Penelope and ghost Jack cleverly solve a current-day crime by revisiting the past in this well-devised Haunted Bookshop mystery. A film noir festival is a perfect backdrop for Pen and Jack to undercover the scandalous behavior of the industry's major players. The sexual tension between them is entertaining, and the way they travel between each other's worlds works well. Secondary characters are funny and unique.

Festivities are underway in Quindicott, R.I., where a film noir festival is taking place. The event promises to be profitable for Penelope's bookshop, but no sooner has it begun than accidents start to occur. A legendary noir actress narrowly misses being killed by a falling speaker, and a noir expert and author falls to her death from a ladder in Pen's bookshop.

Shaken by these events, Pen and her ghostly gumshoe, Jack Shepard, work on solving an old case involving a movie mogul's death so they can uncover their current-day killer's motive. (BERKLEY PRIME CRIME, May, 256 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Sandra Martin