, as I’m a HUGE fan of Coyle’s Coffeehouse Mystery Series. I devour each one as soon as it comes out; I can’t wait for “Holiday Buzz”!

  5. SuziQoregon

    Oh I hadn’t heard of this series but it does sound fun! I’ve added it to my library wish list – I need another series like I need a hole in my head but I simply can’t resist.