The Ghost and the Stolen Tears (Haunted Bookshop Mystery)
8th in Series
Berkley (October 4, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback : 288 pages
ISBN-10 : 0425255484
ISBN-13 : 978-0425255483
Digital ASIN : B09PZV5F9S
Norma is a modern-day nomad. Living out of her van and teardrop trailer, she revels in self-reliance, solitude, and reading in the glorious peace of nature. Jovial, wise, and scrupulously honest, she’s become an uplifting presence in the little town of Quindicott, Rhode Island, where bookseller Pen is thankful to have her part-time help. But it’s Norma’s other job, working as a housekeeper at the Finch Inn, that gets her into terrible trouble. Norma is accused of stealing jewels from a guest’s room: the legendary Valentino Teardrops, an antique necklace and earring set, inherited by a young socialite. Pen doesn’t believe Norma is guilty of the crime—though the evidence is distressingly strong. And when the spirited Norma vanishes before her arrest, Pen turns to another spirit…
Jack Shepard, PI, may have been gunned down decades ago, but his memory hasn’t been ghosted. Back in the 1940s, those same Valentino Teardrops starred in a bizarre case of betrayal and murder. From the look of things, history is about to repeat. Now Jack is back on the job, and Pen is eternally grateful.
I have loved Cleo Coyle’s books since the first Coffeehouse Mystery came out, and The Ghost and the Stolen Tears is no exception!
Penelope and her aunt Sadie run a bookstore in Quindicott, Rhode Island. Norma Stanton, who lives the nomadic life out of her van and trailer, has become quite the helper working at the bookstore, and Pen is glad of her help. Norma has a wise, gentle way about her, and she’s always able to help people in the store. So when a young social media influencer staying at the Finch Inn claims that her vintage jewels, inherited from a family member, have been stolen, and Norma ends up in the crosshairs of the investigation, Pen finds it hard to believe. The problem, though, is that Norma is suddenly nowhere to be found, so it’s tough to refute the evidence mounting against her. Pen turns to Jack Shepard, PI (who may be dead, but who’s still very much present!) for help in clearing Norma’s name.
Coyle weaves the Valentino Teardrops through the story, past and present. I liked the way Jack took Pen back to his past experience with the Teardrops while he was alive and how she saw his case unfold through her dreams. She gets a sense of what Jack’s life and career was like through her dream travel with him. I thoroughly enjoyed the vintage gumshoe vibe of those portions of the story. The use of things she learned in dreams to unravel the mystery facing her in the present also worked well.
I also enjoyed seeing Pen’s son, Spencer, play a little bit bigger role. He’s working on a class project and he’s taken an interest in forensic evidence, specifically fingerprinting. His investigative skills nearly get him into trouble at school, but they come in very handy in solving the real-life mystery.
I look forward to the next adventure for Pen and Jack!
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. All opinions here are mine, and I don’t say nice things about books I don’t actually like.
About Cleo Coyle
CLEO COYLE is a pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Both are New York Times bestselling authors of the long-running Coffeehouse Mysteries—now celebrating eighteen years in print. They are also authors of the nationally bestselling Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, previously written under the pseudonym Alice Kimberly. Alice has worked as a journalist in Washington, D.C., and New York, and has written popular fiction for adults and children. A former magazine editor, Marc has authored espionage thrillers and nonfiction for adults and children. Alice and Marc are also both bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for Lucasfilm, NBC, Fox, Disney, Imagine, and MGM. They live and work in New York City, where they write independently and together.
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